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Animal Health Division (Veterinary Surgeons)

Volume 440: debated on Monday 21 July 1947

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54.

asked the Minister of Agriculture how many appointments for veterinary surgeons in his Animal Health Division are unfilled; and what salaries are being offered for these posts.

There are about 140 vacancies on the permanent staff, of which 75 are at present filled by temporary officers. These vacancies are in the basic grade for which the salary scale in the country is £520 for men of 25 rising to a maximum of £960. The salary is slightly higher for veterinary surgeons stationed in London and certain provincial cities.

Does my right hon. Friend regard this basic salary as sufficient considering the long training and the responsibility of the work involved?

My advisers are satisfied that these salary scales are regarded as satisfactory when compared with those of other professional and scientific civil servants.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that, in some ways, it is more important to be a "vet." than to be a doctor because the "vet's" patients cannot tell him what is wrong with them; and, further, will he not have a look at these salary scales because they compare unfavourably with those for doctors?

I certainly do not disagree with the first part of my hon. Friend's question.