asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that the National Veterinary Medical Association have called upon their members not to apply for the posts of veterinary inspector in his Department that are now being advertised; and what action he proposes to take.
Yes; and I sincerely regret that the National Veterinary Medical Association should seek to organise a boycott of my Department's efforts to recruit an adequate staff of veterinary inspectors. For some weeks the Association have been conducting a campaign that is deliberately designed to influence their younger members against taking up service in my Department. Their aim has been clearly expressed as being to demonstrate that the increased salaries that are now being offered will not attract a sufficient number of suitable candidates; they have also misrepresented the facts in material respects. The scales of salary that now obtain show increases ranging from about 30 per cent. to 45 per cent. on the prewar scales and compare favourably with the salaries of other technical and scientific officers of the Civil Service. I should like to take this opportunity of making it clear to all concerned that I shall not be prepared to re-consider them as a result of any boycotting tactics on the part of the Association.