HC Deb 21 March 1962 vol 656 c382
30. Mr. Archie C. Manuel

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is now taking to assess the health consequences of the 75 per cent. decrease in the consumption of welfare foods since the prices of these foods were increased.

Mr. Galbraith

Arrangements have been made for hospital paediatricians to keep watch for any conditions among children that might be linked with inadequate vitamin intake. Periodical reports are also obtained from medical officers of health of selected areas, in collaboration with obstetricians, on the health of expectant and nursing mothers.

Mr. Manuel

Can the Under-Secretary of State say what areas are selected? Our particularly bad housing conditions in Scotland and the unhealthy environment which many of our children have to grow up in make it all the more necessary that these welfare foods should be retained. Does not the hon. Gentleman think it very bad that the Secretary of State should automatically follow the Minister of Health's economy campaign in cutting out foods for these weaker sections of our community?

Mr. Galbraith

The hon. Gentleman is nothing if not a trier. This is the second Question on this matter which he has tabled, as well as having an Adjournment debate. Therefore, I do not think that I shall go into the wider aspect of it. The areas which have been selected are the four main cities, Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that we have had a report on this matter from the Medical Officer of Health for Ayrshire, the county in which he lives? The medical officer of health and the health committee are already strongly protesting against this. Will not the hon. Gentleman take that into consideration?

Mr. Galbraith

We have already had an Adjournment debate on that subject.