HC Deb 02 December 1970 vol 807 cc1260-1
7. Mr. Gray

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if, in view of the delays in reaching agreement over the Highlands and Islands Veterinary Services Scheme regarding remuneration for veterinary surgeons in non-viable remote areas practices, he will take steps to arrange for these negotiations to be concluded without further delay.

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

Negotiations have been resumed, and I am anxious that they be concluded as soon as possible.

Mr. Gray

My hon. Friend will be aware that this group of people play a vital part in the whole life of the Highlands and that, if something is not done quickly, these gentlemen will have to seek employment elsewhere. Will he give an assurance that he will intervene personally in an effort to reach a satisfactory conclusion?

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for what he says, and I am very conscious of the important work done by veterinary surgeons in the Scheme. I met the B.V.A. negotiators on Monday of this week, and I hope that a satisfactory solution to the difficulties can be found.