Congress programmes & some post congress financial papers
Cheque books, several booklet "IGRC 1974 Sessional Papers, Agenda, Workshop Papers, Notes, Social Calendar, Letters, December 18-22.",
Tickets for Concert specially for IGRC, Chamber St House, with Poetry

A4 Brown envelope contains:
Letter to J Young,
A4 " Bienvenue à Edimbourg Benenuti ad Edimburgo Willkommen zu/ THE INTERNATIONAL GAY RIGHTS CONGRESS DECEMBER 18-22 1974 –register now!" Poster with picture of new town & castle.

Several copies of A3 Poster for conference Red & Black on Cream paper.


Published by International Gay Rights Congress on 24 October, 1974 [page 1]
NEWSLETTER  [describes the events leading up to the refusal of Edinburgh Town Council to provide a civic reception]
After four months of to-ing and fro-ing for a Civic reception for delegates to the International Gay Rights Congress, the Town Council of Edinburgh has said the final "No" to the request from the Congress.
The saga began when Derek Ogg and Ian Dunn (Organisers) wrote to the Lord Provost (Jane Kane) of Edinburgh asking for the reception for delegates. The letter was referred to the Lord Provost's sub-committee where the request was rejected by five votes to four. At this point the Conservatives began block opposition to the request, whilst Labour Councilors, along with Liberal Nat Gordon, were in support. The sub-committee then reported the decision to the full Lord Provost's committee where it was reversed by nine votes to seven in favour.
Here the Press mounted a sensationalist campaign with headlines such as "Council Split over 'Gay' Reception", "Gay Libbers Storm Council", "Homosexuals may receive reception". The 'Edinburgh Evening News' condemned the Lord Provost Committee decision in favour of the reception in a full editorial. The 'Daily Record', Scotland's largest selling newspaper and stable mate of the 'Daily Mirror', also condemned the decision in its editorial "FACTS OF LIFE" . Subsequently, the 'Scotsman' 's [sic] 'Letters to the Editor' page was filled with a running debate on the matter whilst the 'Evening News' refused to publish letters on "that reception" which were in favour of the decision.
The recommendation of the Provost Committee then went to full Council for approval. By this time the Town Clerk and several councilors had received around 120 letters, mostly anti-reception. The debate in Council was heated and full of the usual arguments: " We'll be seen as encouraging these people" , - " They are criminal and deserve no reception" , - " It would bring disgrace on our proud history as a Corporation" , - whilst arguments in favour, led by Cllr. George Foulkes (Lab) and Tom McGregor (Lab) plus Rev. Gordon Reid (Con) stressed the need for understanding and the sociological importance of the Congress. Nevertheless, the vote moved against a Reception by three votes!
At a challenge to the minutes in October, the request was again defeated by a small margin.
Readers should not feel depressed, however, by the refusal - two years ago such a move would not have got past the sub-committee stage and further, the margin of defeat was encouragingly small.
The debate received about 200 column inches of national press coverage which, by and large, permitted the Organisers an excellent chance to publicise both the congress and the homosexual cause. This was a real fight for gay rights!
A reception will be held, however, by the Organisers where all Councilors will be warmly invited. Our thanks go to those Councilors who supported us and to the press who (perhaps unwittingly) assisted our cause.


A the Congress has become widely known over the last few months, the recurring question we have to answer is why? Why December? The idea was first mooted by Derek Ogg at Malvern (England), and Edinburgh was the only suitable place because Derek, who is Sabbatical Senior President of the University's Students' Association, has direct access to the massive administration support required to mount such a Congress. Further, Edinburgh, a European capital city well known to millions of tourists, has conference facilities and accommodation which are cheap and available only out-of-season. Therefore Spring and Summer 1975 were out of prospect, and after July 1975 the Organisers no longer have access to the administration provided by the Students' Association. So December it was! Why an International Congress? - the organisers sincerely believe (this belief was strengthened by the international tours) that now is the time for international liaison. Many problems are faced by all national homophile groups and the benefits of the Congress are that these problems can be tackled internationally. Further, many groups will provide valuable experience and advice on many aspects of campaigning and others will surely benefit from this advice. The Congress, it is hoped, will also formalise some form of international organisations to co-ordinate such action without in any way imposing on the national gay groups. It is most important to listen to and discuss our common problems, to know and be aware of changes and advances being made throughout the world and to establish international action where it is necessary and productive.
It is in these unshakeable beliefs that we herald the 1st International Gay Rights Congress ever - we are convinced of the needs, and its exciting potentialities.

Any new venture inevitably seeks acceptance and encouragement by gaining the support of individuals and organisations already known and reputed for their success in many fields. IGRC was no exception and the Organisers wrote to many individuals in the gay, arts, literary and political world for sponsorship. The response was successful and encouraging. To date our sponsors include:-

Lord Beaumont of Whitley

Dr. Franklin Kameny

The Rt. Rev. Kenneth Carey, Bishop of Edinburgh [but see]

Dr. George Weinberg

David Steel, MP

Len Richard

Robin Cook, MP

Charlotte Wolff, MD

Gordon Brown, Lord Rector of University of Edinburgh

Kim Friele, Det Norske Forbundet

Professor Ian D. Willock, University of Dundee

Hamish Henderson 

Robin Maugham 

Richard Demarco, R.S.W. 

Christopher Isherwood 

Merle Miller 

Gore Vidal 

George Hislop 

Iris Murdoch 

John Horder 

Angus Wilson 

Morris Knight 

Kay Carmichael 

Ian Young 

among the list  of distinguished individuals from the fields of politics, art, gay activism, writing and learning, and to number the following organisations:-

 Scottish Minorities Group

National Union of School Students, UK 

Campaign for Homosexual Equality 

The Scottish Young Liberals 

Union of Sexual Freedoms in Ireland

Edinburgh Women's Liberation Workshop 

Scottish Council for Civil Liberties

SAPPHO, London 

National Union of Students, United Kingdom 

Gay Women on the Move, UK 

Edinburgh University Students' Association 


Heriot Watt University Students' Association

National Gay Task Force, USA. 

Gay Activities' Alliance, New York 

Society Five, Melbourne 

Fellowship in Christ the Liberator, London 

Homosexuelle Aktion West Berlin 

Gay Switchboard, London (01-837-7324) 

RFSL, Sweden 

as honorary sponsors of -the First International Gay Rights Congress.

By lending their names in support of the aims of our Congress, these people have done much more than they imagine to assist us in our day to day work. We thank them sincerely and hope to live up to their support by providing a truly excellent Congress.  


Tours by Members of the Organising Committee
Derek Ogg completed a special tour or Eastern U.S. and Southern Canada at the beginning of September and Ian Dunn returned from a visit to the northern European capital cities early in October.
The object of these visits was two-fold: (1) To raise money for the Congress, either through direct donations and (2) to generate awareness and interest in the ideas and ideals of the Congress. Derek visited New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, Toronto, Winnipeg and Montreal. The tour proved disappointing in one of its aims – to raise funds for the Congress. American organisations were 'broke' and many were striving off bankruptcy on a day-to-day basis. Nevertheless, others expressed great interest and agreed to attend. It was in the latter sphere that these tours were highly successful, particularly in the States.
In the middle of October, Ian Christie, the Scottish Minorities Group representative on the Congress Committee, was able to combine a business trip to the International Book Fair in Frankfurt with an impressive amount of Congress Leafleting (ably and generously assisted by John Stamford, Editor of the Eurosparticus Gay Guide).
Later, Ian Christie flies out to Australia and, early in December, to New Zealand. Thus the Congress will be brought home to gay communities on the other side of the world.

G.A.A. Of New York have finally gone bankrupt. This organisation was of great assistance to the Congress. However, all New York Congress business was, and still is, being dealt with by National Gay Task Force in New York who are financially sound.
My tour of Europe was a sobering occasion. C.O.C. (despite 2 International Calls and several precisely addressed letters) appears to with to ignore the Congress and has, nationally at any rate, adopted a stony silence towards the world outside. The local Amsterdam C.O.C. was, by contrast, friendly and receptive when I called in at the end of September. Sad to report, the Bar-Dancing Club manager and staff were arrested and charged with embezzling 400,000 guilders in one year. This news was followed 3 weeks later by the grim news that the Gay Activists Alliance New York premises, "The Firehouse", had been destroyed by a gay arsonist and the organisation all but collapsed. Clearly, the Congress must consider these spectacular failures as well as the considerable advances made by the different gay communities in various countries around the world.
The European groups are heterogeneous and have, surprisingly perhaps, little in common. They are fighting their own battles, adapting to local conditions as best they can. This is a natural and healthy development and the Congress organisers are very much aware that any International Federation of Action must not be false, but must take into account local conditions and outlooks of the gay communities affected. There will be many European groups represented at the Congress.

Women at the Congress
SAPPHO (UK) are the main group responsible for organising the very important session on the first day of Congress titled "Status of Gay Women". The choice of title is deliberate: discussion will, we hope, focus on 2 main areas – gay women in the women's movement and gay women in the homosexual community. At the time of writing we know that Margaret Williams (Ireland), Babs Todd (London), Jackie Forster (London), Ruth Schröck (Scotland) and, hopefully, Kim Friele (Norway) will be coming and will be leading discussions at the Congress. There is no one "line" being followed and clearly we all hope many women (and men!) will follow their example and decide to Register for the Congress. There is ample room for you!

Christmas Shopping and Matters Related! [not typed in]

Bookstalls at the Congress – [not typed in]








Gay News (No 62) reports delegates march on radio