§ 6. Mr. A. J. Irvine
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is satisfied that, in arriving at decisions to issue licences under Section 7 of the Veterinary Surgeons Act, 1948, sufficient regard is had for the existing veterinary services available in the areas concerned; and if he will make a statement.
No such licences have been granted since 1952. Any new application will be considered in the light of the recommendations of the Committee set up under the chairmanship of the hon. Member for Derbyshire, South-East (Mr. Champion), which reported in that year.
§ Mr. Irvine
Will the right hon. Gentleman agree it is in principle undesirable that where a veterinary surgeon is practising in a locality and giving his services free to poorer people he should suddenly be faced with competition from another clinic in the near neighbourhood? Does not that involve waste of resources as well as some injustice to the veterinary surgeon concerned?
I think that it would be right to say that any licence granted under that Section of the Act should be granted only in the most exceptional circumstances.