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Briefly prime minister in 1939, Dr Earle Page was minister of health in the Menzies government from 1949 to 1956. Page introduced the free milk scheme for schoolchildren in all states in 1951, but Queensland did not join the scheme until 1953, and initially only in the greater Brisbane area.
Cabinet records show Page was determined to make this a nationwide scheme. Cabinet authorised him to negotiate with the Queensland Premier to ensure the scheme was implemented throughout the state.
The scheme was administered by the states, with the Commonwealth reimbursing the cost of the milk and of delivery to all schools. The free milk came in either half-pint or one-third pint bottles.
Fifty of the 111 members of the first federal parliament were born in Britain, and sixteen of these were Scots. Of the seven members of the first parliament who became Prime Ministers, two were born in Australia (Edmund Barton and Alfred Deakin), two in England (Joseph Cook and WM Hughes) and two in Scotland (George Reid and Andrew Fisher).