NAS GD467/6/1 1971 SMGNews
1971/01No 1 January 1971 SMG News [in foolscap]
Chairman has made a recording for BBC1 (Scotland) to be part of a TV programme to be called “PULSE..... Permissive Society”. Ian Dunns interview wil form part of the preliminary part of the programme which will be followed by a studio discussion in which the Group will be represented.[See No 2 – postponed]
7 BURNS NIGHT
A Burns Supper has been arranged for SMG
members and their friends in the Maitland Hotel, Shandwick Place,
Edinburgh for Saturday 23 January 1971. Time - 7.30 for 8pm.
1971/03 No 2 SMG News [first in A4 format] March 1971
1 PROGLOGUE: NO PLATONIQUE LOVE – William
3 Membership rising fast but no figures.
Letters to Scotsman about abortive attempt to open gay
club at Strathclyde Uni.
The facts about the “Gay Club” at Strathclyde are that the organiser with the permission of the President of the Union put up two posters advertising the proposed meeting which was to take place in the “ARK” belonging to the R. C. chaplaincy. These were removed by protesting students. Not that they were opposed to the formation of a group as such. Mistakenly, they were concerned to protect the chaplain, Father Columba Ryan, from possible attack.
As often happens, the Press capitalised on the few available facts. This sensationalised publicity persuaded the University that it was in its best interests to cancel the meeting. Father Ryan himself was present at the January meeting of SMG in Glasgow. He gave a full and frank account of the sequence of events leading up to the cancellation of the meeting. He remains sympathetic to the original aim of the project. This, though necessarily delayed, is by no means abandoned. It is, in fact, already under weigh. If you are in contact with interested students in the Glasgow area, do ask the Secretary for details of the most recent developments in this sphere.
One good result of the foregoing was that TELEGRAPH, the Strathclyde University paper, published several letters on the subject. It also carried a lengthy article featuring SMG. Other magazines which have published similar articles are: PRESS-UPS, THE WORD, STUDENT. This last provoked a short report in the DAILY EXPRESS - which had not printed our reply to its “Strathclyde Sensation” report! - but only in the Edinburgh edition. For once the report was factual and not sensationalised. Are we perhaps becoming non-news?!!!
to stop Strathclyde Uni Gay Soc and sensational reporting in the Daily Express. The Strathclyde Uni Telegraph produced a good summary which is noted elsewhere and the Scotsman and Glasgow Herald [23 Jan 1971]published letters from SMG.
Enclosure with SMG News No 2 March, 1971
Letter from the Secretary of Scottish Minorities to the Editor of the Glasgow Herald and published under the headline MINORITY RIGHTS FOR HOMOSEXUALS on 23 January 1971.
Sir, January 20, 1971
The abortive attempt to hold an open meeting to discuss a club for homosexuals in the Univerity of Strathclyde requires comment since your report mentions the “existence of a pressure group”. This may readily and mistakenly be interpreted by uninformed readers as referring to the Scottish Minorities Group.
[Full text from Glasgow Herald]
Bruce Briggs, Secretary, SMG
Letter from Secretary of Scottish Minorities Group to the Editor of the Scotsman and published on January 1971 [no day given].
Sir, January 20, 1971
It is unfortunate that in your report [no date given] of the projected homosexual club at the University of Strathclyde undue prominence was given to the statement that “such a club would attract the wrong type of person.”
[4 paras follow on aims of SMG not directly related to gaysoc.]
1971/04 No3 SMG News
No 3 Apr 1971
2 Where Now? Meeting regularly but concerns that there
is no cotact with homosexual communities in Aberdeen, Dundee, St.
Andrews [Uni towns] 'the problem must also exist in Kilmarnock
and Ayr.'3 Sparticus Editor John D Stamford charged with
sending indecent or obscene litterature through the post in
repsect of issues 13,14,15
5 Shetland Member willing to accommodate there..
6 Blackpool Danny Mullen to arrange SMG trip to B. for 18/19 Sept.
7 Cheese & Wine looking for premises for Festival in September. C&W to raise funds.
8 Counselling Report A Working Party on C under the cahirmanships of David Hall submitted its report to the Executive Committee last month. A copy enclosed with SMG News.
9. STRATHCLYDE UNIVERSITY
12 Daffodil Fair Community House is holding a Daffodil Fair in their own premises ... Sat 25 April. SMG owes much to the hospitality of the Iona Community. ... This address is our official address 214 Clyde St., Glasgow C1. 13 Publicity A lady reporter from Daily Record attended a local SMG meeting in Edinburgh – promised an aticle on Group in Women's ages. It will appear on a Thur likely 15 April, 1971. 14 Expansion new members enrolled: Jan 6, Feb 17, Mar 14. 15 Glasgow Meeting Local Glasgow Meeting takes place as usual on the third Friday of the monthe – 16 April at 8pm in 214 Clyde Sreet. Bruce, as mentioned earlier, will be giving his impression of the Brighton trial
May 1971 No4/71 SMG News
Ian Dunn, Chairman received invitation to a Youth Reception on
the command of the Lord High Commissioner and the Lady Clydesmuir
which is to be held on the occasion of the General Assembly of
the Church of Scotland, Holyroodhouse Palce on evening of Mon 24
“The formation of the Gay Liberation Front in Edinburgh was well reported in the Student Press there - “Student” and “Omega”. Six SMG members attended the inaugural meeting. This ensured that the differences between SMG and GLF were clearly outlined. The meeting was left in no doubt that although the goals of both groups are broadly similar our tactics are different. The general impression was that the reputation of SMG had been dehanced, and our relations with the Gay Liberation Front remain cordial.”
COBWEB continues to
flourish. Entry free to members, who can sign in up to
2 guests, others must take out day membership, a great
source of income for SMG. Membership March 14, April 26
1971/06 No 5
SMG DUNDEE: first meeting Mon 24 May, 1971, formed a steering group Michael Blades (local chairman), Roy Bailey (local secretary), Roy McGregor (local treasurer). “Again we have to thank a university chaplain for providing suitable premises. The group has the use of the Chaplaincy Centre at No. 1, Airlie Place (just off the Perth Road) on Mondays from 8 till 10 pm (this is discussion night) and on Thursdays from 9.15 till 12 midnight (social evening). The group is actively planning a series of discussions and talks. They hope also to arrange joint meeting with other interested groups of people. The local members will be pleased to welcome SMG members or, for that matter, anyone interested in their activities. The one proviso is that for the Thursday socials even SMG members have to pay a nominal entry fee. This is to enable the local group to become financially self-supporting.
OPINION “Dundee is a new project for SMG, with the problems of the
homosexual perhaps highlighted more there than in Glasgow and
Edinburgh. Dundee is reputedly a violent city – both
physically and in its attitude towards non-conformists. This is
hearsay evidence: the writer has not experienced it personally.
In larger centres such as Edinburgh it is fairly easy to mis in
the “gay scene” and find congenial company. In the
smaller, less tolerant society, however, there is not the same
acceptance of the homosexual condition. There is, it is true, a
small band of people who frequent the local gay bar and don't
really mind or are oblivious to outside comment. But there are
also those who have been conditioned into a self-imposed
isolation, who cannot mix publicly in the “gay scene”.
This isolation is less common for the homosexual in the larger
conurbation. It is among these isolated individuals that SMG
hopes to do its most socially rewarding work. We believe that the
homosexual must come to realise that while he is ina minority in
society it is not such a small minority. He or she can play an
active and useful role in society. Society as a whole condemns
homosexuality, sometimes in vicious tones. This condemnation can
and does lead to guilt complexes. What use is a sense of guilt or
inadequacy to anyone? It will work its way insidiously into the
person's character, eventually to sap his confidence in himself
and in his capacity to contribute meaningfully to society.
Acceptance of homosexuality by society also brings reponsiblities
to theatre homosexual . We cannot take without putting something
back. We believe that we can add to society a great deal in so
many ways. Man is basically a social animal and needs above all
to be able to form social relationships with his fellows. The
homosexual by his bias finds it much harder to form meaningful
social relationships because of the moral pressures that are
placed on him by society. We believe that SMG is a stepping stone
into socieity. In SMG the member meets like homosexuals, learns
to acceopt and to come to terms with his condition and, having
accepted himself, gains the art of social contact first of all
within the group. Then he expands his contact into activity in
society at large. When talking about SMG and relationships we are
not talking about sexual adventures. That these do occur it would
be foolish to deny; and possibly the biggest barrier to the
social acceptance of homosexual is the same sex act itself which
most heterosexual people cannot and find repugnant. Most people
will, however, readily accept the fact that strong emotional ties
between two persons of the same sex can occur. Yet many would be
horrified at the thought of giving them sexual expression. What
we do in SMG is to let the world at large know that the sexual
act between men or between women can be as satisfying physically,
mentally and morally as can the heterosexual sex act. At the same
time we believe that any such action should spring not from
physical passion alone, but from a deeper, more loving base. We
believe that neither the state nore society should have the right
to control the behaviour of homosexuals in private providing that
behaviour is not harmful to society and does not affront public
decency. For this reason SMG will hold no bried for those who
molest shildren or those who frequent public places in the hope
of sexual adventure. Nor will SMG permit sexual Adventures at its
meetings. Remember that society will regard these as public
meetings and will react accordingly. Equally we will react on
every possible occasion when homosexuality is attacked as being a
degrading condition. Bruce Briggs.
PUBLICITY letter (pub Glasgow Herald 24 May, 1971) in response to Glasgow Herald article Centrepoint Soho, by Brian Barr. Argues that “SMG forms a protection for many desperately lonely homosexual men & women who leave the intolerant atmosphere of the homeland for a supposedly more liberal metropolis and fill victims to the initial blanishments of the prostitute in public places. At least the prostitute seems willing to offer them an acceptance which their native society denied them.”
GLASGOW Fri 18 at 214 Clyde St is the venue of the monthly local meeting. Regrettable other premises are still not available but Bruce continues to work on it. Who would have thought that Dundee would have got there first!
Scottish Council for Civil Liberties (SCCL) – AGM in Glasgow 5 June, 1971. Some members present Bruce Briggs spoke for the motion: “This AGM notes the continuing social and legal inequalities of the homosexual in Scotland and recommends to the Executive committee and Parliament Civil Liberties Group to press for sound legal reforms for an early removal of remaining discrimination.” Motion carried and noted by National Council for Civil Liberties.
BELATED NEWS: Many SMG Members will remember the “Gay Club” stramash at Strathclyde University. They will also recall that the sensational treatment in the Press caused a temporary postponement of the project. The inaugural meeting itself was mentioned in an earlier issue of SMG NEWS. Now comes the news of their continuing development. On 29 April  the “1971 Group” held a very successful social evening in the ARK. Twenty five people attended - and there was dancing! This may be the place to mention that the 1971 Group is an independent group and not officially affiliated to SMG as was mistakenly reported earlier. Most of the Group do belong to SMG in their individual capacities and SMG itself maintains close links with them at Strathclyde. But the 1971 Group is strictly for the University sphere and, as such, is an entirely autonomous organism.
Belated News – Strathclyde Uni Gay Soc – not affiliated to SMG, error in earlier SMG News. 29 Apr, 1971 the “1971 Group” held a social evening in the ARK. 25 attended – and there was dancing.
1971/08 No 6
No 6. No issue produced in July 1971.
1971/09 No 7
SMG News No 7 Sep 1971
“GLASGOW MEETING While the weekly 'get togethers' continue to be held on Tuesdays at 184 Swinton Road, Baillieston Friday 17 September at 8pm is the official monthly meeting in 214 Clyde Street. Ian Dunn has agreed to speak on his recent tour of the North American scene. ... not restriced to SMG members, friends and interested parties are very welcome. So invite a friend along. Who know? He [sic!] may develop an interest in the Group. Recruiting continues to increase steadily and personal contact with SMG members is the most fruitful source of this recruitment.”
BRUCE BRIGGS [Noted as resigning from Executive Committee due to pressure of work and a letter of great appreciation was sent.]
His opinion article [not typed out yet] which was so vehemently attacked by Bob Mellers in the last month's SMG NEWS continues to attract controversy. Frank Rice, secretary of the 1971 Group at Strathclyde University interrupted a stay in London to write:
“I should like to write expressing profound disagreement with the views expressed by Mr Mellors in the August edition of SMG NEWS.
“I would suggest firstly that Mr Mellorts requires a lesson in argument. In his paragraoh on 'love and sex', he telltion Bruce Griggs that is is 'very dangerous' to 'lay down laws of what people ought to do.' ....
“The real danger of this letter however lies in its reference to child molestation ....
FROM OVER THE BORDER –
E.S. Lofthouse, Nottingham
M.A.S. These somewhat cryptic initials herald the formation of Minorities Association (Scotland) Limited. The object was to set up under the Companies Act of 1948 a company limited by guarantee to own any property acquired for use of SMG. All we need now is the capital to acquire some property. For the company is now registered and in existence. Membership pf the Minorities Association is by subscription. Further details and requests for membership tp Jim Halcrow, 15 Rossie Place, Edinburgh EH2 5SE.
1971/10 No 8
SMG News No 8 Oct 1971
BBC SCOTLAND Reference has already been mad to Andrew Hood's excellent essay Scotlsman 23 Sep 1971... has been lying unpublished since March ... until recently when publicity on the Festival Club and Edinburgh's Carlton Hill prompted its publication. ... Ian Dunn letter “Homosexual Law” printed [Scotsman?] 4 Oct  led to a live broadcast by Ian on BBC Radio 4 (Scotland) on Twelve Noon.
FAYRE Once again Dundee displays initiative with an SMG Stall
at the annual Students Fayre which opens the University
of Dundee's academic year. John Breslin was invited to
Dundee for the occasion where he assisted Ralph Denney and Roy Bailey
to distribute literature on SMG to over 150 students
who passed by their stall. It was a most satisfactory afternoon's
CONTROVERSY p2 Bob mellors repies to Frank Rice
ABERDEEN More expansion: Denis Wilson is taking the first steps towards starting a branch in Aberdeen. If you can help, please get in touch with him soon.
ST ANDREWS Eddie Clarke has already taken initial steps to form an SMG unit at the University. This issue carries a lengthy letter from Eddie which shows Eddie's passionate concern for an adequate homosexual life-style. His drive should ensure the success of the St Andrews venture.
STRATHCLYDE The 1971 Group have had their inaugural meeting for the new academic year at the University. They hope soon to recruit enought new members to replace those who left the Group and the University during the summer. Their secretary, Frank Rice, also in this issues continues the tradition of the university as a place for the men of “letters”.!
GLASGOW ... an Interim Committee is organising the Glasgow
area of SMG. ...local elections at meeting 17 Dec following [SMG]
1971 No 10 [Not in file. Did it ever exist?]
1971 No 11
1971 No 12