§ 9. Lieut.-Colonel MOORE
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is 169 the approximate number of children in Scottish schools who are now receiving free milk; what proportion of the whole this number represents; what is the annual cost of the distribution; and whether he is aware of the difficulties which have arisen owing to the fact that free milk can only be given to medically necessitous children and not to children who are necessitous in the ordinary sense of the word?
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
Under the milk schemes in operation in Scottish schools 60,500 children are now receiving free milk. This is about 14 per cent. of the total number receiving milk under these schemes and 7 per cent. of the total number in the schools. The annual cost to education authorities of distribution is estimated at about 00A3;3,000. With regard to the last part of the question, Section 6 of the Education (Scotland) Act, 1908, which governs this matter, provides that before free food can be supplied an education authority must inter alia be satisfied that the child is unable by reason of lack of food to take full advantage of the education provided. The method of ascertainment of this condition is left to the discretion of the education authority. All but three of the education authorities concerned report that no difficulty such as is suggested in the question has arisen and steps are being taken to clarify the position in these cases. I am sending my hon. and gallant Friend a copy of the Department's circular which sets out the general requirements under the milk scheme.
§ Lieut.-Colonel MOORE
Will my right hon. and learned Friend consider when sending out this circular stressing the fact that economic necessity should be taken into consideration as well as physican necessity?