§ MR. T. M. HEALY (Louth, N.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if he will state the grounds on which Mr. C. Neill was ap- 1048 pointed to the veterinary inspection staff of the Irish Privy Council, while Mr. C. J. Clifford, to whom he was junior assistant in Belfast, and who was qualified as a veterinary surgeon one and a half years previously, was refused the position; and will he explain why has Captain Tuke, who is not a veterinary surgeon and who is over sixty-five years of age, been granted extension of time to the exclusion of qualified practitioners; and will the Government make known the principles on which appointments to their veterinary staff are made.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
The Veterinary Department of the Irish Privy Council was transferred to the Department of Agriculture on the 1st April, 1900, and it was subsequently to this date that Mr. Neill was appointed on the veterinary inspection staff. I am informed that Mr. Neill was appointed because he was considered to be the most suitable of the applicants. There is only an interval of four months between the dates on which Messrs. Clifford and Neill became duly qualified veterinary surgeons, but in any case these appointments are not made on the ground of seniority in the profession. The services of Captain Tuke have been retained until the 31st March, proximo, pending a settlement of the new arrange merits now being carried out in the matter of transit inspection. For the performance of his duties a veterinary qualification was not necessary.