chapter  20
18 Pages


I HOPE I may be forgiven if I begin this evening by counting my blessings. Anyone in my position, who is called upon publicly to justify his subject, and in a measure at least himself, to an audience of his colleagues and peers, must, I suppose, regard the assignment with rather mixed feelings. But whatever misgivings I may have on this occasion-and I will not pretend that they do not exist-they cannot conceal the sense of pride which I also feel at being asked to occupy the first chair of Economic History in this University College, and, indeed, in the University of Wales. In a sense, I must confess that it seems a little inappropriate that this honour should have fallen on me as an Englishman, for as many of you will know, Wales has a proud record of endeavour in the field of economic history of its own. Quite apart from the distinguished contributions which have been made to the subject by Professor Brinley Thomas and others here in Wales, we should not forget that the occupants of the chairs at both Oxford and Cambridge, and one of the professors at the London School of Economics, all have very close connections with this part of the world. But for my own part I am particularly happy that I should have been invited to occupy a chair here in Swansea, in such delightful surroundings, in such congenial company, and with so many signs of growth and vitality around me.