Betws patriarch Jim Griffiths has been honoured in the Welsh Senedd after a bronze bust made in the 1960s by artist Robert Thomas was unveiled earlier this week.

For many years the bust has sat forgotten in the Park Howard Museum, Llanelli.

“We rightly remember great figures like Lloyd George and Nye Bevan and now we’re remembering the other great titan who did so much to shape the Wales which we know today,” said local MS and MP Lee Waters.

Griffiths, who has been described as the man who ‘held the pen on devolution,’ was elected as a Labour MP for Llanelli between 1936 and 1970. During this time he became recognised as an architect of the Family Allowance Act, the National Insurance Act and the Industrial Injuries Act. Jim Griffiths also became the first Secretary of State of Wales between 1964 and 1966 when he served whilst Harold Wilson was in office.


“These are the three central pillars of the welfare state which support so many people in our local communities,” continued Mr Waters.

“The Senedd is an institution that he did so much to lay the foundations for and I'm pleased that the bust of Jim Griffiths is now being displayed there. This man should be remembered always as a centre piece on Wales’s political journey.”

Much of Griffiths’ compassion stemmed from his working class background when he saw the hardships of the mining communities, the effects of unemployment, poverty, malnutrition, sickness and industrial injury.

“He took up to the fight to bring about the reforms that were needed to help those who fell on hard times,” commented Nia Griffiths who is Llanelli’s current MP.

“He was also ahead of his times in encouraging women to participate, welcoming suffragettes to share a platform in a 1910 by-election, supporting his wife to become a councillor and then ensuring that the newly introduced Family Allowance was paid to the mother. “