HC Deb 30 April 1936 vol 311 cc1063-4
7. Mr. G. HALL

asked the Minister of Labour whether he can now state the result of his inquiries into the malnutrition existing among trainees attending juvenile instruction centres; and whether he is now prepared to recommend that local authorities be empowered to supply meals as well as milk in such cases?


In reply to a question by the hon. Member on 27th February I said that I was making inquiries into the adequacy of the existing arrangements for the provision of milk in the junior instruction centres in the county of Glamorgan. An inquiry into the question has been made in collaboration with my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Education and I am satisfied that the arrangements for the provision of milk as medical treatment are adequate. I am now extending the inquiry to other areas. As the hon. Member is aware, local education authorities have no power to provide ordinary meals in junior instruction centres, and the decision not to seek such power was in accordance with the recommendation of the National Advisory Council for Juvenile Employment. I propose, however, at an early date to ask the council to review the operation of the system of authorised courses and the question of providing meals in centres will no doubt be considered by them.


Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that milk has been supplied to the trainees attending the centres for some time, and, notwithstanding that, 57 per cent. of them have been certified to be suffering from malnutrition? Is not that matter sufficiently serious for the right hon. Gentleman to complete negotiations to provide meals as well as milk?


I have no powers, but I propose with these facts in mind to ask the advisory committee to go into the matter.


It has been before the right hon. Gentleman for the last 12 months.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware fiat many of these centres are a long distance from where the young people live, and will he bear that in mind when considering any scheme for providing meals?


Is the right hon. Gentleman asking the advisory committee to deal with this matter immediately?


At an early date.