§ 44. Mr. W. BAKER
asked the Minister of Health whether any distinction is made between ex-service men and other patients during their stay in mental hospitals; 1347 whether he will state the average cost of the food supplied to each ex service patient at present in the mental hospitals throughout the country; whether he is aware that bread and margarine are given for breakfast and tea without variation throughout the year in many of these institutions; and whether he will consider the possibility of increasing the standard of comfort of the men who are under the control of his Department?
§ Sir K. WOOD
"Service" patients are classified in the private class during their stay in mental hospitals, and a weekly allowance of 2s. 6d. is provided to each man for additional comforts. The limited class of ex-service patients for whom the Ministry of Pensions do not accept responsibility are also treated as private patients but receive no weekly allowance. It is not possible to state th.fi average cost of the food supplied to "Service" patients separately from the other patients in the mental hospitals. With regard to the last part of the question, I am informed that since the publication of the Report of the Departmental Committee on Dietaries in Mental Hospitals, the breakfast and tea meals have been considerably varied. I may add that the welfare and comfort of the inmates of mental hospitals are subjects, which are constantly in the minds of the authorities responsible.