HC Deb 03 May 1956 vol 552 c568
5. Mr. E. Johnson

asked the Minister of Education what percentage of all school milk supplies are now being bought at some discount below the maximum retail price; and what steps he is taking to effect further saving in the cost of school milk.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Education (Mr. Dennis Vosper)

The percentage of school milk supplies now being bought at some discount below the maximum retail price will not be known until about the end of next month, but it will certainly be considerably higher than it was a year ago. I am sending my hon. Friend a copy of a letter sent to all local education authorities last December.

Mr. Johnson

While welcoming that improvement, may I ask my hon. Friend if he can say how many county boroughs are now being charged the full retail price for all their supplies of school milk, and how that figure compares with a year ago?

Mr. Vosper

A year ago, 55 county boroughs were being charged the maximum retail price for all their milk. Today, only five are being charged the full maximum price, and that is a very considerable improvement.

Mr. Hastings

May I ask the Minister whether, while taking every reasonable care to get milk as cheaply as possible, he will make sure that the milk supplied in schools is either pasteurised or comes from an attested herd, or preferably both?

Mr. Vosper

I think that I can give the hon. Gentleman that assurance. Sometimes, the reason it is not possible to supply liquid milk to schools is that it is not possible to get a supply of a sufficiently high standard.