Our President in 1972/73 was:
The Right Hon. Earl of Longford
He proposed the Toast to Sir Walter at our 65th Annual Dinner on Friday 2nd March 1973 in The North British Hotel, Edinburgh
Read the text of his address here
Francis Aungier Pakenham, 7th Earl of Longford, 1st Baron Pakenham, KG, PC (5 December 1905 – 3 August 2001), known to his family as Frank Longford and styled Lord Pakenham from 1945 to 1961, was a British politician and social reformer. A member of the Labour Party, he was one of its longest serving politicians. He held cabinet positions on several occasions between 1947 and 1968. Longford was politically active up until his death in 2001. A member of an old, landed Anglo-Irish family, he was one of the few aristocratic hereditary peers to have ever served in a senior capacity within a Labour government.
Longford was famed for championing social outcasts and unpopular causes. He is especially notable for his lifelong advocacy of penal reform. Longford visited prisons on a regular basis for nearly 70 years until his death. He advocated for rehabilitation programmes and helped create the modern British parole system in the 1960s following the abolition of the death penalty. His ultimately unsuccessful campaign for the release of Moors murderer Myra Hindley attracted much media and public controversy. For this work, the Longford Prize is named after him. It is awarded annually during the Longford Lecture and recognises achievement in the field of penal reform.
As a devout Christian determined to translate faith into action, he was known for his bombastic style and his eccentricity. Although a shrewd and influential politician, he was also widely unpopular among Labour leaders, particularly for his lack of ministerial ability, and was moved from cabinet post to cabinet post, never serving more than two years at any one ministry. Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson opined that Longford had the mental capacity of a 12-year-old.
In 1972, he was made a Knight of the Garter. In the same year, he was appointed to head the group charged with investigating the effects of pornography on society which published the controversial Pornography Report. He became known as a campaigner against pornography and held the view that it was degrading to both its users and to those who worked in the trade, especially women. Longford was also an outspoken critic of the British press and once said it was "trembling on the brink of obscenity."
Longford was instrumental in decriminalising homosexuality in the United Kingdom, but was always forthright with his strong moral disapproval of homosexual acts on religious grounds. He opposed furthering gay rights legislation, including the equalisation of the age of consent, and also supported the passage of Section 28.Text and image source: Wikipedia