Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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McBRIDE, NEIL (1910-1974), Labour politician.

He was born at Neilstown, Renfrewshire on 13 April 1910, the son of Neil McBride. He was educated at St Thomas's School, Neilston, at continuation classes and at the National Labour College. He earned his living as a brass finisher with James Brown and Co. of Clydebank until 1963. He joined the AEU in 1937 and the Labour Party in 1940. He was also a member of the Co—operative Party and active within the Paisley Labour Party. He was a member of the Paisley Co—operative Manufacturing Society for seventeen years and chairman of Paisley CLP, 1950—62. He unsuccessfully contested Perth and East Perthshire in the general election of October 1951 and the High Peak division of Derbyshire in 1955.

He entered parliament as the Labour MP for Swansea East in a by—election in March 1963 as successor to D. L. Mort, and remained MP until the time of his death. Only the third Scotsman ever to represent a Welsh constituency in parliament, he was ever loyal to Wales. He was secretary to the PLP trades union group, 1964—66, and chairman of the PLP transport committee, 1964—66. He became assistant government whip in 1966, serving until 1970, and he was Lord Commissioner to the Treasury, 1969—70. After the defeat of the Labour government in 1970, he became an opposition whip. He was chairman of the Welsh Labour Parliamentary Group, 1972—73. In the general election of February 1974 his majority was 19,687 votes, but he was prevented by illness from ever voting in the new parliament. He travelled widely in Europe, Africa, South America and the Middle East throughout his parliamentary career. He was a committed anti—marketeer. His hobbies were reading and the spread of Socialism. He married on 12 June 1937 Delia, the fourth daughter of James Maloney of Paisley. They resided at 116 Eaton Road, Brynhyfryd, Swansea. Neil McBride died at his home, after a seven month illness, on 9 September 1974.

Sources:

  • Who was who? ;
  • Etholiadau'r Ganrif / Welsh Elections 1885-1997 , Y Lolfa, 1999;
  • Welsh Hustings - 1885-2004 , Dinefwr Publishers Ltd, 2005;
  • Dod's Parliamentary Companion ;
  • The Times , 11 Sept. 1974;
  • Western Mail , 10 Sept. 1974.

Author:

Dr John Graham Jones, Aberystwyth

Published date: 2008