School Milk

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd February 1972.

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Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell , West Lothian 12:00 am, 2nd February 1972

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what study he has made of the administrative costs of selective distribution of milk, on a basis of medical evidence, in contrast with a system of blanket supply in primary schools.

Photo of Mr Gordon Campbell Mr Gordon Campbell , Moray and Nairnshire

None, Sir. I see no need for any authority to incur significant extra expenditure.

Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell , West Lothian

Do the Government dispute that there is disproportionate and enormous cost in health visiting and medical time?

Photo of Mr Gordon Campbell Mr Gordon Campbell , Moray and Nairnshire

That should not be necessary. Each authority can decide how to set about this task, and it is not necessary for every child to be examined.

Photo of Mr Norman Buchan Mr Norman Buchan , Renfrewshire West

In view of the astonishing discrepancy shown in the results in Scotland following medical examinations——

Photo of Mr Norman Buchan Mr Norman Buchan , Renfrewshire West

—varying from zero in some counties to 40 per cent. in at least one, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he does not agree that the scheme has become farcical, because it depends entirely on the say-so of a particular medical officer, who is under no guidance whatever, and that the Government are not encouraging medical officers to take a properly balanced medical decision? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that he must deal with this issue, which is becoming a disgrace?

Photo of Mr Gordon Campbell Mr Gordon Campbell , Moray and Nairnshire

It is more a matter that each authority has been able to approach this differently. The medical officers naturally use their professional judgment. I remind the hon. Member that when the Labour Government removed milk from all secondary schools, they made no arrangements at all for medical exemptions.