§ Mr. Molson
asked the Minister of Food how many bottles are in use for the distribution of milk and fruit juice and other free issues to children, respectively; the number of new bottles bought monthly to maintain those numbers in circulation; and the monthly cost of such replacements.
§ Mr. Strachey
Milk: Figures of the numbers of bottles in use for the distribution of free milk to children are not available. Free distribution to infants is made in bottles of normal size and no separate records of end use are kept. An average of 7,000 gross ⅓rd pint bottles are manufactured monthly for the Milk in Schools Scheme but no records are kept of the total numbers in use at any one time. In rural districts in particular a high proportion of the milk is distributed to scholars by other means than by ⅓rd pint bottle. The Ministry does not buy milk bottles; the cost is borne by the dairyman and is allowed for in his margin of profit.
Orange juice and cod liver oil: It is impossible to differentiate between the numbers of bottles in use for distribution of these Welfare Foods free or on payment. The average number of bottles manufactured for orange juice monthly is approximately 26,400 gross at a cost of roughly £20,000. In addition, some 4,300 gross secondhand bottles are used monthly for orange juice, which are washed at an approximate cost of £858. Cod liver oil is distributed only in secondhand bottles to the number of approximately 8,600 gross monthly, which are washed at a cost of about £1,766.