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MacCormick, John MacDonald

MacCormick, John MacDonald (1904–61). A Glasgow lawyer and son of a sea-captain, MacCormick was a leading founder of the National Party of Scotland in 1928. A presbyterian by religion, he had originally been a supporter of the Independent Labour Party. In 1934 the National Party merged with the Scottish Party to form the Scottish National Party. MacCormick lost control of the party in 1942 to more radical leaders, who opposed the war. He then formed a Scottish Convention which summoned a ‘Scottish National Assembly’ in 1947 to call for devolution. The Labour Party's strong opposition persuaded MacCormick to launch a new covenant in 1949, which called for a Scottish Parliament and attracted 2 million signatures, but made little headway. MacCormick stood repeatedly for Parliament under a variety of banners; for Glasgow, Camlachie (1929) as SNP; Inverness-shire (1931 and 1935) as SNP; Glasgow, Hillhead (1937) as SNP; Inverness-shire (1945) as a Liberal; Paisley (1948) as ‘National’, losing to Labour in a straight fight; Borders (1959) as a Liberal. His consolation was election as rector of Glasgow University 1950–3. MacCormick surveyed his political career in The Flag in the Wind (1955).

J. A. Cannon

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