HC Deb 18 July 1946 vol 425 cc1363-4
22. Mr. Nally

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General what special or other facilities are provided by his Department for the posting of circulars and other material from football pool firms; what is the number of Post Office staff engaged wholly or largely in dealing with packages posted by such firms; and whether he is satisfied, in view of the present labour shortage, that such staff could not be more usefully employed.

Mr. Burke

No special facilities are provided which are not available to other equally large users of the post. I regret it is not possible to segregate staff time engaged in handling pool correspondence; the time so occupied is expected to assist materially in promoting economical staffing and in improving the duties of the Post Office delivery staff in connection with the postwar postal services now in course of introduction.

Mr. Nally

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that, in addition to circularising all their prewar clients, the pools are today sending out hundreds of thousands of packets of circulars to people who have neither asked for them nor want them, including my wife, and can we have his most specific assurance that in no circumstances, in view of the present staff shortage, will Post Office workers be diverted from essential work to handle these mountains of football pools?

Mr. Burke

They are not. The work is very carefully arranged. What happens is that in the time between deliveries, when the staff might otherwise be unoccupied, they are economically employed.