HC Deb 15 November 1954 vol 533 cc34-5
47. Mrs. Mann

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that medical officers have expressed concern regarding undernourishment of infants fed on National Dried milk, due to the inadequate feed amounts prescribed on the tins: and if he will take steps to have the prescribed amounts altered to bring them up to the requirements of the British babies of today.

Mr. Iain Macleod

I am aware of the recent study on artificial feeding of infants in Aberdeen and, with my right hon. Friends the Minister of Food and Secretary of State for Scotland, am now considering the results. But it should be realised that the feeding tables issued with National Dried Milk are designed only to guide the mother until she can consult a doctor or clinic as she is expressly advised to do before starting artificial feeding or if the baby is not thriving.

Mrs. Mann

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the deficiency is felt about 3 o'clock in the morning when the babies start crying, and that this is hardly the time to seek out Ministers, including the Secretary of State for Scotland and all the other "high nobs"? Cannot we have more approximate amounts given on the tins? Often an infant can take twice the amount stated.

Mr. Macleod

I understand the point which the hon. Lady has made, and I am very grateful to her for putting down this Question, which I think will help. The point, I understand, it that the amounts suggested are put down so that there will not be over-feeding when a new food is given, and the advice always given is that the mother should consult as soon as possible a doctor or the clinic.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

It is surely unlikely that the sensible mothers of Scotland will wait until three o'clock in the morning before looking at the directions on the tin?