§ MR. WATT (Glasgow College)
To ask the hon. Member for South Somerset, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture, whether, in view of the fact that there are at present forty-three lay inspectors in the animals' division of the department who administer the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Acts, he will give a preference to veterinarians for these appointments if he can get them on the same terms as the lay inspectors; and will he explain why veterinary surgeons are not appointed to these positions.
(Answered by Sir Edward Strachey.) The question of the employment of veterinary surgeons on the non-professional business which our inspectors are called upon to perform has often been considered, but experience has 360 shown that, as a rule, they are not so well suited to the work as men possessing qualification of a more general character. The non-professional inspectors are selected after personal inquiry and scrutiny by the President of the Board for the time being, and nearly all of them possess a knowledge or have had practical experience of agriculture.