§ 42. Mr. G. Griffiths
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education the number of local education authorities who have laid down income scales in connection with the feeding of necessitous children; and is it the Board's intention that where the family income falls below the standard of minimum physiological needs a child shall be fed only when or as long as he shows definite physical or educational signs of malnutrition?
230 local education authorities have laid down income scales in connection with the feeding of necessitous children. The method of selection for free meals or milk is explained in the Board's Circular 1443 of which I am sending a. copy to the hon. Member. It is not necessary that children should show definite signs of malnutrition before they can be fed free. Provision may properly be made for any child who shows any symptoms, educational or physical, however slight, of inability by reason of lack of food to take full advantage of the education provided for him.
§ Mr. Griffiths
If the child's health has improved, will the free meals then be 1366 stopped, or will they continue as long as the family income is below the scale?
§ 44. Mr. Tomlinson
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education whether, in view of the fact that the Unemployment Assistance Board have refused 70 per cent. of the applications made to them for the provision of footwear for necessitous school children during the past month in the Lancashire county area, he will now consider the advisability of granting the facilities for the making of this provision to the local education authorities?
I am not at present in a position to confirm the facts stated by the hon. Member, but I am communicating with the Unemployment Assistance Board, and will let the hon. Member know the result in due course.
§ Mr. Tomlinson
Can the Parliamentary Secretary inform the House why the President constantly withholds the power from local education authorities to carry out this work?
As the hon. Member knows perfectly well it would involve legislation, but I should be glad to inquire into specific facts.