§ 10. Mr. Kenneth Lindsay
asked the Minister of Labour what provision he is making for communal feeding centres; for whom such provision is intended; what arrangements for nursery centres he is contemplating; and in what types of area?
§ Mr. Bevin
I am urgently considering with the other Ministries concerned the provision, as necessary, of facilities for communal feeding for workers in indus- 588 try, particularly in those areas where large numbers of women are employed in Government and other factories concerned with war production. In the same areas I am arranging with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health, through the maternity and child welfare authorities, for the provision of day nurseries.
§ Mr. Lindsay
Is it the job of the Ministry of Labour or the Ministry of Health or the Board of Education to do these tasks? Hitherto they have been done by the last two Departments. Do I understand that the Minister of Labour is taking over this valuable work and doing it for workers, whether they are in munition works or other factories?
§ 44. Mr. Lindsay
asked the President of the Board of Education what provision he is making for communal feeding centres, and how many such centres are in active operation; what arrangements he is making for nursery centres, and how many such centres are in existence?
§ Mr. Ramsbotham
I am not clear whether my hon. Friend is referring to the communal feeding of school children generally or to the provision of communal meals for evacuated children. The possibility of extending communal feeding arrangements for school children generally is at present under consideration. About 100 new centres have been established for evacuated school children; and in addition meals for such children are in many cases being provided by an extension of existing canteen arrangements. Proposals for seven nursery centres for evacuated children under five years of age have been approved and three more proposals are under consideration. The question of providing nursery centres for children under five who have recently been evacuated is being investigated, but the number of such children in any one district is not as a rule large enough to justify the establishment of a nursery centre. In some areas evacuated children under five have been admitted to the infants' departments of public elementary schools.
§ Mr. Lindsay
Is the Minister satisfied, now that there are three Departments responsible for communal feeding and also for nursery centres, that there is no 589 overlapping? Will he say whether the Committee under the presidency of the Lord Privy Seal is looking into this matter?