HC Deb 23 March 1925 vol 182 cc24-5
40. Major OWEN

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the fact that the Crown Receivership for Wales becomes vacant on 30th September next, and that a person possessing no knowledge of the Welsh language has been already appointed, he will say whether there were no suitable candidates with a knowledge 4 Welsh available; or whether the reason for making an appointment so long in advance was to enable the candidate to make a start in learning the Welsh language?


I have no doubt that suitable candidates for this post with a knowledge of Welsh could have been found. There was, however, no one so qualified on the establishment of the Office of Commissioners of Crown Lands, and if the appointment had been made from outside, not only would it have prevented a well-deserved promotion, but an opportunity would have been lost of effecting an economy in administration expenses by combining the duties of the post with those of the present Crown Receiver for the Isle of Man. The appointment has been made in advance to enable him both to become familiar with his new duties and to perfect his knowledge of the Welsh language before the present Receiver retires.


Could anyone get a grip of the Welsh language in six months?


My hon. Friend will notice that my answer said that the six months was required only to enable him to perfect his knowledge.

Major OWEN

Is it proposed to put this gentleman through any kind of examination at the end of six months; and, if he does not know the language by that time, is it proposed to appoint anybody else?


I think the hon. and gallant Gentleman can rest well assured that he will have an ample knowledge of Welsh to enable him to carry out his duties.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that you cannot learn the Welsh alphabet in six months?


If he has not sufficient knowledge of the language at the end of six months, will another appointment be made?


Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will allow me to wait till after the six months is past.