HC Deb 04 April 1928 vol 215 cc1939-40

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether any inquiry has been held into the fact that out of a total, in 1926, of 1,726 invalided from the Navy for all causes of injuries and disease, as many as 386 were on account of diseases of the eye?


An analysis of the 386 cases of men who were invalided in 1926 under the heading "Diseases of the Eyes" shows that of this number 345 were due to congenital deformities of the eye, namely long sight, short sight, and astigmatism, which brought the individual concerned below the visual standard required in the rating held by him.

Five men were invalided for defective colour vision. Of the remaining 36 cases, three were due to injury, three to cataract, three to iritis, and the others to chronic inflammatory or degenerative conditions (ulcer, keratitis, retinitis, etc., etc.). In view of the facts disclosed by this analysis I do not think that a special inquiry would serve any useful purpose. The hon. Member will appreciate that the detection of latent errors of vision is not easy and that it is in consequence of the more frequent and rigorous examinations which are now held after a man has joined the Service that these defects come to light.