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School Milk in Britain, 1900–1934

  • Peter Atkins (a1)

It seems to be generally accepted that school meals played a small but important role in the creation of conceptual and practical space for the first green shoots of the modern welfare state, and that their provision, no matter how modest at the outset, therefore represented a major departure in the history of social policy. As Bentley Gilbert notes: “The passage of the Education (Provision of Meals) Act of 1906, and the Education (Administrative Provisions) Act of 1907, establishing medical inspection in State schools, marked the beginning of the construction of the welfare state. For the historian, feeding was the more important measure, not because it was wider in scope or more beneficial, but simply because it occurred first.” Thus the Liberal party's reforming administration of 1906–14 began with legislation on free school meals and school medical inspection. According to Pat Thane, this “was the first extension from the field of schooling into that of welfare of the principle that a publicly financed benefit could be granted to those in need, free both of charge and of the disabilities associated with the Poor Law,” and Charles Webster suggests that “the foundations were laid for the principle of providing publicly funded welfare benefits for an entire class of recipient without the imposition of the kind of limitations traditionally imposed under the Poor Law.” In more general terms, Ulla Gustafsson has asserted that school meals “inform our understanding of the relationship between the state, the family and children.”

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1. But Virginia Berridge has called this interpretation “inadequate,” first because the Liberal reforms were a continuation of Victorian ideas and, second, because motivations for change transcended any simple notions of welfare. Berridge, V., “Health and Medicine,” in Thompson, F. M. L., ed., The Cambridge Social History of Britain, 1750–1950, Volume 3: Social Agencies and Institutions (Cambridge, 1990), 171242.

2. Gilbert, Bentley, The Evolution of National Insurance in Great Britain: The Origins of the Welfare State (London, 1966), 102.

3. Harris, Bernard, The Origins of the British Welfare State: Social Welfare in England and Wales, 1800–1945 (Basingstoke, 2004), 158.

4. Thane, Pat, Foundations of the welfare state, 2d ed. (London, 1996), 70; Webster, Charles, “Government Policy on School Meals and Welfare Foodsm 1939–1970,” in Smith, D. F., ed., Nutrition in Britain: Science, Scientists, and Politics in the Twentieth Century (London, 1997), 190213. Webster adds that the 1906 act built these foundations “somewhat inadvertently.”

5. Gustafsson, Ulla, “School Meals Policy: The Problem with Governing Children,” Social Policy and Administration 36 (2002): 685697.

6. Gilbert, Bentley, “Health and Politics: The British Physical Deterioration Report of 1904,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 39 (1965): 143153.

7. “Report of the Royal Commission on Physical Training (Scotland),” Parliamentary Papers 1903 (Cd 1507, 1508), xxx.1; “Report of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Physical Deterioration,” Parliamentary Papers 1904 (Cd 2175, 2210, 2186), xxxii.1; “Report of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Medical Inspection and Feeding of Children Attending Public Elementary Schools,” Parliamentary Papers 1906 (Cd 2779, 2784), xlvii.1.

8. Welshman, , “School Meals and Milk in England and Wales,” Medical History 41 (1997): 9, notes that there was widespread opposition to school meals.

9. Education (Provision of Meals) Act (1906) 6 Edw 7 cap 57; Education (Provision of Meals) Act (1914) 4&5 Geo 5 cap 20; and Education (Consolidation) Act (1921) Act 11&12 Geo 5 cap 68. All three acts were “permissive” in the sense that LEAs were not obliged to adopt them. For further discussion of the 1906 act and its background, see Stewart, John, “Ramsay MacDonald, the Labour Party, and Child Welfare, 1900–1914, Twentieth Century British History 4, (1993) 105125; Thane, “Foundations,” 65, 70–71; Stewart, John, “‘This injurious measure’: Scotland and the 1906 Education (Provision of Meals) Act,” Scottish Historical Review 78, (1999) 7694; and Hendrick, Harry, Child Welfare: Historical Dimensions, Contemporary Debate (Bristol, 2003), 7073. Note that the 1914 act removed limits on expenditures and introduced the progressive policy that LEA spending would be matched by Treasury grants.

10. Colquhoun, Anne, Lyon, Phil, and Alexander, Emily, “Feeding Minds and Bodies: The Edwardian Context of School Meals,” Nutrition and Food Science 31 (2001): 117124.

11. Harris, Bernard, The Health of the Schoolchild: A History of the School Medical Service in England and Wales (Buckingham, 1995), chap. 7.

12. Ibid., 125.

13. Gustafsson, Ulla, “The Privatization of Risk in School Meals Policies,” Health, Risk and Society 6 (2004): 5365.

14. Ibid.

15. “Protective,” in the sense of a nutritional barrier against disease, was first used in McCollum, Elmer, The Newer Knowledge of Nutrition (New York, 1919).

16. Atkins, Peter, “White Poison: The Health Consequences of Milk Consumption, 1850–1930,” Social History of Medicine 5 (1992): 207227.

17. Atkins, Peter, “The Milk in Schools Scheme, 1934–45: ‘Nationalization’ and Resistance,” History of Education 34 (2005): 121.

18. Welshman, , “The School Medical Service in England and Wales” (D.Phil. thesis, Oxford University, 1988), chap. 4; Welshman, , “School Meals and Milk in England and Wales, 1906–45,” Medical History 41 (1997): 629.

19. Harris, “The Health of the Schoolchild,” chap. 7.

20. Webster, Charles, “Health, Welfare, and Unemployment in the Depression,” Past and Present 109 (1985): 204230.

21. Hurt, John, “Feeding the Hungry Schoolchild in the First Half of the Twentieth Century,” in Oddy, Derek and Miller, Derek, eds., Diet and Health in Modern Britain (London, 1985), 178206; Dwork, Deborah, War is Good for Babies and Other Young Children: A History of the Infant and Child Welfare Movement in England, 1898–1918 (London, 1987), chap. 4; Burnett, John, “The Rise and Decline of School Meals in Britain, 1860–1990,” in Burnett, John and Oddy, Derek, eds., The Origins and Development of Food Policies in Europe (London, 1994), 5569.

22. Macnicol, John, The Movement for FamilyAllowances, 1918–45: A Study in Social Policy Development (London, 1980), 6566; Webster, Charles, “Saving Children during the Depression: Britain's Silent Emergency, 1919–1939,” Disasters 18 (1994): 213220; Atkins, , “Fattening Children, or Fattening Farmers? School Milk in Britain, 1921–1941,” Economic History Review 68 (2005): 5778. See also Gilbert, Lee, “The History of School Milk: An Economic and Marketing Solution” (M.A. thesis, University of East Anglia, 1999). I am grateful to Professor Roger Cooter allowing me to look at this thesis.

23. For the period immediately after, see Atkins, “The Milk in Schools Scheme, 1934–45.” The National Government was a coalition of Labour, Liberal, and Conservative politicians initiated during the national financial crisis of 1931. It lasted until 1940.

24. Hurt, John, Elementary Schooling and the Working Classes, 1860–1918 (London, 1979), chap. 5; Hendrick, “Child Welfare,” 66–70.

25. Evidence of Dr. Alfred Eichholz, “Report of the Inter-departmental Committee on Physical Deterioration: Vol. 2: Lists of Witnesses and Minutes of Evidence,” Parliamentary Papers 1904 (Cd 2210), xxxii.176, Q. 476.

26. The practical importance of vitamins remained a matter of contestation throughout the 1920s. Boyd Orr at the Rowett Research Institute, for instance, emphasized minerals rather than vitamins. Smith, David, “Nutrition Science and the Two World Wars,” in Smith, , ed., Nutrition in Britain: Science, Scientists, and Politics in the Twentieth Century (London, 1997), 142165.

27. Hopkins, Frederick Gowland, “Feeding Experiments Illustrating the Importance of Accessory Factors in Normal Dietaries,” Journal of Physiology 44 (1912): 425460; Hopkins, , “Note on the Vitamine Content of Milk,” Biochemical Journal 14 (1920): 721724. For a recent reappraisal of his work, see Kamminga, Harmke and Weatherall, Mark, “The Making of a Biochemist I: Frederick Gowland Hopkins' Construction of Dynamic Biochemistry,” Medical History 40 (1996): 269292.

28. Kamminga, Harmke, “‘Axes to grind’: Popularizing the Science of Vitamins, 1920s and 1930s,” in Smith, David and Phillips, Jim, eds., Food, Science, Policy, and Regulation in the Twentieth Century: International Comparative Perspectives (London, 2000), 83100.

29. Hamill, J. M., “Diet in Relation to Normal Nutrition,” Reports on Public Health and Medical Subjects, Food Series, no. 1 (London, 1921), 29.

30. Lewis, Jane, The Politics of Motherhood: Child and Maternal Welfare in England, 1900–1939 (London, 1980), chap. 2; Smith, David and Nicolson, Malcolm, “The ‘Glasgow School’ of Paton, Findlay and Cathcart: Conservative Thought in Chemical Physiology, Nutrition, and Public Health,” Social Studies of Science 19 (1989): 195238; Smith, David and Nicolson, Malcolm, “Health and Ignorance: Past and Present,” in Platt, Stephen, Thomas, Hilary, Scott, Sue, and Williams, Gareth, eds., Locating Health: Sociological and Historical Explorations (Aldershot, 1993), 221244; Smith, David and Nicolson, Malcolm, “Nutrition, Education, Ignorance, and Income: A Twentieth-Century Debate,” in Kamminga, Harmke and Cunningham, Andrew, eds., The Science and Culture of Nutrition, 1840–1940 (Amsterdam, 1995), 288318; Taylor, Julie, Spencer, Nick, and Baldwin, Norma, “Social, Economic, and Political Context of Parenting,” Archives of Disease in Childhood 82 (2000): 113120.

31. For further comments about milk and eugenics in the 1930s, see Atkins, Peter, “The Pasteurization of England: The Science, Culture and Health Implications of Milk Processing, 1900–1950,” in Smith, David and Phillips, Jim, eds., Food, Science, Policy and Regulation in the Twentieth Century: International and Comparative Perspectives (London, 2000), 3751. For a subtly modulated account of the social politics of eugenics in this period, see Jones, Greta, “Eugenics and Social Policy between the Wars,” Historical Journal 25 (1982): 717728. The complexity of the relationship between science and eugenics is covered in Schaffer, G., “‘Like a baby with a box of matches’: British Scientists and the Concept of ‘Race’ in the Inter-war Period,” British Journal for the History of Science 38 (2005): 307324.

32. Leighton, G. and McKinlay, P. L., Milk Consumption and the Growth of School Childlren: Report on an Investigation in Lanarkshire Schools (Edinburgh, 1930), 3.

33. Whetham, Edith, The Agrarian History of England and Wales, vol. 8: 1914–1939 (Cambridge, 1978), 250.

34. Atkins, Peter and Stanziani, Alessandro, “Constructing the Natural: Regulation of Milk Standards in Britain and France, 1890–1930,” manuscript (2006).

35. Atkins, “White Poison.”

36. Illich, Ivan, Deschooling Society (Harmondsworth, 1973), 46. For a discussion of Illich, and also of related work by Habermas and Bourdieu, see Atkins, “Fattening Children,” 73.

37. Inter-Departmental Committee on Medical Inspection and Feeding of Children Attending Public Elementary Schools, volume II: “Minutes of evidence. List of witnesses, minutes of evidence, appendices and index,” Parliamentary Papers 1906 (Cd. 2784) xlvii. q. 1420.

38. Inter-Departmental Committee on Medical Inspection, qq. 47–49, 470, 494, 1821c.

39. Ibid., q. 1694. His comment arose from views expressed at the “Conference on Underfed School Children” held at Toynbee Hall in June 1904. See the Toynbee Record 16 (1904): 141–44. The idea was elaborated by Canon Barnett, Warden of Toynbee Hall, in evidence to the Select Committee on the Education (Provision of Meals) Bill 1906 and the Education (Provision of Meals)(Scotland) Bill 1906, Parliamentary Papers 1906 (288) viii. q. 2282. Toynbee Hall, located in London's East End, was (and still is) a practical base for social service and a symbolic rallying point for thinking about poverty reduction.

40. Inter-Departmental Committee on Medical Inspection, q. 1705.

41. London County Council, “Report of Medical Officer for the Year 1929,” in Annual Report of the Council, 1929. Volume 3: Public Health (London, 1931), 110; Chief Medical Officer of the Board of Education, The Health of the School Child, 1923 (London, 1924). The use of cod-liver oil in London was challenged by the District Auditor for the 1909–10 accounts. He claimed that it was not allowable under the 1906 Act. London County Council, “Education Committee Minutes of Proceedings, Children's Care (Central) Sub-Committee Report,” 20 March 1912, 599.

42. Bulkley, M. E., The Feeding of School Children (London, 1914), 191. Cod-liver oil was a remedy for rickets. Rajakumar, Kumaravel, “Vitamin D, Cod Liver Oil, Sunlight, and Rickets: A Historical Perspective,” Pediatrics 112 (2003): e132e135.

43. Opposition was so strong that the 1906 Act did not apply to Scotland. See Stewart, “This Injurious Measure.”

44. London County Council, “Report for the Year 1933 of the School Medical Officer,” in Annual Report of the Council, 1933. Volume 3 (Part II): Public Health (London, 1934).

45. Lewis, Jane, “The Social History of a Policy: Infant Welfare in Edwardian England,” Journal of Social Policy 9 (1980): 463486; Dwork, “War Is Good for Babies,” chap. 4; Atkins, “White Poison,” 223–24.

46. Lord Rhondda, the Food Controller, made the Milk (Mothers and Children) Order in February 1918. Lloyd, E. M. H., Experiments in State Control at the War Office and the Ministry of Food (Oxford, 1924), 263.

47. Although up to 1930 this was only on the personal recommendation of the MOH and where the family was poor.

48. E. J. Maude, “Milk Consumption: report dated 30 January, 1936, of an informal inter-departmental committee comprising representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Board of Education, Market Supply Committee, Ministry of Health, Department of Health for Scotland, Scottish Office and Treasury,” 9. E. M. H. Lloyd Papers, British Library of Political and Economic Science, 4/56.

49. NA (National Archives, Kew, UK), MH 56/74.

50. Chief Medical Officer of the Board of Education, Annual Report, Parliamentary Papers 1921 (Cmd 1522) xi.

51. The Board of Education's Circular 1261 of 17 May 1922 was a policy threshold, insisting that LEAs refocus on the ill-nourished child at a time when the coal strike had meant political pressure to feed the children of the unemployed.

52. Anon., “School Health Work in London”: “The size of a school's milk list depends largely upon the opinion of the head teacher and care committees, and on their zeal and enthusiasm in seeking out suitable children and bringing them before the doctor as special cases.” British Medical Journal 2 (1924): 283.

53. Jones, R. Huws, “Physical Indices and Clinical Assessments of the Nutrition of Schoolchildren,” Journal of the Royal Statistical Society 101 (1938): 134.

54. In the 1930s this was convenient for government, which resisted definitions that might lead to an expansion of welfare expenditure. See Webster, Charles, “Healthy or Hungry Thirties?History Workshop Journal 13 (1982): 110129; Mayhew, Madeleine, “The 1930s Nutrition Controversy,” Journal of Contemporary History 23 (1988): 445464; Harris, “The Health of the Schoolchild,” 130–36.

55. Twenty-three out of twenty-six local care committees in London preferred this approach. LCC, Central Care Sub-Committee, Agenda Papers, 18 January 1924, LMA: LCC/MIN/3169.

56. LCC, Education Committee, “Minutes of Proceedings. Central Care Committee. Meeting of 2 March 1923,” 155.

57. In 1924 there were 296 schools in London with voluntary milk clubs.

58. Anon., “School Health Work in London, British Medical Journal 2 (1924): 283.

59. Newman to Bosworth Smith (Principal, Board of Education), 21 August 1923, NA, ED 50/79.

60. Chief Medical Officer of the Board of Education, The Health of the School Child, 1923 (London, 1924), 119. Before 1922 there had been no machinery for reviewing the nutritional status of children given milk, with the result that many remained as “necessitous” longer than clinically necessary. LCC, Central Care Sub-Committee, Agenda Papers, Joint Report by the School Medical Officer and the Education Officer, 15 February 1924, London Metropolitan Archives (LMA): LCC/MIN/3169.

61. Milk clubs were usually organized by teachers. They were entirely voluntary but used school premises and were regarded benignly by LEAs.

62. Peter Atkins, “White Heat in Whitehall. Inter-departmental Friction and Its Impact Upon Food Safety Policy: The Example of Milk, 1930–35,” paper under review (2006).

63. McCollum, Elmer, “The Nutritional Value of Milk,” in Rogers, L. A. and Lenoir, K. D., eds., Proceedings of the World's Dairy Congress, Washington DC, October 2, 3, Philadelphia PA, October 4, Syracuse NY, October 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 1923 (Washington, D.C., 1924), 1:421–37.

64. According to Jon Pollock, this is the “Hawthorne effect.” J. I. Pollock, “Two Controlled Trials of Supplementary Feeding of School Children in the 1920s,” The James Lind Library (, accessed 23 March 2006.

65. NA, FD 1/42; FD 1/3791. The rickets work was published in Mann, Harold Corry, “Rickets: The Relative Importance of Environment and Diet as Factors of Causation: An Investigation in London,” Medical Research Council, Special Report Series, no. 68 (London, 1922).

66. NA, FD 1/3790, “Nutritive Value of Milk” (Corry Mann), i.

67. For more on Corry Mann, see Dr. Barnardo's papers in the University of Liverpool Archives, D239.B3/1/5.

68. Ministry of Health, On the State of the Public Health: Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer for 1926 (London, 1927), 186.

69. Ministry of Health, On the State of the Public Health: Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer for 1927 (London, 1928), 153.

70. Petty, E. C., “The Impact of the Newer Knowledge on Nutrition: Nutrition Science and Nutrition Policy, 1900–1939” (Ph.D. thesis, London, 1987), 181186; Petty, , “Primary Research and Public Health: The Mobilization of Nutrition Research in Interwar Britain,” in Austoker, Joan and Bryder, Linda, eds., Historical Perspectives on the Role of the MRC (Oxford, 1989), 83108.

71. Cook, J., Irwig, L. M., Chinn, S., Altman, D. G., and Florey, C. D., “The Influence of Availability of Free School Milk on the Height of Children in England and Scotland,” Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 33 (1979): 171176; Baker, I. A., Elwood, P. C., Hughes, J., Jones, M., Moore, F., and Sweetnam, P. M., “A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Effect of the Provision of Free School Milk on the Growth of Children,” Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 34 (1980): 3134; Rona, R. J. and Chinn, S., “School Meals, School Milk and Height of Primary School Children in England and Scotland in the Eighties,” Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 43 (1989): 6671.

72. Wiley, A. S., “Does Milk Make Children Grow? Relationships between Milk Consumption and Height in NHANES 1999–2002,” American Journal of Human Biology 17 (2005): 425441.

73. Dr. H. E. Magee perceptively wrote in his obituary of Corry Mann that he “was truly a pioneer, for he set the pattern for the conduct of investigations designed to test the practical value of foods or of single nutrients, and few of the reports published since his appeared in 1926 have failed to quote the Corry Mann experiment.” British Medical Journal 1 (1961): 1257–58. In modern terms, Corry Mann's report was a “citation classic.”

74. MacFadden to Fletcher, 4 February 1922, NA, FD 1/3790.

75. Fletcher to Noel Paton, 24 June 1924, NA, FD 1/3791.

76. Greenwood to MRC, 7 February 1924; Fletcher to members of MRC, 4 April 1924, NA, FD 1/3790.

77. Noel Paton to Fletcher, 4 October 1922, NA, FD 1/42.

78. Noel Paton to Fletcher, 25 June and 8 July 1924, NA, FD 1/3791.

79. Smith and Nicolson, “The ‘Glasgow School.’”

80. Fletcher to Corry Mann, 20 March 1923; 5 February 1924, NA, FD 1/3790.

81. Corry Mann to Fletcher, 16 June 1925, NA, FD 1/3791. He claimed that “Professor Hopkins had on more than one occasion assured me of the permanence of service with the council.” Corry Mann to Fletcher, 31 January 1926, NA, FD 1/3791.

82. Mellanby to Fletcher, 20 June 1927, NA, FD 1/3792.

83. Fletcher to Hopkins, 20 June 1927, NA, FD 1/3792.

84. Chief Medical Officer of the Board of Education, The Health of the School Child, 1926 (London, 1927), 186; ibid., 1927, 153.

85. The National Archives have many of the original NMPC leaflets. NA, ED/50/79.

86. In addition, Corry Mann has significance in the early history of controlled feeding trials. Pollock, “Two Controlled Trials.”

87. Jenkins, Alan, Drinka pinta: The Story of Milk and the Industry That Serves It (London, 1970), 8082.

88. The Milk Industry, 3, 6 (December 1922), 58; NA, ED50/79.

89. Chief Medical Officer of the Board of Education, The Health of the School Child, 1922 (London, 1923), 118119.

90. Auden, G. A., A Notable Experiment in the Feeding of Children (London, 1923), 2.

91. Auden, G. A., “An Experiment in the Nutritive Value of an Extra Milk Ration,” Journal of the Royal Sanitary Institute 44 (1923): 236247.

92. Chief Medical Officer of the Board of Education, The Health of the School Child, 1923 (London, 1924).

93. NMPC Minutes, August 1922, cited in Gilbert, “The History of School Milk,” 15.

94. “Memo of interview,” 9 August 1923, NA, ED 50/79.

95. Ibid. School milk programs were already under way in Baltimore and California, where “every child in school is supplied with milk during school hours which is drunk from special bottles by means of straws, the supply being free in the case of children whose parents are not in a position to pay.” In the event, the NMPC did use film as a key means of propaganda, but it employed cinema vans and church halls as a means of targeting otherwise hard-to-reach consumers rather than trying to persuade the education industry.

96. Ibid.

97. Ibid.

98. NMPC minutes, 9 September and 11 November 1924, NA, MAF 52/7, TD/428.

99. NMPC minutes, 11 March 1924, NA, MAF 52/7, TD/428.

100. Jenkins, “Drinka pinta,” 97.

101. NMPC minutes, 23 October 1928, NA, MAF 52/7, TD/428A.

102. A quotation was accepted from the United Glass Bottle Manufacturers Ltd. to produce this bottle in the first instance. NMPC minutes, 27 November 1928, NA, MAF 52/7, TD/428A.

103. NMPC minutes, 27 November 1928, NA, MAF 52/7, TD/428A.

104. NMPC Advertising and Publicity Committee minutes, 11 February 1929, NA, MAF 52/7, TD/428A.

105. NMPC minutes, 27 November 1928, NA, MAF 52/7, TD/428A.

106. London County Council, Report of the School Medical Officer for the Year 1929 (London, 1930). It is clear that some sections of the trade saw this scheme in a cynical light because that year 12 percent of school milk samples were found to be adulterated.

107. London County Council, “Report of Medical Officer for the Year 1929,” in Annual Report of the Council, 1929. Volume 3: Public Health (London, 1931), 110.

108. Chief Medical Officer of the Board of Education, The Health of the School Child, 1933 (London, 1934), 28; Parliamentary Debates, 280 (1933), c. 658; Jenkins, “Drinka pinta,” 104.

109. “Milk Schemes in Schools,” NA, ED 50/79.

110. The Empire Marketing Board was set up in 1926 to promote imperial products. See Atkins, Peter, “The Empire Marketing Board,” in Oddy, Derek and Petráňová, Lydia, eds., The Diffusion of School Culture in Europe from the Late Eighteenth Century to the Present Day (Prague, 2005), 248255.

111. The first two Labour administrations (1924 and 1929–31) were both short-lived, minority governments.

112.Memo to Inspectors, E. No 309,” 23 July 1930, NA, ED 50/79.

113. Parliamentary Debates, 244 (1930), cc. 1863–64; 245 (1930), cc. 1814–15.

114. Parliamentary Debates, 273 (1932), cc. 764–65; Stocks to Howarth, 1 March 1934, NA, ED 50/81.

115. In 1931/32 the Education Milk Act was available in 81 Local Education Authorities, so, by subtraction, 228 were not participating. Under this scheme 46,500 children were provided with free milk and 47,600 paid, representing a total of 2 percent of all pupils. The National Government encouraged an expansion of the free milk and by December 1934 the number of children receiving it had increased to 200,000. NA, ED 24/1367.

116. Empire Marketing Board, A Year's Progress (London, 1927).

117. For more on the SNMHA, see Jenkinson, Jacqueline, Scotland's Health, 1919–1948 (Oxford, 2002), 239242.

118. The experimental records at the Rowett show that W. Godden and J. I. M. Ironside began work in 1926 “to determine the composition of whole and separated milk as used in the school children supplementary feeding experiment.” Rowett Research Institute Archives, RRI 30/1.

119. Tenth Annual Report of the Scottish Board of Health, 1928 (Edinburgh).

120. Orr, J. B., “Milk Consumption and the Growth of School Children,” Lancet 1 (1928): 140141 and 202–3; Orr, J. B., Leighton, G., SirMackenzie, L., and Clark, M. L., “Milk Consumption and the Growth of School Children,” in World's Dairy Congress–1928: Report of Proceedings, Great Britain, June 26th–July12th (London, 1928), 778786; Orr, J. B. and Leighton, G., “Scottish Milk-feeding Investigation in Schools,” Journal of State Medicine 37 (1929): 524547; Leighton, G. and Clark, M. L., “Milk Consumption and the Growth of School Children: Second Preliminary Report on Tests to the Scottish Board of Health,” Lancet 1 (1929): 4043.

121. Leighton and Clark, “Milk Consumption.”

122. Anon., “The Dietetic value of Milk and Milk Products,” Lancet 1 (1928): 193194; Anon., “The Virtues of Milk,” Lancet 1 (1929): 2829.

123. Parliamentary Debates, 235 (1930), c. 634. A further £2,500 came from the Central Advisory Committee of the Distress in Mining Areas (Scotland) Fund and from private donations. Jenkinson, “Scotland's Health,” 245–48.

124. Leighton and McKinlay, “Milk Consumption,” 2.

125. For further details, see Pollock, “Two Controlled Trials.”

126. Leighton and McKinlay, “Milk Consumption,” 3.

127. Ibid., 11.

128. Ibid., 20. The interest in raw and pasteurized milk is explained in Atkins, “The Pasteurization of England.”

129. Bartlett, S., “Nutritional Value of Raw and Pasteurized Milk,” Journal of the Ministry of Agriculture 38 (1931): 60; Fisher, R. A. and Bartlett, S., “Pasteurized and Raw Milk,” Nature (18 04 1931): 591592; Student, “The Lanarkshire Milk Experiment,” Biometrika 23 (1931): 398406; Taylor, J., “Milk Tests in Lanarkshire Schools,” Nature (21 03 1931): 466, and (18 April 1931): 591–92; Pollock, “Two Controlled Trials.”

130. He was a Conservative member for Glasgow, Kelvingrove.

131. Parliamentary Debates, 232 (1929/30), c. 1222.

132. Section 6(2) of the Act.

133. Eaton to Pelham, 31 December 1929; Eaton to Stocks, 1 January 1930, NA, ED 50/79.

134. Eaton to Stocks, 1 January 1930, NA, ED 50/79.

135. Peck (Second Secretary, Scottish Education Department) to Stocks (Assistant Secretary, Treasury), 24 December 1929, NA, ED 50/79.

136. Dallas to Trevelyan, 3 December 1929, NA, ED 50/79. Dallas was member for Wellingborough (1929–31).

137. Trevelyan to Dallas, 7 December 1929, NA, ED 50/79.

138. “Record of Meeting between President of Board of Education and the Agriculture Committee of the P.L.P.,” 8 April 1930, NA, ED 50/79.

139. W. R. Richardson to Maudslay, 28 November 1930, NA, ED/50/79.

140. Jenkinson, “Scotland's Health,” 249–50, erroneously claims it as a “pilot project” for the 1934 Milk Act, although it is true that Elliot was behind both.

141. Certified milk had to be from tuberculin-tested cows, i.e., tuberculosis-free, and also of a high bacteriological standard. Parliamentary Papers 1929–30 (127) i. 753; Parliamentary Papers 1929–30 (76) v. 611.

142. British Medical Journal 2 (1933): 272.

143. Memo to Inspectors E. No 309, 23 July 1930, NA, ED 50/79.

144. Chief Medical Officer of the Board of Education, The Health of the School Child, 1935 (London, 1936).

145. NMPC Council, 22 November 1932, NA, MAF/52/7, TD/428B.

146. Elliot to Wood, 2 March 1936, NA, MH 79/347.

147. Welshman, John, Municipal Medicine: Public Health in Twentieth-Century Britain (Oxford, 2000), 182.

148. National Archives of Scotland, GD1/41/1–4.

149. Dwork, “War Is Good for Babies,” 222, refutes Bentley Gilbert's claim that the origins of the British welfare state lie before 1914. She prefers to see World War I as the hinge point. For a discussion of the similarly fundamental changes that took place during World War II, see Titmuss, Richard, The Problems of Social Policy (London, 1950), 509513.

150. Harris, “The Health of the School Child,” 121–24. Expenditure on feeding may well have declined earlier if it had not been for the demand created by hardship during the dispute. For the limited nature of school feeding generally in the interwar period at a time of widespread need, see Webster, “Saving Children.”

151. Paper for Principal Assistant Secretaries' Committee, “Methods of Co-operation with the Ministry of Health on the Subject of Milk,” 14 June 1920, NA, MH 56/74 and ED 50/79; Board of Education, Regulations for the Training of Teachers: Hygiene Syllabus (London, 1919), section 6: “Welfare of Infants and Young Children,” NA, MH 56/74.

152. When bottled, milk was easy to distribute to children, without the expense of preparation and cleaning facilities required for dinners.

153. Memo by S. H. Wood, 5 December 1929, NA, ED 50/79.

154. Parliamentary Debates, 244 (1930), cc. 1863–64.

155. Petty, “The Impact,” 169–72.

156. For a full discussion of the economic motivations for the expansion of school milk, see Atkins, “Fattening Children.”

157. Atkins, “The Milk in Schools Scheme, 1934–45.”

158. Titmuss, “The Problems of Social Policy,” 510.

159. For more on the image of milk, see McKee, Francis, “The Popularization of Milk as a Beverage during the 1930s,” in Smith, D. F., ed., Nutrition in Britain: Science, Scientists and Politics in the Twentieth Century (London, 1997), 123141.

160. Clark, Frank Le Gros, Social History of the School Meals Service (London, 1948).

161. Vernon, James, “The Ethics of Hunger and the Assembly of Society: The Techno-Politics of the School Meal in Britain,” American Historical Review 110, no. 3 (2005): 32 paras, (accessed 24 March 2006).

162. Burke, Catherine, “Contested Desires: The Edible Landscape of School,” Paedagogica Historica 41 (2005): 571587.

163. For a similar conclusion, see Webster, “Government Policy”; and Atkins, “Fattening Children.”

164. The basis for making these estimates is presented in Atkins, “Fattening Children,” 57–78.

165. Ibid., 64–65.

166. For instance, the formation of the Milk Marketing Boards.

167. Pickstone, John, “Production, Community and Consumption: The Political Economy of Twentieth-Century Medicine,” in Cooter, Roger and Pickstone, John, eds., Companion to Medicine in the Twentieth Century (London, 2003).

168. For more on this, see Atkins, “Fattening Children.”

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Journal of Policy History
  • ISSN: 0898-0306
  • EISSN: 1528-4190
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-policy-history
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