HL Deb 04 May 1948 vol 155 cc619-34

3.20 p.m.

House again in Committee:

Clause 8:

Use of descriptions as to professional status.

(2) If any person who is not for the time being registered in the Register of Veterinary Surgeons takes or uses the title of veterinary surgeon or any name, title, addition, or description calculated to lead to the belief that he is registered in that Register, he shall be guilty of an offence.

EARL DE LA WARR moved, in subsection (2), after "surgeon" to insert "veterinary practitioner." The noble Earl said: This Amendment concerns a point about which we had considerable discussion on Second Reading, and I do not think it necessary to weary your Lordships by repeating at too great length the arguments that were then used. Briefly, the purpose of the Amendment is to remove from the description of unregistered animal practitioners the word "veterinary." As the Bill is drafted, the unregistered practitioner is to be known as "veterinary practitioner." It was made clear during Second Reading that few people in the countryside get any further in their description of the man who treats their animals than the single-syllable word "vet." Whether we put "practitioner" or "surgeon" after "veterinary" does not matter at all. The noble Viscount, Lord Bledisloe, has pointed out that "practitioner" goes a great deal further and gives a much wider description of an unregistered man than the word "surgeon" which is to be applied to the registered man.

In view of the length of training which the registered veterinary surgeon has to undergo and of the fact that, apart from its immediate results, one of the main purposes of the Bill is to give greater certainty and status to the whole veterinary profession, I appeal to the noble Earl to reconsider this matter. I know how closely he and his Department are in touch with the profession, and I do not think it necessary to tell him what infinite reassurance such a course would give them. In the Amendment which my noble friend Lord Bledisloe had wished to move (though unfortunately he is not here to-day), he spoke about a "veterinary associate."

"Practitioner in animal medicine "or" practitioner in animal diseases"—I do not mind which term we adopt, if it saves using the word "veterinary." This is an important matter. I have spoken very briefly because I think we have already said what there is to say. Once again, I appeal to the noble Earl to treat my plea seriously and with sympathy. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 7, line 36, after ("surgeon") insert ("veterinary practitioner").—(The Earl De La Warr).


I should like to support this Amendment moved by my noble friend. It is a matter of real importance, which affects a class of the community doing invaluable service to agriculture. I do not wish to cover the ground already traversed thoroughly during Second Reading, but I wish to emphasise everything that my noble friend said in moving the Amendment. It is a matter of substance, and I hope that the Government will see fit to give way on this, if not strictly according to the words put down in the Order Paper, then at least in the sense indicated by my noble friend.


I hope that my noble friend the Parliamentary Secretary will resist this Amendment. In the first place, this is only a question of nomenclature. I think the case has been given away on that ground by the noble Viscount, Lord Bledisloe, in the Amendment which was down on the Order Paper in his name but which he did not move, and which was referred to by the noble Earl, Lord De La Warr. In his Second Reading speech, the noble Viscount, Lord Bledisloe, said that the operative word objected to was "veterinary." This is, after all, a common adjective in the English language, yet on that word he hinged the whole of his argument. In his Amendment, however, the noble Viscount conceded his case for the unqualified man by incorporating "veterinary" in the description "veterinary associate." If an unqualified veterinary practitioner can be called a veterinary associate, I see no reason why he cannot be called a veterinary practitioner.

There are other and stronger grounds for resisting the Amendment. As the noble Earl has said, this has been the subject of considerable controversy, and there has been arrived at, by the give and take of everybody concerned—


I hope the noble Lord is not trying to imply that there is any agreement on this point. He says "there has been, arrived at" and implies something has been arrived at, presumably in agreement. If so, I will give him the lie direct.


If the noble Earl will allow me to conclude my remark, he will hear exactly what I am going to say. The present Bill, with all its clauses, is an agreed Bill, as the noble Earl himself said on Second Reading. The title which has been accorded to the unqualified veterinary practitioner has been the subject of agreement by all the animal societies, as my noble friend, Lord Amwell, said on Second Reading in, if he will allow me to say so, a very broadminded speech. And I am informed that as late as Thursday last the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, at their council meeting, decided that they would not oppose at the present time the title that is in the Bill. So I do not know on whose behalf the noble Earl is speaking when he says that this has not been the subject of agreement. Surely if the Council of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons have agreed, that means the agreement of the profession. I think the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons show infinite wisdom and public spirit in this. It is a gesture which does them credit and adds considerably to the fair name of an honourable profession.

As all spokesmen on behalf of the qualified veterinary surgeon have said, the veterinary service could not exist without the unqualified man. We all hope that the day will come when the only people who practise veterinary surgery will be qualified surgeons. I made that quite plain in the Amendment which I moved to Clause 5. I must confess that, as a humanitarian, I am horrified that operations on animals still have to be carried out by unqualified men, by methods which the qualified man would never adopt. But we cannot hope in this country ever to reach the ideal until the number of veterinary surgeons has been increased. Veterinary surgeons themselves have to rely to a large extent upon the help and assistance of these men. Why not give them a title which is a differentiation from "veterinary surgeon," but which still gives them some standing and is a title of which they can be proud while they are so closely associated with this profession? I do not have to remind many noble Lords in this House that this battle was fought thirty years ago on the Act which regulates the profession of dental surgery. Then, the unqualified dentists, or dental practitioners, or whatever you like to call them, were not allowed to call themselves dental surgeons, but could call themselves anything other than that. It has been the accepted practice in this country for years. I would repeat that I think the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons have performed a great public service in agreeing to this, and it will enhance their prestige, certainly in the eyes of the ordinary person, who always has a great deal of sympathy for the under-dog. For those reasons I hope my noble friend on behalf of the Government will resist this Amendment


It is quite correct, as the noble Lord, Lord Lucas, has said, that this is an agreed measure. Upon this question of a title, I can assure noble Lords that the Society who have had as much to do with the negotiations as any-one are willing to accept the term "veterinary practitioner." I am fully aware of the fact that it is part of a compromise which was not in substance originally acceptable to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. However, I feel that the noble Earl, Lord De La Warr, is making rather too much of his assumption that the use of the word "veterinary" by technically unqualified practitioners would be a matter of injury to the profession. I see no reason for it at all. It is the correct word for one who is dealing with the treatment of animal diseases. I do not imagine hat the monopoly of such a word as "veterinary" amounts to very much, so far as the future and development of the profession itself are concerned.

The main reason why I rise is to point out that this Amendment relates to Clause 7, and not to the clause which puts upon the second register those who have been engaged in veterinary practice, apart from animal welfare societies. Therefore, since the one Society which trains its practitioners, and trains them very thoroughly indeed—the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals, in which, as I said on Second Reading, I have a personal interest—spends practically as much time, and certainly as much money, in the training of trainees as the College (I will explain the point in a moment, if it is not clear), there is some justification for giving those men the prestige of this title. The trainees of the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals are paid. They are kept, and all the payments incidental to their training are undertaken by the Society. It costs about £1,000 for a veterinary surgeon to go through his course of training. It will be appreciated that it costs the Society much about the same sum when you realise that there are four-and-a-half years of training and, in addition, refresher courses afterwards, the whole of the expense of which is borne by the Society. I will not enter into the general question of the comparable values of the training courses of the College and of the Society, but the course certainly guarantees that the practitioners of the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals are, at least, very highly trained men. Whether the training satisfies the College or not is rather another matter. They are highly trained men in all respects, with the exception of training in regard to farm animals. From that point of view, I do not feel there is much point in denying them the right to the use of the word "veterinary," since the coupling of the word "practitioner" with "veterinary," to my mind, sufficiently guarantees the Society against any question of misrepresentation on the part of anyone. The Bill itself does that in the restrictions it employs in its terms. I would support the rejection of this Amendment.


I must apologise to the Committee for not being present when this Bill was called, but I was attending another meeting concerned with the preservation of the countryside in England. Personally, I like neither the word "veterinary" nor the word "practitioner." As has already been pointed out, the only valid reason for using the word "veterinary" in this connection is that it appears to be the one word in the English language which indicates a person who deals with the ailments of animals. Until we can find some other word, I admit that it must be difficult to move an Amendment which will be of a convincing character both to the profession and to the Ministry of Agriculture.

I dislike the word "practitioner" because it gives the senior title, as it were, to a person who, so far as nomenclature goes, is only a surgeon. A "practitioner" is a larger term and, on the face of it, indicates higher and wider qualifications than those of a mere surgeon. A practitioner may be held to be both an animal doctor and a surgeon. Therefore, it gives to the more humble person, admittedly without full qualifications, a more important designation than that given to the person who has achieved the highest qualifications, and who is able to call himself a member of a qualified veterinary profession. I cannot help wondering whether it may not be possible, between now and Report stage, to find some description for these more humble veterinarians, may I call them—these more humble animal doctors (I must not call them animal practitioners, apparently) which will satisfy all parties, without appearing to do any injury to the prestige and the importance of the truly qualified veterinary practitioner. For my part, I am inclined to support my noble friend Lord De La Warr, but not at the cost of wrecking the Bill.


This question is probably the most difficult we have had to face in drawing up this Bill. The point at issue is the question of the name of the unregistered veterinarian, or whatever you may call him. First, I would like to suggest to the noble Viscount, Lord Bledisloe, that the title "surgeon" is really more important than the title "practitioner." For example, in the dental profession a dental surgeon has become recognised as being of much higher standing than a dental practitioner. I do not know whether it is exactly the same in the medical profession, but I should imagine that there the surgeon is regarded as the expert, in a higher category than the medical practitioner. In general, with the force of precedent behind it, I should have thought that by now a surgeon was definitely established as being the higher grade. The difficulty, as the noble Viscount has pointed out very clearly, is to find an alternative word. The word "veterinary" is the one word in the English language which clearly relates to animal diseases; we have no other word which does that. When we come to the suggestion in the Report, I think that "animal practitioner" is about the most lamentable name that could be devised. It conjures up the vision of a Beatrix Potter world—the spectacle of a dog going around with a black bag. It would be impossible to foist such a title upon a serious professional man. Even if we have "practising in animal diseases," one might ask, "How do you practise in animal disease?" One gets into a bog, a morass of difficulties, if one uses that name. It I would be terrible if one thought of oneself, or any farmer or breeder of animals, being called an "animal landowner" and being on an "animal register." I suggest that "animal" is not a practical word.

There are, however, more serious objections to it which I should like briefly to advance, as I realise that there is a very strong feeling indeed upon the subject. The Bill has two objects. The first is to provide more extensive and better education; the second is to provide a new status to the qualified men in the profession by preventing unqualified men starting up in the future. In doing this, we deal with the existing unqualified men who have been practising, perhaps, for many years and to whom practice is their only means of livelihood. We have said that in future there shall be no more unqualified men entering the profession; that those who are entered in the Supplementary Register must be of good character and, with certain limitations, must have been in practice for seven out of the last ten years; and, moreover, that it has to be their main means of livelihood. They will then be given a status and a name which will accurately describe their activities. We also bring them under the discipline of the Royal College. They have to accept the rules and practices of the Royal College, and pay a fee. There is a definite quid pro quo, in the fact that they are given a status and that they have to obey all the necessary rules. I think one must accept that as a reasonable compromise and solution to the problem.

The other point I should like to mention is the one brought up by my noble friend Lord Lucas—that the same problem arose in connection with the Dentists Act, 1921, when a large number of unqualified men were in practice. The question was how they should be brought within the provisions of the Act, and how, in future, the profession could be restricted to fully trained and qualified men. After a great deal of discussion it was decided to restrict the title of dental surgeons to the qualified men, and to allow the others to call themselves what they liked, whether it was dental practitioner, dentist, or anything of the kind. By now that question has ceased to be a problem, and I suggest to your Lordships that after some years this present difficulty will also cease to be a problem. It is not a permanent position which we are creating. It is a temporary situation. We are dealing fairly with the men—and Parliament has always insisted upon great fairness to those who are restricted in their profession. At the same time, we are building up a fully trained and qualified service which should be of great use and a source of pride to us in the future. In those circumstances, I beg the noble Lord not to press his Amendment.


I think this is rather a sham fight, because we all know that we are determine to have this Bill upon the Statute Book and to do nothing that will hold it up. Perhaps, in the interests of accuracy, I might let your Lord-ships know what in fact the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons said the other day. It was this: That this Council……believing also that opposition in regard to the title to be conferred on unqualified practitioners..…might indefinitely postpone the passage of the Bill into law, withdraws, with reluctance, its opposition to the title. Whether the noble Lord likes to score that up as agreement or not, it is to my mind a clear way of stating, shall we say, a semi-truth. The National Veterinary Medical Association said on April 23: This Council deplores the application of the title 'veterinary practitioner' to unqualified persons, as is proposed by the Veterinary Surgeons Bill, 1948. I say that because, whatever line we take, the House should not be induced to take it by being told that there is agreement where there is not. There is not agreement; but there is great enthusiasm for the other provisions of the Bill, and I do not propose to do anything which will hold up the passage of the Bill. I therefore beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.


The word "agreement" does not necessarily mean compulsion.


When I was making my speech to the Committee, and I said that my information was to the effect that the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons had decided that they would not oppose the Bill as it stands at present, the noble Earl, Lord De La Warr, interjected and said that if I wished to imply that that was agreement—which I do imply—he would give it the lie direct. I think that perhaps I should offer the noble Earl the opportunity of withdrawing the imputation that I was telling a lie to the Committee.


I think we had better leave it to Hansard.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 8 agreed to.

Clause 9 agreed to.

Clause 10 [Term of office of members of Council and filling of casual vacancies]:


This is a purely drafting Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 9, line 19, after ("the") insert ("transitional provisions and the")—(The Earl of Huntingdon.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 10, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 11 agreed to.

Clause 12:

Transitional provisions as to members of Council appointed by universities and colleges.

12.—(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the universities of Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool and London may appoint persons to be members of the Council of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons notwithstanding that no order under section one of this Act has come into operation.

3.48 p.m.

LORD HARLECH moved, in subsection (1), after "London" to insert "and Wales." The noble Lord said: I put this Amendment down in order to obtain from the Minister in charge of the Bill in this House some further statement as to the present attitude of the Ministry of Agriculture towards the repeated representations from Wales in regard to the application of the Bill upon its educational side to Wales, and for the representation of Wales on the body set up under the Bill. When the second Loveday Committee reported and recommended the creation of new veterinary faculties at Cambridge and Bristol, and the development of one at Glasgow in addition to Edinburgh, there was an outcry in Wales. The Association of Local Authorities, the county councils, the Welsh Farmers Union—supported in this case by the National Farmers Union—and everybody else, joined in an agitation about the matter, and I led a deputation to the Ministry to see the present Minister of Agriculture. In this we were supported by every Member of Parliament for Wales—every Member of the Welsh Parliamentary Party, Labour Liberal and Conservative.

May I warn the noble Earl that Wales is not going to rest there? We have to-day fewer "vets" in proportion both to our animal and to our human numbers than have England and Scotland. That is the first point. Secondly, we see a great urge by Parliament to set up or expand veterinary education in England and Scotland, while we in Wales have been left out. The problem is a greater one still in the more remote farming areas, for there we have the linguistic problem also. It is true that to-day there are few monoglot Welsh-speaking people, but in a great many of our animal-breeding areas in the mountains of Wales the first language of the rural population is still Welsh. We want a proportion, at any rate, of qualified "vets." who can communicate with the farmers in their first language. That, I think, is a perfectly reasonable proposition.

Then there is the university point of view. I speak as pro-Chancellor of a university and Chairman of all its bodies. In my university we have a research department in animal life, staffed by fully qualified and experienced veterinary surgeons, as well as biochemists, agricultural chemists and the like, and we have devoted some years to experiments in the improvement of pasture, and so on. We must remember that, for climatic and soil reasons alone, Wales will always be primarily an animal producing country. Moreover, with the exception of South-West Scotland, we are further ahead than anywhere in England or Scotland in the eradication of some of the bovine diseases—though at this moment we are held up by a shortage of "vets." There are all too many cases of young Welshmen who entered veterinary courses in England or Scotland before the war and who cannot now get in to complete their education. We are faced with the fact that England and Scotland are urgently requiring "vets." and that they are naturally considering their own clientele and their own needs first. Can we not have persons who qualify through Welsh secondary schools? I want to know what steps the Ministry of Agriculture will take to ensure that boys of Welsh domicile and origin, and certainly some who speak Welsh, can get a veterinary education. There is strong feeling on this point in the Principality, and we had hoped that before the introduction of this Bill we should have converted the Minister of Agriculture—who has some Welsh blood in his veins—to our point of view. Our needs are genuine, real and clamant at this moment; and before this Bill leaves your Lordships' House I should like to have some reassurance that our case is not hopeless. We hope that we may before long rank with Bristol and with Cambridge, who are being brought into the veterinary field for the first time in history. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 10, line 3, after ("London") insert ("and Wales").—(Lord Harlech.)


I should like, as convincingly as I can, to support the argument put forward by the noble Lord, the pro-Chancellor of the University of Wales. He and I are much in the same position, because I happen to have been until recently the pro-Chancellor of Bristol University. The University of Bristol intend, without any mandatory instructions under this Bill or otherwise, to set up at the earliest possible moment a faculty of veterinary science, whatever other universities may do. I presume that at any rate South Wales will come more or less under Bristol University for this purpose. For my own part, I live on the borders of Wales; we are separated from Bristol by the Bristol Channel and by the Estuary of the Severn; and I do not think that whatever Bristol may do in the matter of veterinary training will satisfy, either now or hereafter, the ambitions of Wales in connection with separate veterinary status in its own university.

The noble Lord, Lord Harlech, has particularly emphasised the progressive attitude of Welsh counties in relation to animal diseases. I am able to testify that the competition which was started only the year before last by the Royal Agricultural Society of England, with a view to encouraging the different counties to eliminate bovine tuberculosis, has for two years running, been won by a Welsh county—by Carmarthenshire to start with, and then by Cardiganshire; and in each case Pembrokeshire was a very good second. It is clear, therefore, that in that part of Wales, at any rate, there is an earnest desire to be progressive in the matter of eliminating animal diseases. Another reason why I should like to see a distinct and separate university unit for veterinary training in Wales is that Wales has distinctive types of animals, such as its cattle and sheep, its cobs and ponies. Therefore, apart from considering the important matter of language, we have to remember that there is no part of the United Kingdom in which there is a greater pride, a local pride, in the peculiar merits of the animals than there is in regard to those that are raised preponderantly in the Welsh districts. This seems to me to be a strong reason for allotting to Wales the privileges which we are now going to allot through the universities to other parts of Great Britain. I suppose there is no one in the veterinary profession who has worked harder and with greater knowledge in this connection than Professor Share Jones, F.R.C.V.S. He is an eminent member of the veterinary profession and it would be a well-deserved tribute to him if, during his lifetime, this concession were made to Wales.

4.0 p.m.


I feel some hesitation in speaking on this Amendment, with two pro-Chancellors opposing me. I think we all sympathise with Wales and with the desires which agitate the breasts of Welshmen. I should like to congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Harlech, upon his extremely brilliant and able advocacy in pleading their cause with such fire and consistency. In regard to this particular Amendment, the noble Lord will have noticed that Clause 12 deals with the transitional state. It is not the permanent state with which we are concerned; it is, in fact, a transitional arrangement, and there is nothing in the Bill to prevent the wishes of the noble Lord, Lord Harlech, from being realised. There is no reason at all why, in the future, other universities, including the University of Wales, should not set up veterinary faculties and train veterinary surgeons. This is merely the beginning of the whole business. On those grounds, I suggest that this is not a necessary Amendment to the Bill.

In this clause, the reason for allowing the universities to appoint persons to be members of the Council during the transitional period is that there are now under way a good many schemes on which we shall need professional advice from the universities. Therefore, it was thought that we would need qualified people from the universities to advise on the questions which arise; and we chose those six universities because they have already gone a long way, as the noble Viscount, Lord Bledisloe, will agree with me, in the steps which they intend to take to absorb the veterinary colleges of the present day. As those steps have been taken, these universities seemed to be the obvious bodies to send representatives during the transitional period. If we extended the present group to include Wales, or anywhere else, then there would be nothing to stop every other university pressing for some sort of representation during the transitional stage, and that would, in my view, be unwise and impracticable.

I do not want to go into the complete question of the rights of Wales. I express myself as being fully in sympathy with the views of the noble Lord, but we have been guided very much by the Love-day Report on the subject. That Committee laid down, clearly and emphatically, that in the initial stages it would be better to have Liverpool as the training ground for North Wales, and that Bristol was the university best situated to cope with the undergraduates not only from the south and south-western counties of England but also from the southern counties of Wales. After all, Bristol is the complete geographical centre. It would be just as hard for Somerset, Dorset and Cornwall to go to Cardiff—far harder than for Cardiff to go to Bristol. In regard to the cattle and sheep population, I think the south-western counties of England have nearly three times as great a population as the six southern counties of Wales. On those grounds, and as an initial step, the Loveday Committee said that that was the best and optimum plan. We have adopted their Report. I should like to emphasise again that this is only a transitional period; there is nothing to stop Wales in the future from pressing her claim or to prevent an extension of veterinary education throughout the country in other universities. On those grounds, I hope that the noble Lord will be pleased to withdraw his Amendment.


I put this Amendment down solely for the purpose of having some discussion on this point, to make it quite clear that the door is still open for representation. All we want is to ensure that, when it comes to the University Grants Committee—we do not know what the Government will give for veterinary education—we shall be treated on the same terms as Bristol and Cambridge, when that issue is fought out. I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 12 agreed to.

Clauses 13 and 14 agreed to.

Clause 15:

Proceedings of Disciplinary Committee.

15.—(1) Before exercising the power of removing the name of a person from the Register of Veterinary Surgeons the Disciplinary Committee shall hold an inquiry and shall afford the person concerned an opportunity of being heard, either in person or by counsel or a solicitor.

THE EARL OF HUNTINGDON moved to add to subsection (1). Provided that nothing in this subsection shall require or authorise the Disciplinary Committee to investigate any facts where under the Agreement set out in the Schedule to the Veterinary Surgeons (Irish Free State Agreement) Act, 1932, a report made by the Eire Veterinary Council to the Council of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons is conclusive as to those facts.

The noble Earl said: This is a minor Amendment which merely affects the Disciplinary Committee in Eire. The present practice is that a Committee consisting of three members of the Eire Veterinary Council of (whom one has to be a member of the Council of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) together with two members of the Council of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, decide questions of breach of discipline by Irish or Eireann veterinary surgeons. The Eire Council may take the decisive step of striking the man off their register, and they then forward the information to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in England, who decide whether they, in turn, should strike the man's name off their register. In regard to the facts of the case, this clause lays down that the facts will be taken as reported by the Eire Veterinary Council. It merely avoids the necessity for re-investigating the facts of the case. I beg to move this Amendment.

Amendment moved— Page 11, line 42, at end insert the said proviso.—(Lord Huntingdon.]

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 15, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 16 to 26 agreed to.

Clause 27 [Exercise of powers of Privy Council]:


This is purely a drafting Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 16, line 27, leave out from beginning to end of line 33, and insert:

  1. "(1) Any power conferred on the Privy Council by this Act may be exercised by any two or more of the Privy Council.
  2. (2) Section eighteen of the Veterinary Surgeons Act, 1881 (which contains provisions as to the exercise by order of the powers vested in the Privy Council by that Act) is hereby repealed. "—(The Earl of Huntingdon.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 27, as amended, agreed to.

Remaining clauses agreed to.

First Schedule [Treatment and operations which may be given or carried out by unqualified persons]:


On this Amendment, it is not necessary for me to add to what I said before. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 18, line 2, at end insert:



—(Lord Lucas of Chilworth.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

LORD LUCAS OF CHILWORTH I take this opportunity of thanking my noble friend for accepting this Amendment. I hope that at some time in the not too distant future, with the increase in the number of veterinary surgeons, His Majesty's Government will see their way clear to revising the Table in this Schedule. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 18, line 22, at end insert:


Exclusions from provisions of Part I.

Nothing in paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of Section five of this Act shall authorise the castration of any animal mentioned in the following Table after it has reached the age shown therein.

Horse, pony ass or mule 2 years
Bull 15 months
Goat 15 months
Ram 15 months
Boar 9 months
Cat 6 months
Dog 6 months').

—(Lord Lucas of Chilworth.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

First Schedule, as amended, agreed to.

Second Schedule [Exemption from restrictions on buying and selling poisons, etc.]:


This Amendment enables veterinary practitioners to obtain the necessary drags which they need for their profession. I think your Lordships will agree that: his is necessary if they are to carry out their work. For those reasons, I beg to move.

Amendment moved—

Page 18, line 26, leave out from ("In") to end of line 29, and insert ("the Pharmacy and Poisons Act, 1933.—

  1. (a) in Section nineteen, in paragraph (a) of subsection (1);
  2. (b) in Section twenty, in paragraph (3);
  3. (c) in Section twenty-three, in subsection (1), in sub-paragraph (ii) of paragraph (b);
  4. (d) in Section twenty-five, in subsection ten; and
  5. (e)in Section twenty-nine, in the definition of 'dispensing,' after the words 'veterinary surgeon' there shall be inserted the words 'or veterinary practitioner' ").—(The Earl of Huntingdon.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Remaining Schedule, as amended, agreed to.

House resumed.