Country With Highest T.B. Rate
rum. Our WO sh Correspondent Nineteen Thirty Eight has been quiet but full of significant events in Wales.
Early it 1938 the Tuberculosis Enquiry Commission helil its various sittings.
It has long been publie knowledge that Wales has the highest. tuberculosis di.a.111-ralc in Britain, but most
amazing of all was the revelation of the incapacity cif local government to deal with the situation. This muddleheadedness is the culmination of So6alist mismanagement of affairs.
CANCER IS WORSE
it is no comfort to hear that the cancer death-rate in Wales is even higher than that of tuberculosis. The whole question of the effects of malnutrition, under-nourishment and unemployment in relation to these diseases remains to be tackled.
Hard on the heels of the tuberculosis enquiry came the agitation for a Welsh Secretary for State. Welsh M.P.s claimed that the creation of such an office would secure for Wales recognition of her special problems. Apart from some interested bodies no general interest was apparent in Wales, and it was that which Mr Chamberlain pointed out when he refused the request of the M.P.s.
But he also made a tactical blunder when he said that since the Act of Union of England and Wales in 1536 Wales has had no separate national identity, but is merely a part of England. It was this remark that excited great resentment in Wales and gave a strong impetus to plans already afoot In early :Ammer for the organising of a Welsh national petition to secure for the Welsh language equality of status with English in courts of law.
CRISIS IMMIGRANTS Then came the crisis. Wales, land of immigrants and emigrants, received the biggest influx of population that. she has ever seen.
In two days 120,000 came from England into the counties of Monmouthshire and Giamorganshire. Caernarvons hire was preparing to accommodate 22,000 schoolchildren.
Severe criticism of these arrangements followed the crisis from all sections of public. opinion in Wales. It has been pointed out that the wretched housing conditions in rural Wales, and the negligible sanitation in many parts, would not be equal to the strain of increased numbers. This argument leaves out of account the very serious one of the future of all Welsh culture under a possible strain of years of occupation by strangers.
Industrially, 1938 closes with black prospects. Demonstrations by unemployed in Caernarvonshire over unfairness in the administration of the dole are followed by rumours of forthcoming trouble in Glamorgan.
The coming of strip mills to Ebbw Vale will be followed by the rapid decline of the cast tin industry of Llatielly, Swansea and Gorseinon, which, means destitution for Wales' largest working population.
Riots of workers are threatened if this prospect is realised.
WALES MAY SNAP OUT OF ra
So closes 1938. Psychologically Wales has advanced, for the whole year has been marked by a steady growth of an independent Welsh public opinion.
Materially, Wales is worse off than she has ever been. We are afraid that it is only through these means can Wales be brought to tackle her own problems, and abandon her long and lazy wait for others to do so.