James Griffiths, one of my distinguished predecessors as MP for Llanelli, became the first-ever Secretary of State for Wales when the Welsh Office he had long campaigned for was set up in 1964.
However, in the final months of the Attlee Labour Government after the Second World War, he served as Colonial Secretary.
This was a time of great change in the world. As late as 1958 Cardiff hosted the Empire Games, now known as the Commonwealth Games. James Griffiths met many of the leaders of the countries that would soon be independent, people like Jomo Kenyatta, Kwame Nkrumah and Julius Neyrere.
Llanelli has a history of internationalism. We all know of the fight against Nazism in the last war, but many from Llanelli also served in the International Brigades defending Spanish democracy during 1936 to 1938. Last week I was pleased to back Sian James MP for Swansea East in welcoming a memorial to be unveiled in Swansea on 14 December honouring those from the area who served in Spain and recognising the Swansea seafarers led by Potato Jones who broke the Franco blockade. We should not forget all those who helped establish refugee homes across Britain, including in Brechfa, Carmarthenshire, to look after Basque children who fled the bombing of their towns and villages, including Guernica.
Today, we read about the “Arab Spring” as the drive for democratic change seems to be taking hold in the Middle East. We follow the events in Tahir Square in Egypt with interest and concern.
It is the UK Government that is responsible for our foreign policy. As your MP in Westminster I try to reflect your concerns in this as in other areas of politics.