asked the Minister of Agriculture why he intends to appoint to the position of Assistant County Agricultural Officer (Executive) to the Caernarvonshire Agricultural Executive Committee a person with no knowledge of the Welsh language.
My right hon. Friend is advised, in making these appointments, by selection panels. The Selection Panel in this case included representatives of the Caernarvon Agricultural Executive Committee. They interviewed both English and Welsh speaking applicants and unanimously recommended for appointment the person deemed to be the best qualified for the post.
While in no way impugning the technical qualifications of the gentlemen appointed, may I ask my hon. Friend to explain how this officer is expected to conduct conferences and interviews in a county where 95 per cent. of the farming community is Welsh speaking?
There are two points to bear in mind about that. This officer has been with the Committee for three years, and in a very senior post in which he got along quite well; secondly, the appointment is really that of an internal administrative officer much more than a field man outside.