HC Deb 29 January 1974 vol 868 cc231-2
11. Mr. Barry Jones

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what consideration she has given to the reintroduction of free milk in State primary schools.

Mrs. Thatcher

Free milk is already provided for all children under the age of 7, all children in special schools, and for any other children of primary school age who are considered by a school medical officer to need it on grounds of health. This safeguards all children who may be at risk nutritionally.

Mr. Jones

Taking into account last year's massive inflation in food prices and this year's prediction of declining living standards for all of us, do not the Government feel compelled to think again on this issue?

Mrs. Thatcher

The increase in food prices was very much taken into account when we decided to keep the price of a school meal at 12p instead of increasing it.

Mr. Carter-Jones

Will the right hon. Lady accept that she has a scheme for monitoring the adverse effects of the withdrawal of milk? Is it not true to say that sometimes when it is found that the withdrawal of milk is having an adverse effect it is too late to remedy the situation?

Mrs. Thatcher

That is why we arranged that school milk should be given to any child who needs it nutritionally. The hon. Gentleman is right in thinking that the Committee on the Medical Aspects of Food Policy does monitor the effects, if any, of the withdrawal of free school milk.

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