HC Deb 02 February 1971 vol 810 c1442
8. Mr. Pavitt

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if the new drop preparation containing vitamins A, D and C will be available free of charge to nursing and expectant mothers; what plans he has to inform them of availability; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Alison

Like the orange juice and cod liver oil which they replace, these liquid vitamin drops will be supplied free for children in families in need and will be on sale to others. Posters are to be displayed in child health clinics, a million leaflets are to be distributed, and full details are to be included in the publicity to be given to the family income supplement and new welfare milk arrangements.

Mr. Pavitt

Is not this charging, taking back again and having exemptions like taking a sledge hammer to crush a peanut? Is the hon. Gentleman aware that last year we had a surplus of £327,000 on orange juice account alone? In view of that, is it not better to have the whole thing free so that people can have this desirable thing for their children?

Mr. Alison

The surplus to which the hon. Gentleman referred arose from the fact that the stockbuilding, which was customary whilst the scheme was in operation, was run down. The payments for the new vitamin drops will result in substantial economies to those who have to purchase them.