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]


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.
This is the first public occasion this year for meetings to get together socially. We look forward to a large and interesting gathering not only of members but also of their friends. So do encourage as many of them as can to come along. The price per head is 17/6d - and cash to accompany bookings.

This then closes our first 1971 SMG NEWS. On behalf of the Executive Committee I wish all our members and supporters a very happy and prosperous New Year.

Hon, Secretary
January 1971

OFFICIAL ADDRESS (Correspondence only)
The Secretary, Scottish Minorities Group, 214 Clyde Street, Glasgow C.1
SECRETARY'S ADDRESS (Correspondence & Callers)
Bruce Briggs, 9 Princess Gardens, Glasgow W.2, Tel. 041 339 4582


1971/03 No 2 SMG News [first in A4 format] March 1971

1 PROGLOGUE: NO PLATONIQUE LOVE – William Cartwright (1611-43)
Come, I will undeceive thee, they that tread
These vain Aeriall waies,
Are like young Heyrs and Alchemists misled
To waste their wealth and Daies,
For searching thus to be for ever Rich,
They only find a Med'cine for the Itch.
“There is a moral there, I think!!!” [ed comment]

Postal dispute prevented the Feb issue being produced

3 Membership rising fast but no figures. Letters to Scotsman about abortive attempt to open gay club at Strathclyde Uni.
Membership: "Jim Halcrow (Treasurer) assured the executive that since the AGM in December the membership has increased at a rate which is in exceeds the entire growth rate for the previous two year period of our existence. And that has been despite a postal strike!"

The abortive attempt by a student member to promote a homophile group at Strathclyde University was widely reported in all sections of the Scottish Press. (Glasgow Herald 1971 Jan 20: includes Bruce Briggs full letter; Scotsman article not found yet) This prompted an immediate SMG reply. Both the Glasgow Herald and the Scotsman printed these replies. (For the benefit of those who have not seen these letters at local meetings copies are enclosed with this bulletin.)

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.

8 TELEVISION: the “PULSE” programme [cf No 1] “cancelled at the last minute – ostensibly to make room for a “moon landing” coverage.” However it went out later in the month. Ian Dunn gave his point of view on being homosexual. “A more satisfying programme was screened on the independent networks on the subject of lesbianism. The format was an hour-longdocumentary in contract to the hasty pot-pourri of light entertainment and serious comment which is PULSE. What is encouraging aout both programmes is simple that they are now possible. Until recently the very thought was unthinkable – if you see what we mean!



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
1. LIES: KIM SANG-YONG (1562-1637) transl. Graeme Wilson.
My love, all love's a lie:
A lie your love for me
Whose vow to visit me in dreams
Makes sweet mendacity.
For since, for love of you,
I lack the means of sleep,
How can I dream of you? Or you,
False Love, your promise keep?

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
4 Membership cards should accompany thiss issue.

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.

The first
student group affiliated to SMG was successfully launched at Strathclyde University on Tuesday 9 March [1971]. [An error see SMG News No 5: it was not affiliated to SMG] There were firteen in attendance at this inaugural meeting where it was decided to adopt the name “71 GROUP” as their style and title. The existence of the “71 GROUP” demonstrates how quiet determination can succeed even in the face of the most adverse publicity. The Group is on the lookout for new members. So if you are attached to a University in enquiring write to: Box 11, Telegraph, Strathcyde 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 May 1971.
Traverse Theatre Club has invited SMG to take part in a “Traverse Trial” on Sun 20 June, 1971. T. “trials” are staged regularly on current social issues, the most recent being on Women's Liberation. “This trial will be on Gay Liberation (the general theme, not GLF). I an will be speaking in a personal capacity for the defence. Other SMG members will also take part. Do make a point, if you would like to be present, of getting your tickets early. It should be in interesting evening. “

“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 new.
Regular SMG meetings about to be organised in Dundee, contact Michael Blades
John Breslin gave a talk on SMG to Telephone Samaritans in their Edinburgh premises. Return “match” was arranged when Miss Montgomery and Mrs. McLeod of the S. came to talk to SMG.
Jim Halcrow talked on Relationships.
SMG Handbook to be produced – prize offered for best cover.


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.
We would welcome your comments on these views and are prepared to provide soace for letters from members who agree or disagree with Bruce's outlook.

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 [1971] 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.
A Choice of Weapons – Phyllis McGinley. [poem at top of page 1]
Sticks and stones are hard on bones.
Aimed with angry art,
Words can sting like anything,
But silence breaks the heart.
“Silence of July has been the lot of SMG News, due to holidays.”
Ian Dunn submits a letter mid way through his US tour.
Brief report on Traverse Trial referred to above.

The outlooks of GLF and SMG differ considerably as was shown at the TRAVERSE TRIAL in the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh on Sunday 20 June [1971]. The following report of what seems to have been a lively and a highly controversial event was submitted by one of the members of SMG who was present on that occasion:
“ The TRIAL was well attended by over 160 people, crammed into the small theatre. [2 paragraphs follow. Coucillor Kidd was noted as speaking against the motion “that all discrimination against homosexuas at work and at leisure should cease”. SMG News for next month notes that this was an error and it was Councillor Lester who spoke against the motion.]
A discussion followed [the TRIAL]. This is where the liveliness occurred. GLF used the occasion to attack SMG on the famous letter to the Crown Office, and a 'political' dispute between the two 'factions' nearly ensued. GLF perhaps damaged their image by being too vociferous and militant, whereas SMG appeared a trifle self-satisfied. The discussion went on for some time, and is still being referred to in Edinburgh by heterosexuals and homosexuals like. An interesting feature that evolved from this TRIAL was that it was covered in The Scotsman a day or so afterwards. The Scotsman also carried several letters in its columns concerning the TRIAL.”

SMGPRINT formed – cannot produce SMG News because of small stock of typeface.
Report on Jim Halcrow's talk on Relationships.
Report on conference in London to discuss further the setting up of a National Council of Homophile Organisations. SMG represented by Bruce Briggs.
The Guardian recently reported: “The Albany Trust, which has concentrated in recent years on offering a lifeline and counselling service for homosexuals, is giving up this kind of casework completely. ... [to become] a campaigning, almost Shelter-style, charity aimed at public education. It will be concerned with the whole field of sexual law and social welfare, and not just the problem of homosexuals.”


1971/09 No 7

SMG News No 7 Sep 1971
Ian Dunn second and final part of North American Scene.
“I crossed to Canada and was astonished at the difference in social atmosphere – like nowhere in the USA. The Police do not carry fire-arms in an aggressive manner. Everything is a little 'quieter'. Toronto is a find cosmopolitan city and good towards gays. Thiis is a very recent change (only since 1968). The main local group – Community Homophile Association, Toronto (C.H.A.T.T has received a Federal Government Grant of $9000 towards its community services. SMG needs a centre of its own – impossible just now without such a grant as C.H.A.T. has received. I plugged myself into a variety of activities in Toronto.
Next Montreal. Here 'on parle francais, s'il vour plait'. Even if you only have a few words of French, use them. I was more quickly accepted by the French-speaking community because I made an initial effort. English was often used thereafter. My host was an astronomer at the Dow Planetarium. Doubly interesting because astrology (fortune telling) is incredibly popular in North America.
Back in the States and by now very poor and on small rations. In Albany I was fortunate to meet many fine men. Laud Humphries (author of TEAROOM TRADE) was particularly generous – with time and information. I met many old friends from the 29 June Demonstration in NYC and was very happy in Albany. ... ...”

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 ....

A THOUGHT FROM OVER THE BORDER – E.S. Lofthouse, Nottingham
Times are achanging;
and soon,
Yes soon we will be free.
No darkness, no chains. Then we may be
Abel to roam this earthly olain
In peace, in love, and in our own wonderment.

Times are achanging;
So lose not hope, keep up the fight
for what we know is our right,
for the day that we may be
To live our life as it was meant,
Free, with our hearts content
To share our days with those of our intent.

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
GLASGOW MEETING Ian Dunn took those members who attended the September meeting ... fascinating 'dip' into the gay scene in Canada and the United States. ...
Telephone Samaritan Service are supplying the speaker for the next meeting of the Glasgow Group in Community House, Clyde Street on Friday 15 October.
And looking forward to the future, Doctor Schofield of the Department of Venereology for Glasgow Royal Infirmary writes: “I shall be very happy to come and give a talk on sexually transmitted diseases with particular reference to those prevalent among homosexuals on Friday 19 November and I would be happy to answer any questions afterwards. It may be that some of your members would prefer to have written questions which I could answer rather than ask them at the meeting. If you have any questions beforehand, possibly you could forward them to me so that I can do any necessary research in order to give an accurate answer.”
Well? Have YOU? Let the Secretary have them as soon as possible.

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 [1971] led to a live broadcast by Ian on BBC Radio 4 (Scotland) on Twelve Noon.

DUNDEE STUDENTS 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 work.
A joint meeting with the Student Christian Movement is scheduled ... Homosexual/Heterosexual Integration – It It Possible?

CONTROVERSY p2 Bob mellors repies to Frank Rice

Talking with homosexuals A public meeting ... Glasgow Unitarian Church ... 24 Oct 1971.
From the darkness/ Let us escape./ With one voice/ Let us proclaim:/ “Freedom”.
From the loneliness/ And fears,/ From the hours shed with tears/ Give us now:/ “Freedom”.
In our struggle/ And our plight/ As we turn day into night,/ When may love call/ To this end:/ “Freedom”.


1971/11 No 9

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] AGM
LESBIANS Progress has at last been made in this direction. An an yet small group of SMG women members meets in the Glasgow area on Tuesdays. This is an initial step towards setting up of a Women's Committee to provide the requisite structure which should ensure that the womens' needs are not neglected or overlooked.
Joint meeting SMG & Scottish Universities Chaplains on homosexual students.
INTERDUDE Apologies are proffered to contributors whose items have had to be held over this month owing to pressure of space. Letters to SMG NEWS follow upon this simple thought culled by an isolated member from the Preface of Robert L Short's PREAMBLE OF PEANUTS:
But if the while I think on thee, dear friends./ All losses are restored and sorrows end.


1971 No 10 [Not in file. Did it ever exist?]


1971 No 11


1971 No 12