HC Deb 05 May 1971 vol 816 cc1347-8
2. Mr. Eadie

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many school children in the county of Midlothian will cease to receive free school milk following the Government's announcement on 27th October, 1970.

The Under-Secretary of State for Health and Education, Scottish Office (Mr. Edward Taylor)

I am asking Midlothian educaton authority to let the hon. Member have an estimate.

Mr. Eadie

Does the hon. Gentleman agree that the health of our children in Scotland is a matter of which we have been rather proud? How can we justify this piece of class-ridden legislation which will deprive thousands of school children of free school milk? Is he aware that already in the City of Edinburgh, for example, 30,548 children will be deprived of free school milk? How can he justify it?

Mr. Taylor

The medical advice is that no untoward consequences need follow, any more than when the last Labour Government ended free milk to secondary schools in 1968. As a matter of prudence, arrangements are being made to keep watch on the long-term nutritional state of the children affected by the change.

Mr. James Hamilton

Will the hon. Gentleman say what medical advice he sought and got? In the course of an Adjournment debate on the same issue recently, he said that he had not sought medical advice but that it was there if he wanted to avail himself of it.

Mr. Taylor

The advice available in my Department and, if need be, outside will be used. Arrangements are being made at present and in the future to keep a careful watch on the situation.