HC Deb 17 February 1949 vol 461 cc198-9W
100. Commander Maitland

asked the Minister of Education what instructions or advice are given by his Department to local authorities in regard to the disposal of milk issued to schools and which, for one reason or another, may be surplus to requirements.

Mr. Tomlinson

Paragraphs 13–15 of Circular 119, of which I am sending the hon. and gallant Member a copy, gave instructions to local education authorities on this matter.

103. Mr. Awbery

asked the Minister of Education how many schoolchildren were receiving milk and how many midday meals in 1938 and 1948, respectively; and what was the cost of these services in these two years.

Mr. Tomlinson

Following is the information:

1938–39 Latest figures available
School Milk:
Number of pupils receiving milk (grant-aided schools). 2,500,000 4,614,000
Cost to public funds. £1,497,803* £6,549,814‡
School Dinners:
Number of pupils receiving dinners (grant-aided schools). 150,000† 2,742,000
(October, 1948)
Cost to public funds. £942,803† £16,653,961
* Includes the cost of remitting the charge for milk in cases of hardship. The charge was abolished in August, 1946.
† Elementary schools only: the figures for Secondary schools are not available.
‡Includes cost of milk supplied to pupils at independent schools participating in the Milk in Schools Scheme.

105. Mr. Piratin

asked the Minister of Education what steps he is taking to ensure that the decline in providing canteens for children at school is halted and that his object of providing all children with school meals is speedily carried through.

Mr. Tomlinson

I am doing everything possible within the limits of available resources to increase the provision for school meals. The slightly smaller advance in the number of new canteens during 1948 does not mean that less was done; as time goes on a greater part of the work goes into improving or replacing canteens which are unsatisfactory or much too small.