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Veterinary Colleges (Government Grants)

Volume 387: debated on Tuesday 23 March 1943

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the number of veterinary students attending the Edinburgh and Glasgow Veterinary Colleges, respectively; and the total Government grants, both capital and annual, made to each of the above colleges since 1925?

The numbers of students attending the Royal (Dick) Veterinary College, Edinburgh, and the Glasgow Veterinary College during the academic year 1942–43 are 235 and 209 respectively. Government grants to the former College for the financial years 1925 to 1942 inclusive for capital and maintenance purposes amounted to £136,702. No grants from State funds were made during these years to the Glasgow Veterinary College.

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the great financial difficulties under which the Glasgow College is carrying on and that it is only able to do so because the professors and assistants are taking lower remuneration than they might expect? Will he consider the question of the Glasgow College in view of the grant given to Edinburgh?

My hon. and gallant Friend is aware that there is a long history behind this going back for 17 years, and that proposals were made to Glasgow Veterinary College that if they would reorganise and co-operate with Glasgow University, grants would be available. They did not see their way to accept the suggestion, and there the matter rests.

Was not the grant withdrawn from Glasgow Veterinary College 17 years ago in the hope that it would put it out of existence and that all the teaching would be conducted in Edinburgh? As the college still survives after 17 years, does not the right hon. Gentleman think it is time the grant was renewed?

I cannot say what purpose was in the minds of those who 17 years ago proposed that there should be only one veterinary college for Scotland. I agree that it involves a hardship to students who have to board in Edinburgh.

Will my right hon. Friend consider the matter again after this period of time and see what can be done?

It is difficult to deal with the matter by way of question and answer, but the Loveday Committee has been given an urgent recommendation to review the possibility again.