HC Deb 06 December 1948 vol 459 c21
32. Mr. Symonds

asked the Minister of Food if he will arrange for milk cards to be issued to day-school children to enable them to obtain extra milk' from the family retailer during school holidays, when the school milk scheme is in abeyance, in the same way that blue milk cards are issued to children coming home for the holidays from boarding schools.

Dr. Summerskill

The cards issued to boarding school children do not entitle them to receive extra milk in place of the school milk that they receive in term time, but merely serve to ensure that they receive their normal priority allowance of milk when home on holiday. I am afraid that the demand on manpower and administrative difficulties that would arise preclude the delivery of school milk to the children's homes during the holidays.

Mr. Symonds

As it is desirable for children to have this extra milk during the holidays as well as during term, and as, in fact, under present arrangements they are not getting it, may I ask my hon. Friend not to allow herself to be daunted by the admittedly great administrative difficulties, but to have "another go" and try to devise some scheme which will get the milk into the children?

Dr. Summerskill

I am always prepared to have "another go." I have had a good many goes at this already. My hon. Friend must remember, however, that there are 30,000 schools receiving milk from 8,000 retailers, and that, to carry out his suggestion, we should have to switch that milk during the holidays to 100,000 retailers who serve four million homes.

Mr. J. Langford-Holt

Can the hon. Lady tell us what happens to the milk during the holidays, because cows are no respecters of holiday times?

Dr. Summerskill

The hon. Gentleman is quite right, biologically. The answer is that it goes into dried milk for babies.