HC Deb 08 December 1949 vol 470 cc160-1W
Commander Noble

asked the Minister of Education whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that 30 to 40 per cent. of applicants to join the Royal Navy are refused through inability to meet the required educational standard; and what remedies are proposed.

Mr. Tomlinson:

My noble Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty informs me that the percentage of applicants for entry as regular naval ratings or other ranks, Royal Marines, who are rejected on educational grounds is more nearly 20 per cent. The Royal Navy has, however, at present no difficulty in obtaining the total number of regular rating recruits needed, and the educational test is one way of relating the supply to the demand. Moreover, the standard of the educational test varies with the branch for which the applicant applies. In these circumstances I consider that the figures are hardly relevant to the standard of the public educational system.