§ 36. Mr. Oliver
asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been drawn to the report of the Health Committee of the Derbyshire County Council, a copy of which has been sent to him, about the rapid decline in the consumption of welfare foods since the price increase of June last, and the Committee's concern about the future health of mothers and children if this decline continues; and what steps he will take to arrest this fall in consumption.
§ Mr. Oliver
If the consumption increased in the last quarter there would not be much purpose in the Health Committee's commenting on the fall in the consumption of these welfare foods. Obviously the Health Committee has taken into account more than one quarter.
§ Miss Pitt
I am aware of the representations. It is true that there was a marked decline with the changes in the price of these foods, but it has taken an upward trend in the last quarter, which is a factor to be recognised. Other than that, the same answer still applies—that mothers are obtaining the necessary vitamins for their children from other sources.
§ Mr. Oliver
But where can they get these cheaper than they can obtain them from the Health Committee, or from 914 local authorities generally? Are mothers prepared to pay more money when they can get these foods for less?
§ Mr. K. Robinson
In order to put the matter into perspective, will the hon. Lady tell the House what is the percentage current consumption in Derbyshire compared with the consumption before the subsidy was eliminated?