HC Deb 24 July 1866 vol 184 cc1442-4

(Mr. Holland, Mr. Newdegate.)


Order for Committee read.


said, it was not his intention to press the measure during the present Session, but he was anxious to remove some misapprehensions which had arisen with respect to it since the second reading. The veterinary profession had of late years grown into importance, and was rapidly advancing under its present organization; but it was necessary to draw a distinction between the old Royal Veterinary College at Camden Town, of which the right hon. Gentleman, the Speaker, and himself had been Governors for the last twenty years, and which might be regarded as the Alma Mater of the rest, and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, to which the Government of Sir Robert Peel in 1844 granted the power of issuing diplomas, and against which the opposition of some of the Members from Scotland was directed. The part which the late Professor Dick had taken with respect to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the College at Edinburgh was a matter of history; the Professor had received a memorial signed by seventy-one practitioners, all of them formerly his pupils, urging upon him that by attempting to invalidate the charter of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, which was granted in 1844, and obtained mainly at his instance, he was inflicting a serious injury on the profession, and reestablishing a system of rivalry and jealousy between the schools which had been found by experience to be most injurious to the profession. Now that Professor Dick was dead a misunderstanding had arisen, and Members for Scotland were under the impression that the hon. Member for Evesham and himself in introducing this Bill had some design to do an injury to the Scotch profession. He assured those hon. Gentlemen that there was not the slightest intention of taking any unfair advantage of the Scotch schools. It only needed the Sign Manual of Her Majesty to change the name of the school in Edinburgh, and when that school had changed its name it would stand on precisely the same footing as the Royal Veterinary College at Camden Town. It was provided by the charter granted to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons that if new schools should grow up and obtain the Sign Manual they should stand in the same position as the previously existing Colleges, and that there should be au uniformity of diploma as regarded the quantum of attainments required from all candidates for diploma in whatever colleges or schools, or by whatever means they might have attained the requisite proficiency. He hoped the Government would give an assurance that the Alma Mater of the profession, as represented by the Governing Body, should have a fair hearing before any alteration took place; and he hoped the right hon. Gentleman who represented the Education Department would give an assurance that during the recess nothing should be done with respect to the existing charter for granting diplomas to prejudice the case as it now stood.


said, there was so much discrepancy in the representations he had received with regard to this Bill from both sides of the House that it was not easy for a person not conversant with the subject to arrive at a conclusion. He was glad the hon. Member did not intend to press the measure this Session. He would give the hon. Gentleman his assurance that nothing should be done during the recess to prejudice the case, and that no charter should be granted to the Scotch college to grant diplomas.


said, he thought this was one of the most extraordinary Bills ever brought before the House, and he was sorry that the right hon. Gentleman had been rash enough to give a pledge that nothing should be done during the recess to grant a charter for the establishment of a college for Scotland and not for Edinburgh alone, though £40,000 had been bequeathed by a public spirited man for that purpose. He could only characterize the Bill as one to "repeal the Union," inasmuch as it would fine and stigmatize as an impostor every man who practised as a veterinary surgeon in Scotland or Ireland, no matter what his qualifications, if he did not hold the diploma of the London College.

Order discharged: Bill withdrawn.