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Williams Hywel D

Hywel D Williams

 

Williams was a Communist Party member, active at least in the 1950s and 1960s, who resided in Rhigos, Aberdare, South Wales in that period.

 

A great supporter of the Welsh language, Williams wrote an article for the internal Communist Party journal `Comment’, published on December 11th 1967, which illuminates some aspects of how the 20th century Communist Party adjusted to an increasingly more nationalist position with regard to

Wales.

 

Entitled "Has the Welsh Language a Future?” the piece sparked some controversy in the Communist Party, reflected in later editions of `Comment’, especially riling a small minority of members in

Wales who opposed promoting the language. One such, Benn Everest of Swansea, had already been especially vitriolic in a `Comment’ letter of 26th February 1966, in which he attacked then current campaigns promoting the Welsh language, some of which had begun to enter the realms of the violent and illegal. 

 

Williams pointed out in his response that there were two weekly newspapers published in Welsh, `Baner Ac Amserau Cymru’ and `Y Cymro’, which were as progressive as any English periodical outside of Marxist publications.  He also stated that it was his understanding that Hugh MacDiarmid Scottish Poet and Communist "can read and speak Welsh".

 

In a nod to criticisms of some aspects of Plaid Cymru policy and more extreme stances going beyond that, such as violent attacks upon English incomers and holiday home owners, Williams also noted that: "Many zealous Welshmen, whilst campaigning for freedom of expression for the language, sharply disagree with the official line of the Welsh nationalist Party.”


 

Michael Walker