HC Deb 25 February 1930 vol 235 cc2043-4
64. Mr. McELWEE

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is now in a position to report to the House the result of his promised examination into the injurious effects of the alcoholic beverage known as red biddy; and whether he has any evidence to show that this intoxicant is produced in any substantial degree in Leith?


The inquiries which I have so far made indicate that there is a considerable sale of cheap red wines in Scotland and that the term "red biddy" is sometimes applied to such cheap red wine, and sometimes to a mixture of the wine and methylated or other spirits. There is no evidence of the manufacture or sale in Scotland of beverages containing such mixtures, but there is reason to believe that these mixtures are made by some purchasers of cheap red wine. The effects of such mixtures are

a tabular statement, I propose, with my hon. Friend's permission, to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer:

The number of houses built by the county council of Midlothian under the several Housing Acts and the districts in which they have been built are shown in the following table:

most harmful. I am informed that a considerable quatity of red wine is manufactured in Leith. I am awaiting medical reports on the subject.


Is it not a fact that this cheap red wine is British-made wine?


Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that Leith is famous for its rejection of inferior red articles?

Viscountess ASTOR

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that his party is pledged to deal with the drink question; and will he tell the House what steps he is going to take to stop the sale of this article which is doing real harm to these fine Scotsmen?


I have already in formed the House of the steps which I am prepared to take.


Can the right hon. Gentleman tell the House what are the ingredients of red biddy?


Read the "New Leader."


Can we have samples in the tea room?

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