MacArthur was born on 17 May 1925. He was the younger son of Lieutenant-General Sir William MacArthur. He was educated at Cheltenham College and Queen's College, Oxford. He worked as an associate director of a marketing and advertising company.
MacArthur contested Greenock twice in 1955, in the general election and a by-election. He was Member of Parliament for Perth and East Perthshire from 1959 until his defeat at the October 1974 general election, when he lost by 793 votes to Douglas Crawford of the Scottish National Party.
He married Judith Miller in 1957 and had 7 children; Niall MacArthur (founder of EAT.), Alex MacArthur, Duncan MacArthur, Ruaidhri MacArthur, Lucy MacArthur, Janie MacArthur, and Gavin MacArthur.
- Barnes, John (31 December 2008). "Ian MacArthur (1925 - 2007)". Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- Times Guide to the House of Commons, 1966 and October 1974
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs [self-published source][better source needed]
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Ian MacArthur
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Sir Alan Gomme-Duncan
|Member of Parliament for Perth & East Perthshire
1959 – October 1974
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