Scope and Contents
- 1936 - 2008
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Biographical / Historical
After his National Service in the Royal Scots Greys, 1950-52, he worked as a teacher at Bo’ness High School, 1956-60, also standing unsuccessfully as the Labour candidate for Roxburgh, Selkirk, and Peebles in 1959. His next teaching position was as Deputy-Director of Studies on the Ship School Dunera, 1961-62, then in 1962 he was elected as MP for West Lothian (later Linlithgow), a seat which he held until he retired from Parliament in 2005.
His political career included the following posts: Member of the Public Accounts Committee, House of Commons, 1962-66; Secretary, Labour Party Standing Conference on the Sciences, 1962-64; Parliamentary Private Secretary to Richard Crossman, Minister of Housing, Leader of the House of Commons and Secretary of State for the Social Services, 1964-70; Opposition Spokesman on Science, 1980-82. He also worked as a political columnist for New Scientist magazine from 1967.
He served as Chairman for the following committees: Labour Education Committee, 1964-65; Labour Sports Group, 1964-74; and the Labour Foreign Affairs Group, 1974-75. He was also Vice-Chairman of the following: Labour Defence and Foreign Affairs Groups, 1972-74; Scottish Labour Group of MPs, 1973-75; the Parliamentary Labour Party, November 1974; and the Sub-Committee on Public Accounts. He was a member of: the Labour Party National Executive Committee, 1986-87; the European Parliament, 1975-79; European Parliament Budget Committee, 1976-79; European Parliament Energy Committee, 1979; House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology, 1967-69; Liaison Committee between Cabinet and the Labour Party, 1974-76; Council, National Trust for Scotland; and the Scottish Council for Development and Industry Trade Delegation to China, November 1971.
He became Father of the House (the MP with the longest unbroken service in the House of Commons) in 2001, after the retirement of Sir Edward Heath. He died on 26 January 2017.
His publications include: The Case of Ship-Schools, 1960; Ship-School Dunera, 1963; Devolution: the end of Britain?, 1977; One Man’s Falklands, 1982; A Science Policy for Britain, 1983; Thatcher’s Torpedo, 1983; Misrule, 1987; Dick Crossman: a portrait, 1989; and his memoir, The Importance of Being Awkward 2011.
343 archive box(es)
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- 2009-06-29 13:07:54.820000+00:00
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