Education (Scotland) Bill.

Part of Supplementary Vote of Credit, 1941. – in the House of Commons on 16th December 1941.

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Photo of Mr Joseph Westwood Mr Joseph Westwood , Stirling and Falkirk District of Burghs

Local authorities are elected bodies and are responsible to the electorate. That is one of our forms of democracy. I am anxious to give a certain amount of freedom to those local authorities, always guiding them in the right direction. I wish I had been able to get the County of Fife to make the progress suggested by my hon. Friend the Member tor East Fife (Mr. Henderson Stewart). I recall obstacles being placed in my way when I tried to help the school children. I happened to be one of the Members, referred to by the Secretary of State when he introduced this Bill, who belonged to the local authority to be surcharged to the extent of £69,000. We succeeded in feeding the children, and then some ratepayer took a case to the courts. In the constituency from which the hon. Member comes they ran candidates for the purpose of getting them on to the Fife education authority so as to make it impossible for us to continue to treat the children in the way we had done. But changes have come since those days. I remember the fight for the feeding of necessitous school children. I am proud that I have lived to see the day when these obstacles are to be removed. It is to be possible by this Bill to make it easy to feed necessitous children and to provide the first steps towards reaching the ideal, that it should be part and parcel of our educational system to provide at least one solid meal per day for all children attending school.