Winston Churchill's 'sarcastic' response to Welsh language campaigners published

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In a letter dated December 3, 1941, the Welsh Parliamentary Party wrote to the Prime Minister to demand a meeting to discuss a petition on the Welsh language.

Four days later – the day Japan bombed Pearl Harbour - Mr Churchill wrote in response: "Much as I should like to meet the deputation of the Welsh Parliamentary Party, I regret that, owing to the many tasks which fall to my lot at this time, it is impossible for me to arrange a date."

The petition's aim was to get the Welsh language put on the same footing as English in all public services and repeal laws preventing Welsh being used in the Welsh Law Courts.

The previously unpublished letters go under the hammer at a Mullocks Auction at Ludlow Racecourse in Shropshire on March 5 and are expected to fetch around £2,000.

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