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School Children (Spectacles)

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 31 May 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that school children are being retarded educationally by reason of long delay in provision of and replacement of spectacles; and whether he will take action to ensure priority of supply in such cases.

I very much regret these delays. Arrangements have now been made by the opticians and their manufacturers to give priority in very urgent cases, and especially to school children whose vision would suffer seriously without glasses.

While I realise the difficulty of fixing priorities in this matter, could my right hon. Friend say what is the principle on which priority is decided—youth, or age, or order of application, or what?

The variety of cases which require priority is so great that, of course, it would be impossible to have any uniform scheme.

Will our foreign visitors be incommoded by these priorities being granted to those who pay for this scheme?

I am afraid I have never encountered these mythical visitors who are able to wait long enough to get glasses in this country.