The above mentioned project proved to be entirely the product of Welsh autonomy and responsibility.
A purpose built College (to make provision for Citizenship Training for Industrial Youth, Grant Aided by the Ministry of Education.)
The responsibility for the project and its maintenance rested with the National Council of Wales. The College became available to students in September, 1947, when the Warden and Resident Tutor together with additional members of the staff took up residence.
The Ministry made a maintenance grant of £750., for the first year with an increase to £1,000 the following year, the grant being payable to the Welsh National Council of YMCAs, the responsible body for maintenance of the College.
Later, the Ministry suggested that the grant, for reasons of economy should be included in a comprehensive education grant made to the National Council in London, but the allocated Coleg y Fro amount would be forwarded by London direct to the Welsh YMCA Office. The result of these arrangements, negotiated in 1947 was that the annual grant made to Wales remained at £1,000 per annum! Consequently, the Welsh National Council had to strain its resources to keep the College operative.
Adult Education and the Russell Report. In the 1960s, a Committee of Enquiry into the state of non-vocational education (appointed by the Secretary of State for Education and Science, under the Chairmanship of Sir Lionel Russell, C.B.E.) was set up and a report of its findings was published in 1973.
The Welsh National Council of YMCAs, one of the Responsible Bodies in Wales recognised by the Ministry of Education, submitted a statement of its educational activities to the Committee of Enquiry with emphasis on the provision of classes in the post 1946 period.
Prior to this period and going back to 1918, the Education Committee of the Welsh YMCA had maintained a massive programme of Adult Education all over Wales.
In paragraph 246 the Report states "that if the work hitherto undertaken by the Welsh National Council of YMCAs among people for whom it is our wish to ensure a better provision had t be abandoned, the loss to a full Service of Adult Education would be serious". There is no reason why this should happen. The report proceeds to indicate sources and methods to maintain the YMCA Contribution to Adult Education in Wales.
The report also made this recommendation: "We advise that the Welsh National Council of YMCAs should be included in the list of bodies receiving direct grant with a view to safeguarding its work in Adult Education by supporting the central organisation so that better promotion can be made and by allowing the Council to receive grant towards teaching costs for its own provision where it is clear that no other body can do the work so effectively".
Progress of Autonomy between Gors y Gedol 1925 and Manchester 1971.
It has been a long haul since the days of Gors y Gedol. At that Conference the YMCA in Wales received its first measure of autonomy. Subsequently, it