HC Deb 11 February 1932 vol 261 cc1018-9
51. Viscountess ASTOR

asked the President of the Board of Education whether he is aware that the Bradford Elementary Education Sub-Committee have decided to cut down the milk supply to children in nursery schools to one-third of a pint per day, in spite of the fact that over 50 per cent. of the children in the Bradford nursery school are on the free lists, which means a poverty basis and very little milk supplied in their 'homes; and whether he will issue a circular to all education committees giving the opinion of the Medical Research Council on the subject and requiring the issue of the correct, quantity of milk to all children?


I have no official information as to any changes made by the Bradford Local Education Authority in the matter of the supply of milk to children in their nursery schools, but I have seen a statement in the Press that certain modifications had been made on an experimental basis to be reconsidered next April. The Board's Regulations in regard to nursery schools require that adequate arrangements must be made for attending to the nourishment of the children, and I am satisfied that this requirement is being generally met, not only by the provision of milk, but normally by the supply of good dinners also, and I do not therefore think that it is necessary to issue a circular to local education authorities on the subject.

Viscountess ASTOR

Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that, as 50 per cent. of these children are on the free list at Bradford, the winter is a bad time to make an experiment in regard to the reduction of milk, and could not the experiment be made in the summer?


Is it correct to suggest that children who receive milk in Bradford are necessarily the children of those persons on the poverty basis?


It does not follow. I can assure the Noble Lady that this is a matter which has received very careful attention not merely on grounds of economy, but as to the proper use of milk for children in the morning before they have had their dinner.


Is it not a fact that it was the result of the last election that caused this change?


Certainly not.