Milk for Children.

Oral Answers to Questions — Government Department's (Women Employes). – in the House of Commons on 3rd November 1919.

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Photo of Hon. Edward Wood Hon. Edward Wood , Ripon

75.

asked the Minister of Health how many local authorities have taken, or are taking, steps in exercise of their statutory powers to provide milk at a reduced price for children of the poorer classes within their areas?

Photo of Mr John Walters Mr John Walters , Sheffield, Brightside

As my reply must be rather long, I will circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

The following is the answer referred to: The number of local authorities in England and Wales who informed the Ministry and the Local Government Board of steps taken to provide milk for expectant and nursing mothers and children under five years of age, in pursuance of the earlier Circular of 9th February, 1918, is 200—that is, approximately 60 per cent. of the number of authorities undertaking maternity and child welfare schemes, including 24 metropolitan borough councils, 33 county councils, 79 county borough councils, and 144 town and district councils. Practically all these authorities will presumably continue or extend their schemes. About 40 local authorities said that no such action was necessary in their district, while a number of authorities failed to furnish any information on the point.

Comprehensive schemes for the supply of milk have been adopted in fifty cases, but as a general rule the provision is limited to a supply of milk (including dried milk and condensed milk) to mothers and children attending infant welfare centres. Where fresh milk is supplied, this is usually done in the form of orders on local tradesmen. In a number of eases health visitors are instructed to report the need of additional supplies of milk among children whom they visit, and midwives are asked to supply information regarding expectant mothers who do not get sufficient food.

Only three authorities have as yet replied to the Ministry's Circular of the 14th October, and they are among the 280 who already had schemes in operation. Local authorities were asked in the Circular to report any new schemes, any extensions of schemes, or any existing schemes of which they had not furnished particulars in pursuance of the earlier Circular.