Scottish National Congress

The Scottish National Congress was a small Scottish nationalist campaign group, focussed on direct action.

The group was founded in 1950 by Roland Muirhead and supporters including Oliver Brown, who became its first president.[1] Other leading members included Robert B. Wilkie, Archie Lamont, David Murray, Kenneth McLaren and Matthew Somerville.[2]

Although Muirhead was already 82, he was prominent in the Scottish nationalist movement as President of the Scottish National Party,[1] remaining a party member while creating his own opposing organisation.[3] The new group launched its own journal, Forward Scotland, and adopted a socialist perspective, with loose links to the Independent Labour Party,[1][3] calling for direct action rather than standing in elections.[4] However, Brown resigned in 1954, disapproving of its submission to the Royal Commission on Scottish Affairs,[5] and it increasingly came to focus on the question of a Scottish constitution.[1] Other activities included a campaign advocating the purchase of Scottish products.[5]

In 1962, the Congress launched the Scottish Provisional Constituent Assembly, which published a proposed constitution in 1964, shortly before Muirhead's death.[1] The group dissolved shortly after.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e H. J. Hanham, Scottish Nationalism, p.177
  2. ^ Report of the Royal Commission on Scottish Affairs, 1952-1954, p.108
  3. ^ a b Christopher Harvie, Scotland and Nationalism, p.122
  4. ^ James Mitchell, The Scottish National Party: Transition to Power, p.14
  5. ^ a b Archie Lamont, How Scots opposed the peace time call-up, p.23
  6. ^ Peter Barberis et al, Encyclopedia of British and Irish Political Organizations, p.402