A schoolteacher based in Rutherglen, he was interested in the arts, compiling a book entitled 101 Scottish Songs.  At the Rutherglen by-election, 1964 he only lost the Labour selection meeting fairly narrowly to Gregor Mackenzie, and he went on to take West Renfrewshire from the Conservatives at the general election later that year. While a Member of Parliament, he served as Joint Under Secretary of State for Scotland whilst in the 1966-70 Labour government and as Minister of State for Agriculture in the 1974 Labour government. He later became Shadow Minister for the Arts in opposition.
He died in 1990 whilst a sitting MP (coincidentally, the neighbouring MP for Paisley North, Allen Adams also died that year, resulting in by-elections being held in the same month for the two seats). He was succeeded as MP for Paisley South by Gordon McMaster.
He was married for 44 years (1946–1990) to Janey Buchan, Labour Member of the European Parliament for Glasgow from 1979 until 1994. She died in Brighton on 14 January 2012. His only son, Alasdair Buchan, has been a journalist since 1968.
Norman Buchan opposed an early day motion to block the televised version of Tony Harrison's poem 'V' on Channel 4, saying that members who opposed the broadcast had either not read or understood the poem.
- Buchan, Norman 101 Scottish Songs (Glasgow; London: Collins, 1962)
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Norman Buchan
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
John Scott Maclay
|Member of Parliament for West Renfrewshire
|New constituency||Member of Parliament for Paisley South