Symud i'r prif gynnwys

THE CLEMENT DAVIES PAPERS A REVIEW IN 1967 the National Library of Wales acquired on deposit a substantial collection of the papers of Clement Edward Davies, Member of Parliament for Montgomeryshire from 1929 to 1962 and Leader of the Liberal Party from 1945 to 1956. It was originally intended that they should form the basis of an official biography of the Liberal statesman.2 Ten years later, Mr. Stanley Clement-Davies deposited a further group of papers consisting in the main of his own papers and those of his mother, the late Mrs. Jano Clement-Davies.3 This brief account attempts to explain the arrangement of the papers in the Library's typescript schedule, to outline the scope of the collection, and to draw attention to some of the more interesting items in their midst. The material in Class A is in part composed of the personal and business papers of Clement Davies's father, Alderman Moses Davies of Llanfyllin, an auctioneer, valuer and agricultural seedsman. This group gives some indication of the nature of his business and chronicles the difficulties of running a small rural business during the early years of the present century. Also included in this class are documents relating to Clement Davies's six brothers and sisters, all of whom were exceptionally gifted academically. There is an extensive group of correspondence concerning David Thomas Davies, who qualified as a surveyor and became Superintending Valuer for Wales, and a considerable number of items relative to Dr. Laura Maule-Horne, Davies's sister, who took medical degrees at London, Edinburgh and Paris.5 Finally, Class A comprises material relating to Clement Davies's early life: his home background, his education at school and university and his early career as a lawyer, lecturer and writer prior to his entry to Parliament in 1929.6 Much can be gleaned of the relationship between Davies and his parents. It appears that he was closer to his mother than to his father; as he wrote to her on her sixty-seventh birthday in 1908: 'Words are useless to express our love and admiration for you, and so I content myself with saying that I thank God for our own dear Mother and that for ever shall we love and bless and venerate you. All that is best and worthiest in us we owe entirely to you and Father and your kind and gentle training and your beauti- ful example while all that is otherwise in us we are alone responsible for'.7 There are insights into Davies's education at Llanfyllin County School and at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he became senior foundation scholar. A lengthy obituary notice of Alderman Moses Davies provides a good deal of information about Clement Davies's ancestry and family background,8 while a scrap-book of press cuttings offers a wealth of detail relating to his pre-Parlia- mentary career.9