asked the President of the Board of Education whether it is possible to arrive at any conclusions from a comparison between the figures of heights and weights of children in the camp schools and those of a similar age in day schools, as to the benefits to health of residence in camp schools for town children?
My right hon. Friend hopes to receive before long the figures relating to heights and weights of children attending camp schools and of those who have remained in ordinary day schools. Until the data have been considered it will not be possible to arrive at any conclusions.
The National Camps Corporation, which built, maintains and manages the camps in pursuance of Section 1 of the Camps Act, 1939, placed them soon after the outbreak of War at the disposal of the Government under an agreement made with the Ministry of Health. The Government arranged for their occupation by the camp schools. The only functions of the Corporation in regard to the schools are the maintenance and management of the camps. The answer to the second part of the Question is "No." The third part, therefore, does not arise.
I am aware of the variation, which is due to the difference in the numbers of children in the camp schools. The actual cost per head of food is practically uniform, while the overhead charges (which are considerable and are not capable of much alteration for varying numbers) are divided by the number of children in the camp, and where the number in camp is low, the cost per head is correspondingly high.
The hon. Member will have to consider more than that. He will have to consider where the charges lie, and if he will read an answer that was given last week, I think he will find that his statement is not warranted.