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Orange Juice

Volume 649: debated on Wednesday 15 November 1961

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will state the amount of welfare orange juice issued in Scotland in June and July, 1960, and in the corresponding months of 1961, indicating the percentage reduction in each case.

The estimated numbers of bottles of welfare orange juice issued in June and July, 1960, were 200,000 and 175,000 and in June and July, 1961, 40,000 and 45,000. The reductions between the corresponding months are 80 per cent, and 75 per cent.

Is not this one of the strongest possible condemnations of the harsh attack which the Government have made on the welfare of Scottish children? Will the hon. Gentleman reconsider this disincentive to the use of welfare foods by reducing the price of them to the former figure and thereby help to maintain and sustain the welfare of Scottish children?

The important thing is not the amount of these welfare foods being consumed but whether or not the health of children and expectant and nursing mothers is suffering. We have no evidence that that in fact is so.

Then why do we have a welfare foods scheme at all? Are not the Government virtually abolishing the scheme, and would it not have been at least honest for them to have done it outright instead of doing it in this underhand way?