asked the President of the Board of Education whether he will consider the advisability of arranging to distribute milk free to all children, both to under fives at home and to older children at school; and to make all school meals free as a normal part of their educational system?
For children under five at home, arrangements already exist for the supply of milk free or at a reduced price. I am informed that my Noble Friend the Minister of Food does not at present contemplate extending these arrangements. Both milk and meals are already provided free to necessitous schoolchildren, and I have no reason to think that other children are failing to obtain them owing to any inability of their parents to pay the small charge now made. As regards school meals it would be inequitable to offer free provision until they can be supplied to every pupil wishing to take advantage of them.
If it is not possible to do this, can we have an assurance that the possibility of carrying out this policy as part of our post-war programme is being considered?