HC Deb 01 August 1962 vol 664 cc566-7
19. Captain Litchfield

asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty if, in view of the large number of candidates rejected for service in the Royal Navy through inability to satisfy the eyesight requirements, and the resultant loss of good men to the Service, the will authorise a review of these standards.

Mr. C. Ian Orr-Ewing

Yes, Sir. These like all other naval entry standards are constantly under review and it has recently been decided to lower the eyesight standard for the junior electrical branch, all categories of the engineering branch and all artificer apprentices. Candidates for all these branches will now be permitted to wear glasses.

Captain Litchfield

While I agree that Lord Nelson did quite well with only one eye, may I ask my hon. Friend if he will be careful not to go too far in relaxing the standard in branches where two good eyes are essential, whether any other branches are to have the standard relaxed, and also whether recent rejects will be considered if they apply again?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

Yes, Sir. We shall communicate with recent rejects to see if they wish to apply again. The question of extending relaxation in the other branches is being examined and I will bear in mind the point made by my hon. and gallant Friend about the need for good eyes in some branches. I have been trying for three-and-a-half years to get some relaxation here and I am delighted that at last we have done it.