HC Deb 12 March 1941 vol 369 cc1279-80
41. Mr. Thorne

asked the President of the Board of Education whether he can give any reason why no milk has been delivered to the 1,000 children attending the Oak Farm School, Hillingdon, Middlesex; whether the Board have had any difficulties with the teachers about the matter; and what action he is taking to see that the children get their supply of milk?

The President of the Board of Education (Mr. Ramsbotham)

The breakdown is due to the dairymen refusing to supply milk to this school in small bottles containing one-third of a pint. I understand that the teachers are not prepared to accept responsibility for distributing milk supplied in bulk, and, in view of the difficulties and risks of infection involved, I should not feel justified, on the information before me, in asking them to do so. Moreover, Section 85 of the Education Act, 1921, provides that the participation of teachers in this work is entirely voluntary. These and other difficulties affecting the scheme are engaging my earnest attention with a view to finding an immediate remedy.

Mr. Messer

Is the Minister aware that there is no evidence that the bottles which were used had been broken or destroyed? In view of that fact, can he account for the statement which he has made that the bottles are not available?

Mr. Ramsbotham

The information I have is that there is great difficulty in getting these bottles, and particularly the stoppers.