The Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion

Recognising the contribution of Wales in contemporary society

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home > Transactions > Volume 20 - 2014 > Ellis W. Davies and Eifion Politics, 1906–1918

Ellis W. Davies and Eifion Politics, 1906–1918

Ellis Davies (1871–1939) was one of the most able and impressive Welsh MPs during the early years of the twentieth century, representing the Ei on division of Caernarfonshire from a by-election in 1906 until his ignominious defeat in the ‘coupon’ general election of December 1918 when he stood as the Asquithian Liberal candidate for the new parliamentary division of Caernarfonshire. Yet his interesting political career has been but little discussed by political historians. Davies’s political credo was quite remarkable for his determination to side-line the traditional Liberal issues of disestablishment of the Welsh church, educational reforms, temperance legislation, and piecemeal concessions to devolutionary demands, all powerful legacies of the days of Cymru Fydd, in favour of a rm emphasis on social and economic themes, the core bread-and-butter issues of primary poverty, unemployment, substandard housing and ill health, and the pressing problems facing the large numbers of tenant farmers and quarryworkers among his constituents. Hence Davies’s ready support for the highly contentious land clauses of Lloyd George’s radical ‘People’s Budget’ of 1909.

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