HC Deb 12 April 1923 vol 162 cc1319-20W

asked the Minister of Health if his attention has been drawn to the statements made in the annual report of the medical officer of health for the borough of White-haven for 1922 to the effect that the physique of the school children shows that there has been an appreciable deterioration from the standard of 1921, and that this is due to the low wages earned by the miners, resulting in a deterioration of the quality and quantity of the food supplied to them; and whether he will take immediate steps, by the rigid administration of the Maternity and Child Welfare Acts and the Provision of Meals Act, to check any further development of this physical deterioration among the children in White-haven and district?


I have seen the report of the school medical officer, which is apparently the report referred to by the hon. Member The question whether meals should be provided by a local education authority to children attending public elementary schools in their area is one for the decision of the authority under Section 82 of the Education Act, 1921, and in the same way the administration of the Maternity and Child Welfare Act is primarily a matter for the local authority. I may say, however, that the scheme of the White-haven Town Council under the latter Act includes the provision of milk in necessitous cases, and I have approved their estimate for this purpose.