HC Deb 24 July 1941 vol 373 cc1055-7
53. Sir T. Moore

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland why the recently constituted Agriculture Improvement Council for Scotland, consisting of 13 members, does not contain one member of the veterinary profession, despite the fact that the profession is represented on the parallel body constituted for England and Wales; and that animal farming is proportionately more important in Scotland than in England?

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Wedderbun)

The composition of the Scottish Agricultural Improvement Council is as follows: —

  • The Secretary of the Department of Agriculture for Scotland, who is Chairman.
  • Three members of the governing bodies of the Agricultural Colleges who are also practical farmers.
  • Three senior members of the teaching staff of the Agricultural Colleges.
  • Two members of the Agricultural Research Council.
  • One representative of Scottish farm servants.
  • Two members of the Department of Agriculture who have technical qualifications.
The Secretary of the Council is an officer of the Department of Agriculture, but he is not, of course, a member of the Council. My right hon. Friend did not give special representation to any particular branch of science but selected persons who were competent generally to discharge the functions for which the Council was set up. The Council will, of course, call into consultation specialists on any subject, veterinary or otherwise, on which they may require information or advice.

Sir T. Moore

While I thank my hon. Friend for information which I have not really asked for—the composition of this Council—does he not recognise that this failure to put any veterinary officer on this body is casting a very serious slur on a distinguished profession, and is also causing a certain amount of alarm to the animal farming community of Scotland, who feel that their interests will not be adequately represented unless there is a veterinary representative on the body?

Mr. Wedderburn

I do not think so. There are a great many branches of science, including veterinary science, whose advice will be of the highest value and which will be sought. I do not think that the relations of the Council will be adversely affected by its membership not being overcrowded with specialists.