Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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MORRIS , PERCY ( 1893 - 1967 ), politician and trade unionist ;

b. 6 Oct. 1893 at Swansea , the son of Thomas and Emma Morris . He was educated at Manselton elementary school and Dynevor secondary school , Swansea . He became involved in Labour politics in his youth, and was much sought after as an eloquent public speaker even during his schooldays. In 1908 he was appointed to an administrative post on the Great Western Railway and immediately became a vigorous trade unionist . Morris was elected a member of the Borough Council in 1927 , became a council alderman , and in 1935 was elected chairman of its Parliamentary Committee . He served as deputy mayor in 1944-45 and mayor in 1955-56 , and he was a member of a large number of its committees. In 1939 he was chosen J.P. for the town of Swansea . He served as treasurer of the Railways Clerks' Association , 1937-43 and as its president , 1943-53 , and from 1941 until 1945 he was the Deputy Regional Commissioner for Civil Defence (Wales Region) . During World War II he acted as president of the Swansea Labour Association .

Percy Morris stood unsuccessfully as the Labour candidate against Sir Lewis Jones (see above) in the Swansea West division in the 1935 general election. He was elected M.P. (Lab.) for the same constituency in 1945 , and continued to represent Swansea West in parliament until 1959 when he lost his seat to the Conservative J.E.H. Rees by 403 votes. He was a member of the Parliamentary Delegation to the Far East in 1955 . Morris was also a member of the National Assistance Board , 1961-66 , served as its deputy chairman in 1965-66 , and also as deputy chairman of the Supplementary Benefits Commission , 1966-67 .

For many years he served as a member of the Council of the University College of Swansea . He played an important part in the Labour politics of Swansea for more than 40 years. He was a committed Independent and a lay preacher , and between 1927 and 1945 he chaired the Carmarthen district of the South Wales Congregationalist Union . He became a freeman of the county borough of Swansea in 1958 and received the C.B.E. in 1963 .

Morris m. (1) in 1920 Elizabeth , dau. of William Davies . She and Morris 's sister and brother-in-law, were killed during the German bombing of Swansea in Jan. 1941 . He m. (2) in 1956 Catherine Evans . His home was at 30 Lôn Cedwyn , Cwmgwyn , Swansea . He d. 7 March 1967 .

Sources:

  • Who was who? ;
  • Dod's Parliamentary Companion ;
  • The Times , 8 and 15 Mar. 1967 ;
  • The Biographical Index of W. W. Price, Aberdâr (at the National Library of Wales and Aberdare Public Library) .

Author:

Dr John Graham Jones, Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001