EISTEDDFOD SYMPOSIUM THE early introduction and ultimate passing of another Eisteddfod Reform Bill is foreseen by expert students alike of Eisteddfodic meteorology and of national renaissance. 1 say "another" reform bill advisedly, for that which many must realise is about to come will not be the first, nor even the second, within living memory. This renewal of interest in the People's University is as certain as the rebirth of the national spirit, and as inevit- able as the periodical recurrence of political upheavals, or of religious revivals. There is a tide in the affairs of nations as of men, and of literary as of political institutions. He who attempts to stem the rising tide will merely repeat Canute's experience. In Wales the Eisteddfod is only one medium for the expression of the national spirit; political activities is another. Revived interest in the one is a sure accompaniment to the birth-pains which are the natural forerunners of the others. Wales is to-day repeating the story of a generation ago. She stands on the verge of a great social and political revolu- tion-as she did a little over thirty years ago. The re- birth of the national spirit is presaged as certainly by the growing universal demand for autonomy, by the revived thirst for improved educational facilities, by the rising cry for fuller recognition of the native language in all official and academic spheres, as it is in the desire for Eisteddfodic Reform. It was the same a generation ago. Tom Ellis, consciously or unconsciously moved by the new life pulsating in the nation's veins, shattered the shackles which the territorial magnates had imposed on the electo- rate, and threw open the doors of St. Stephen's to the tenant equally with the landlord Viriamu Jones, Isambard Owen, and Brynmor Jones secured a charter for a Welsh University the system of Welsh Intermediate Schools was established Dan Isaac Davies, Archdeacon Griffiths, and others founded the Welsh Language Society which first secured official recognition for the mother tongue in the day schools of Wales the Bardic Gorsedd was re- modelled, the National Eisteddfod Association recreated, and the National Eisteddfod itself revivified and reduced to a semblance of order. That was over thirty years ago. What do we see to- day ? Follow the sequence given above. Labour and its leaders are repeating the victory won by Tom Ellis the University Charter is being remodelled the system of Secondary Education is being unified the Union of Welsh National Societies, like Samson's foxes, are burn- ing up the shocks, the standing corn, the vineyards, end olives alike of the once dominant Philistine and of his emasculated emulator Dic Shon Dafydd. Within and without the Gorsedd Association and the National Eis- teddtod Association is heard the demand for reform,- and the national consciousness, no less than the national conscience, cries aloud for making the National Festival more subservient to national needs, and more consonant with enlightened national aspirations. THE NEED OF REFORM By Beriah Gwynfe Evans That the lay reader should appreciate the existing situation, it should be explained that the National Eis- teddfod is to-day, like the United Kingdom, under the rule of three estates :-the Gorsedd of Bards, the National Eisteddfod Association, and the Local Committee. The supreme authority is vested in the Gorsedd and the Eis- teddfod Association. Each of these possesses an equal power of veto. No National Eisteddfod can constitu- tionally be held without the sanction and approval of both these organisations. Each is supreme in its own sphere. The Gorsedd contents itself with upholding and protecting traditional bardic privileges, and seeing that Eisteddfodic ceremonials are conducted decently and in order. The Association concerns itself mainly with ensuring the financial solvency of the annual Festival, and with the publication of the "Transactions," including, within prescribed limits, the successful literary compositions. The Local Committee undertakes all local arrangements, and becomes solely responsible for providing the requisite finances. Before the invitation of any locality for the honour of holding the National Festival can be even con- sidered, the Local Committee must pledge itself in writing, signed, sealed, and delivered, to submit in all essential matters to the authority and rules of the two supreme authorities-the Gorsedd and the Association. This involves, among others, the following 1. The invitation must be endorsed by the Local Authority (e.g. Town or Urban Council) under its official seal. 2. A duly executed Bond, signed by the requisite number of guarantors, for a minimum amount of One Thousand Pounds to meet any possible deficit in the Eisteddfod balance sheet. 3. To submit the List of Subjects to the supervision, and all and any portions of such list to the veto of the Gorsedd to recognise the Gorsedd as the supreme authority in all matters pertaining to the conduct of the Eisteddfod to extend the tradi- tional hospitality to the Archdruid and his entourage at the Proclamation and during the holding of the Festival and to accord to the assembled Gorseddic Bards their traditional privileges. 4. To hand over to the combined Gorsedd and National Eisteddfod Association, one-half of the nett surplus resulting from the holding of the Festival. The Gorsedd and the Association undertake in return to perform certain specified reciprocal duties,-the chief of which on the part of the Eisteddfod Association, is to supplement by means of special prizes the Local Committee's s Prize List, and to print and publish the official Trans- actions of the Eisteddfod. This latter obligation, it should be remembered applies equally whether the Eis- teddfod balance sheet shows a surplus or a deficit; thus the financial success or failure of the Eisteddfod in no way affects the subsequent publication of the Transactions.
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