HC Deb 15 March 1951 vol 485 cc1756-7
46. Colonel Ropner

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the shortage of veterinary surgeons, he is taking any steps to increase his Department's veterinary surgeon staff.

The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Thomas Williams)

Yes, Sir. A competition for the recruitment of veterinary officers was held last summer, another is in progress, and the Ministry of Labour has been asked to submit names for temporary appointments.

Colonel Ropner

I apologise to the Minister for not being able to hear his reply, but did he say that he is satisfied that the number of veterinary surgeons will be adequately increased in the near future?

Mr. Williams

No, Sir. Unfortunately, the number of candidates is insufficient to meet the vacancies. I am hoping that we shall be able to get more veterinary surgeons.

Mr. Drayson

Is the Minister satisfied that the remuneration which his Department is paying to veterinary surgeons is equivalent to what they can get in private practice? Will he look into the question of their pay?

Mr. Williams

That is not the Question on the Order Paper.

Mr. Vane

Is the Minister satisfied that the capacity of the Royal Veterinary College is sufficient to maintain the present number?

Mr. Williams

As the hon. Member may be aware there is now a veterinary section at Bristol University, and also one at Cambridge, and I hope that fairly quickly we shall have sufficient veterinary surgeons to meet our needs.