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'Administrative' devolution (pre-1998)

Devolution of some degree of power to Wales in modern times began with the transfer, from the end of the 19th century onwards, of certain limited administrative functions of government to Wales.  The Council for Wales and Monmouthshire was established in 1949 to advise the UK Government on matters of Welsh interest and in 1951 the post of Minister of Welsh Affairs was created.

The most significant development, however, in this period of administrative devolution was the creation of the post of Secretary of State for Wales (as a member of the Cabinet of the UK Government) and the establishment of the Welsh Office in 1964. From 1964 onwards, therefore, significant decisions relating to how Wales was run were made in Wales. However, decisions taken in Wales were taken on behalf of the UK Government, which ultimately controlled what was or wasn't done. It is for this reason that this period is sometimes referred to as one of ‘administrative’ devolution. 

Published on
Last updated
17 June 2021