Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Schools Meals.

Mr. Byrne

asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he has received the report of the Schools Meals Committee of the Dublin Corporation dated 7th November, 1941, in which it is recommended, after exhaustive inquiry, that a hot meal be provided to the school children, and that time and utensils be provided for the purpose, and whether, in view of the scarcity of fuel for cooking in many of the children's homes he will issue instructions for the early provision of hot meals.

A copy of the report of the Schools Meals Inspection Committee was received in my Department. It was not accompanied by any communication which would indicate whether it was sent by the Schools Meals Committee or by the Corporation of Dublin or whether the report had been adopted by either of these bodies. The Corporation of Dublin have already powers for the provision of school meals, and I cannot express any views on the report until it has been considered by the corporation.

Mr. Byrne

Will the Parliamentary Secretary answer that part of the question which suggests, in view of the scarcity of fuel for cooking in many of the children's homes, he should issue instructions for the early provision of hot meals? Is he prepared to recommend the adoption of the report and give the hot meals immediately? The parents of the children I am interested in are trying to light fires with wet, green timber and wet turf and they cannot cook a hot meal. In these circumstances, will the Parliamentary Secretary ask the medical authority for advice?

It is a matter for the corporation, in the first instance.

Mr. Byrne

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that women's organisations, having at heart the welfare of the children, have continually recommended hot meals and are endeavouring to see that they are given without delay? Has the Minister read the report to which I have referred?

It is for the corporation to read the report and give effect to it, if they think it desirable that it should be put into operation. It is not for the Minister to initiate a scheme.

Has the Parliamentary Secretary consulted Deputy Tom Kelly on this matter?

The House has taken one and a quarter hours to deal with 40 questions; 20 questions remain. Many questions have been submitted for to-morrow. One and a half hours should certainly be more than sufficient for 60 questions. Hence, no supplementary questions will be allowed on the remaining questions