§ MR. H. E. KEARLEY (Devonport)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture whether the Board of Agriculture has, since its formation, consisted of three divisions, the statistical, land, and veterinary; whether the veterinary division has recently been re-named the Animals' Division, and what circumstances have arisen to necessitate this change; whether he is aware that the Veterinary Profession regard the change of name of the Department with dissatisfaction, as failing to recognise the valuable national work which has, through their efforts, been achieved; whether it is intended to appoint a veterinarian to the vacant post of Director of the Veterinary Department; what officer in the meantime is entrusted with the duties performed by the late Director; and will he explain why the professional duties of the Department are now conducted 333 by two scientific officers, whereas for many years three have been employed?
§ *MR. HERBERT GARDNER
On the retirement of the late Director of the Veterinary Department in December, 1893, I found it necessary to re-distribute the business performed by the principal officers of that Department, so as to enable the scientific officers to devote themselves exclusively to work for which the possession of veterinary knowledge is requisite, and to place the business of an executive and non-professional character in the hands of the officers best qualified to perform it. These latter officers constitute the division of the office now known as the Annuals' Division, to which the term "veterinary" would have been inappropriate, seeing that the Veterinary officers have a separate status. The new organisation has been in full operation for the past 15 months, and there is no vacant post to be filled, nor is it necessary to make any new professional appointment now that the scientific officers are in a position to devote themselves to professional work. I am sorry that any members of the Veterinary Profession should have been led to regard this redistribution of business as an indication of a lack of appreciation of their work. Quite the contrary is the case, and I may say that during the present year we have been glad to avail ourselves of the services of the members of the Profession to a much larger extent than has been the case for very many years past.