HC Deb 30 October 1906 vol 163 cc889-90
DR. MACNAMARA (Camberwell, N.)

I beg to ask the Prime Minister whether he can say if it will be possible for the Government to give the necessary time this session for the further discussion of the Provision of Meals for School Children Bill, which now awaits Report to the House from a Select Commiteee.

MR. HAROLD COX (Preston)

I beg at the same time to ask whether the right hon. Gentleman is aware that the Committee which considered this Bill reported that the unhealthy appearance of many of the children was often erroneously attributed to want of food, and was rather duo to late hours, unsanitary surroundings, and work out of school; whether the Committee were precluded from considering these other causes; and whether, before proceeding with a Bill which ignored these other causes, the Government will appoint a Committee to consider the subject, with a sufficiently wide reference.


I have only just received the notice of my hon. friend's somewhat argumentative Question. Of course there may be other reasons for an unhealthy appearance than want of food. I have known of cases where the unhealthy appearance was created by too much food. In dealing with this question generally, it is the fact that starvation is not the only cause of unhealthy appearance With regard to the Question on the Paper, I hope that an opportunity may be found for proceeding with this Bill, which is, I believe, largely supported on both sides of the House. But, of course, I ought to add this. If the legislation at present or shortly to come before the House is very much delayed, this and possibly other useful measures will be endangered.