Welsh people generally.
Ample time permitted prolonged discussion in respect of Association matters in Wales. The Welsh representatives asked for increased autonomy in respect of programme planning. In the sphere of educational activities they made it clear that Welsh educationalists were better informed in the matter of Welsh education and the requirements of Students and Welsh people in general who attended YMCA Classes and Lecture Courses.
The representatives suggested that the National Council in London should grant autonomy to the Welsh Council in two areas of service and that the Welsh Council should be entirely responsible for planning and financing the relevant activities in both areas of work. The London representatives had no difficulty in accepting this suggestion, neither had they any objection to the areas of responsibility which were as follows:
Camp Welfare Service for Territorial Troops. Adult Education.
Camp Welfare Services for Territorial Troops.
Between the two wars it had been a custom for the Welsh National Council to make provision for Marquee Centres with appropriate Welfare Service for Welsh Territorial Troops during their annual Summer Training Camps in Wales or England. The services rendered to each unit included a Canteen, Enter- tainments, occasional talks and a library, together with postal facilities. Local Commanders of various units made arrangements with the National Council for these and other Services. The Council accepted responsibility for financing these projects. It accepted liability for any debts incurred for the provisioning of these items but retained any surpluses.
The Conference agreed that these services constituted a Welsh National Council responsibility.
The Welsh National Council had developed a considerable programme of Adult Educational Activities over a period of seven years before the holding of the Gors y Gedol Conference. Courses of Popular Lectures had been arranged for over one hundred and twenty Committees all over Wales. A Panel of approximately eighty eminent Lecturers from England and Wales had been listed to deliver these lectures. They evoked sufficient interest to devise follow up work of short term classes of six, ten or twenty lectures, given in one subject by University Lecturers and Tutors, each lecture being followed by questions and discussion.
The London YMCA visitors assented that this type of programme could only be successfully organised in Wales by the Welsh Education Committee and consequently should be their responsibility. When the Conference ended, the Welsh representatives agreed that progress had been achieved for Wales. The foregoing two items of service constituted the first "bits" of autonomy conceded to the Welsh YMCA Council. As time went on various areas of autonomous responsibility became available.
By Act of Parliament in 1925, the Board of Education acquired powers to appoint appropriate organisations as "Responsible Bodies" to make provision for Adult Education Classes which would be grant aided according to the type of class. Responsible Bodies would submit an annual programme of work