HC Deb 06 July 1939 vol 349 cc1490-1
60. Mr. Dunn

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education how many schools, elementary or secondary, there are where fresh milk is not available for the children, in England and Wales; what is the reason for this and what he proposes to do to correct it?

Mr. Lindsay

The number of public elementary school departments in England and Wales in which it is known that milk was not available in any form on 31st March last was 1,574 out of a total of over 29,000. There were also certain other departments, the number of which it has not been possible to ascertain in the short time available, in which only dried milk was provided. On the same date there were 132 grant-earning secondary schools in which no liquid milk was available. The principal reasons for the failure to provide liquid milk are the difficulty of finding a supplier for small and remote rural schools, the inability of the medical officer of health to approve as safe the only milk available, and in a small minority of cases the unwillingness of the teachers to operate the scheme. An analysis of all these cases is being made with a view to ascertaining the reason in each case.

Mr. Dunn

Is this due in any degree to the operations of the Milk Marketing Board?

Mr. Lindsay

No, Sir, I do not think so. In so far as the small rural schools are concerned, we are now engaged with the Milk Marketing Board in trying to overcome this difficulty. If I explained the matter at greater length I could show that there are many other factors which enter into the question.

Viscountess Astor

Is it not the result of our wrong milk policy?