HC Deb 10 March 1938 vol 332 cc2095-6
35. Mr. Sandys

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education how many local education authorities still make no provision for the supply of free solid meals to children?

Mr. Lindsay

One hundred and seventy-two local education authorities make no provision for the supply of free solid meals.

Mr. Sandys

What is being done to encourage them to make this provision?

Mr. Lindsay

I think that those figures need careful examination. For example, there are only three county boroughs where the authorities supply neither free milk nor free solid meals. In regard to the counties, there are obvious difficulties to be overcome, which are being negotiated by the extension of senior schools with canteens. In addition, the Board is encouraging local education authorities to conduct nutrition surveys, with good results.

Mr. Leach

Are these places which refuse to operate the Act mostly Cathedral cities?

Mr. Lindsay

On the whole they are residential, watering places and market towns.

Viscountess Astor

Would the Parliamentary Secretary remind these education authorities of the words of the Chief Medical Officer of the Board, who says that to expect an under-nourished child to derive benefit from physical exercises—[Interruption.]

Miss Rathbone

Is the Minister aware that there are under two per cent. of the child population of the schools in receipt of school meals on any one day?

Mr. Lindsay

We might be told that that is a good sign.