Symud i'r prif gynnwys

many as seven had followed courses at the Central Labour College in London. Their number included Aneurin Bevan, Ness Edwards, James Griffiths and W. H. Mainwaring.35 The college had been founded and was jointly financed by the National Union of Rail- waymen and the S.W.M.F. with the avowed purpose of 'equipping the organized workers with the knowledge adequate for the accomplishment of their industrial and political tasks'.36 One figure closely involved with the establishment of the college and subse- quently one of its governors was George Barker, Member of Parliament for Abertillery.37 The Central Labour College clearly exercised a profound impact upon the S.W.M.F. and thus upon the industrial and political life of south Wales in general. Scholarships were available from the 'Fed' and from certain of its districts to enable working miners to attend the college for one or two years. James Griffiths recalled, 'When I attended my first meeting of the Executive Council of the South Wales Miners' Federation in December of 1925, I found myself surrounded by former students of the Labour Co]]ege'.38 To Harold Finch, who became the Member for Bedwellty in 1950, but who belonged to the same generation and the same tradition as Griffiths and Aneurin Bevan, 'South Wales was almost saturated with products of the Labour Co]]ege'.39 No less than sixteen former students of the college served in the Labour Governments of 1945-51, four of whom attained Cabinet rank.40 One feature of interest is the number of members who had attended university as mature students. Most of these had studied at Ruskin College, Oxford. They included steel-worker Tom Griffiths (Pontypool, 1918-35) and T. I. Mardy Jones (Pontypridd, 1922-31). S. O. Davies had graduated as a mature student from University College, Cardiff. Such men saw the attainment of higher education as a fillip towards progressing in the union hier- archy. Griffiths was appointed full-time Organizer of the British Steel Smelters Association in 1899, while Jones became parliament- ary agent to the S.W.M.F. in 1909. Many others had assiduously pursued evening classes to attain the same ends. They followed 35 For an account of some college students, see W. W. Craik, The Central Labour College, 1909-29: a chapter in the history of adult working-class education (London, 1964), 173-84. 36 N.L.W., James Griffiths MSS. Al/15, bound volume with 'The Labour College, 1922', on spine, p. 3. 37 Bellamy and Savffle (comps.), op. cit., Vol. I (1972), 37. 38 N.L.W., James Griffiths MSS. El/34, 'Personalities in the Union and some of the coalowners', p. 23. 39 South Wales Miners' Library, tape no. 44, Harold Finch interviewed by Hywel Francis, 28 February 1973, p. 27 (transcript). 40 Craik, op. cit., 125.