§ 62. Sir J. D. REES
asked the President of the Board of Education whether local bodies have recommended that medical treatment should be afforded for children educated in public elementary schools; and, if not, whether he will consult with such bodies and communicate the result to Parliament before making any proposal in this behalf?
The desire of local education authorities, to whom I presume the hon. Member refers, that medical treatment for elementary school children should be provided is shown by the fact that in 1917–18 279 out of 318 authorities submitted to the Board proposals for its provision in the exercise of their existing powers. I am not aware of any general recommendations made by them.
§ Sir J. D. REES
Is it proposed in the new Clause of the hon. Member for York to provide for an extension of medical treatment at an increased cost? If so, does the right hon. Gentleman propose to make any representations upon that point to the local authorities?
I gather that the proposal of the hon. Member for York was to make treatment compulsory—that is to say, that the thirty-nine local education authorities who up to the present have not seen their way to provide treatment will, under the provisions of the hon. Member's Amendment, be compelled to do so.
§ Sir J. D. REES
Will those thirty-nine be invited to express their opinions before my right hon. Friend makes his announcement on the Report stage with regard to the new Clause?
§ Sir H. CRAIK
Will not these questions be decided not entirely on the views of the local authorities, but according to the view which this House may take as to what is best in the interests of the community?
§ Sir P. MAGNUS
Will the right hon. Gentleman, before deciding that medical treatment shall be obligatory on local authorities, indicate what precisely is meant by medical treatment?