League Links of SNP’s First Westminster MP

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE

With the landslide victory for the SNP in Scotland I thought it would be useful to flag up (for those who are unaware of it) that the first SNP MP elected to the House of Commons held a prominent position in the Celtic League in its first decade.

Robert McIntyre who was leader of the SNP from 1947 – 1956 was a Vice President of the Celtic League from 1961 – 1971 (when the position of both President and Vice Presidents were dropped by the League). Professionally McIntyre was first a GP and then a highly regarded Medical Consultant.

He became the first SNP member in the Commons when he was elected for Motherwell in 1945.

Unwilling to be sponsored (in the normal way by two sitting members) by other political parties he initially tried unsuccessfully to have the Commons rules changed.

His period in the Commons was brief: he lost the seat 3 months after entering the Commons in the General Election of 1945.

However, he continued to stand in subsequent elections until the mid 1970s. He was obviously a very determined and committed Scottish Nationalist.

He died in 1998 aged 85.

McIntyre was one of a large number of well known and highly respected figures who were involved at the inception of the League. The period is documented in the opening pages of Peter Beresford Ellis’s book ‘The Celtic Dawn’.

In that book Beresford Ellis also refers to the original Celtic annual publication CELTIC NEWS which pre-dated Carn, the long running quarterly journal of the League which commenced publication in 1973.

Carn is of course now available on-line (see link) and it would be an interesting project to also gather copies of the ‘Annual’ so these might also be made available electronically.

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

10/05/15

(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)

ISSUED BY THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE.

The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

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