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Meals And Milk Service

Volume 531: debated on Thursday 29 July 1954

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asked the Minister of Education whether she is aware that children who receive education in premises specially sanctioned under the Education Act, 1944, by reason of the fact that they receive education otherwise than at school, are ineligible to receive meals and milk service afforded to other children; and whether she will take whatever steps are necessary to put an end to this anomaly.

Yes, Sir. Local education authorities have power to provide milk and meals only for children who are in attendance at school. Legislation would be required to change this position.

Will my right hon. Friend consider introducing legislation in view of the extreme importance of children receiving adequate meals? It is not more important that they should get adequate meals than that we should be put to a little trouble to amend or remove regulations that prevent them from having them?

The children who go to the schools do, of course, get milk and meals. At present, I cannot ensure legislation could be brought in to deal with these particular groups of children.

Is there no limit to the activities and, therefore, to the expenditure of the taxpayers' money in my right hon. Friend's Department?

Yes. I think the fact that there is a limit has been brought out in several debates and answers to Questions. I should like that limit to be as high as possible, and, perhaps, even higher than it is.