asked the Minister of Education if he will give the number of schools in England and Wales, respectively, where fresh milk is not given to the children; and what proportion of these schools are primary schools.
One hundred and seventy-nine grant-aided schools in England and 26 in Wales and Monmouthshire are not receiving liquid milk. With the exception of three in England, they are all primary schools. One hundred and twenty-five of the schools in England and all those in Wales receive national full-cream dried milk.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that by some anomaly a number of these schools are in the rural areas whence the milk is sent to the towns, and would he make special efforts to see that rural schoolchildren get their fair share of the milk?
Yes, there are difficulties in this. I know that anomalies arise. It is our intention always to provide liquid milk if we can. The fact remains that in some of these rural areas they are supplying so much liquid milk to the urban areas that there is none left for themselves.
Is my right hon. Friend also aware how difficult it is to obtain drinkable milk—that is to say, pasteurised milk—in the rural areas?