§ Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.—[Mr. E. Wakefield.]
§ 10.45 p.m.
§ Mr. A. C. Manuel (Central Ayrshire)
I consider myself lucky to have secured the Adjournment debate, and I wish to take this opportunity to spotlight the serious decrease in the consumption of welfare foods since the prices for them were increased after 1st January, 1961. The price for codliver oil is now 1s. a bottle. Previously it was free. Vitamins A and D tablets which are now 6d. were previously free. Orange juice is now 1s. 6d. a bottle and previously was 5d.
From a Question to the Secretary of State for Scotland on 31st January regarding the decrease in the consumption of orange juice and cod-liver oil in the County of Ayr, I discovered that over a 12-week period before and after the price increase the decrease in consumption was 78.2 per cent. for orange juice and 70.9 per cent. for cod-liver oil. That is a very substantial decrease. The medical officer of health gave a report to the Ayr County Council showing that the average weekly decrease since the price increases was 80 per cent. for orange juice and 84 per cent. for cod-liver oil. The county council has protested to the Secretary of State—the Joint Under-Secretary will have a letter—and to the five Members of Parliament who represent Ayrshire constituencies. It has also asked the County Councils Association to take up the matter with the Secretary of State.
I received the following letter from the county council along with other relevant data: