HC Deb 23 March 1882 vol 267 c1668

asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether his attention has been directed to a Paper read on March 9th at the Opthalmological Society of the United Kingdom, by Dr. C. E. Fitzgerald, on a case of remarkable deficiency of acuteness of vision in a seaman, published in the British Medical Journal of March 18th; and, whether he would state the tests which are applied by the Board of Trade officials to discover the visual acuteness and colour sight in seamen and Railway officials?


Sir, my attention has been directed to the paper; but I am sorry to say that, in consequence of its being reported in technical and scientific language, I have not been able to ascertain exactly in what the defective vision referred to consisted. In regard to the second Question, I may say that all persons applying for certificates as masters or mates have to undergo examination for colour blindness, and ordinary seamen may undergo such an examination if they choose. The tests are made by means of coloured cards, coloured glass, and, in some cases, coloured wool; but no provision is made for testing visual acuteness. As regards the examination of railway officials, the Board of Trade have no power.