§ Mr. Llewellyn
asked the Minister of Education on what dates since 1945 and prior to 1953 the cost of school meals was raised; and whether she will make a statement about the short- and long-term effects on the number of children taking school meals.
§ Miss Horsbrugh
The price of school dinners was raised to a uniform charge of 6d. on 1st January, 1950, and to 7d. on 1st April, 1951. Following the introduction of the charge of 6d. the proportion of children in attendance who took school dinners declined by approximately 3 per cent., but this proportion did not decline appreciably when the charge was 127W increased to 7d. I cannot asssess the long-term effects of these increases, and the further increase since made, on the number of children taking school dinners, the demand for which is influenced by many factors other than the charge made to parents.