HC Deb 16 December 1912 vol 45 c1097
67. Mr. PETO

asked whether the President of the Board of Trade can give any information as to why the tests in colour vision applied to those serving in the mercantile marine are different from those serving in the Royal Navy; whether it has been brought to his knowledge that the present wool tests, which are now in vogue at Board of Trade examinations, are wholly discredited in the way of reliability; and whether he will take into consideration the desirability of abolishing both present and proposed Board of Trade tests for colour blindness, with a view to substituting practical tests in colour vision under conditions as they prevail at sea and under the ordinary circumstances of service in the mercantile marine?


The whole question of the colour vision tests applied to candidates for certificates of competency in the mercantile marine has been fully investigated by a strong Departmental Committee, and the tests which they have recommended for adoption will be brought into force at an early date. The reasons which led the Committee to recommend these tests will be found stated in their Report. I would refer the hon. Member to the Admiralty for information as to their reasons for adopting the colour visions tests used for officers in the Royal Navy.


In view of the fact that a very large number at present employed in the merchant service may be required to enter into the Admiralty service, does the hon. Gentleman not think it desirable to have the same colour vision test in both services?


That is a question for the Admiralty. The Board of Trade is proceeding on the recommendations of the Departmental Committee.