§ Mr. Kennedy
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education whether his Department is to take any action on the lines of the recommendations of the nutrition committee of the League of Nations towards a general extension of the provision of free meals for necessitous schoolchildren in view of the proved beneficial results in the form of improved health and physique, and in order to deal with the problem of undernourishment disclosed at a recent meeting of the Rowett Research Institute showing that one-half of the population are not now receiving a diet adequate towards real health?
Action on the lines recommended in the final report of the nutrition committee of the League of Nations was taken in this country many years before the publication of that report in 1937 and the provision of free meals and milk for necessitous under-nourished schoolchildren has been steadily growing during the last 10 years. In 1927–28 the number of children who received free meals or milk was 82,410 and the net expenditure of local education authorities on this service £182,673, whereas in 1936–37 the number of children was 2733W 535,300 and the expenditure £668,156. It is the policy of the Board to encourage a further extension of the provision in all areas where the existing provision is insufficient.
§ Mr. T. Smith
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education whether he will bring up to date the information given on 25th June, 1936, in regard to the period during which school meals are provided?
I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Hemsworth (Mr. G. Griffiths) on 7th July last, a copy of which I am sending him.