HC Deb 01 December 1949 vol 470 cc1294-5
2. Mr. Francis Noel-Baker

asked the Minister of Labour how many men, women and girls he estimates are now employed by football pool promoters.

Mr. Isaacs

Separate employment statistics are not maintained for football pool promoters. Information specially collected earlier this year about employment by the larger promoters would suggest that about 25,000 persons were employed, of whom probably 90 per cent. were women and girls.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Do my right hon. Friend's latest figures show a reduction in the labour force employed in this industry, and has he any plans for re-deployment of the labour force now employed by this entirely unproductive and, under its present management, rather undesirable business?

Mr. Isaacs

My original reply made it clear that we do not keep separate returns, and that I base these figures on an investigation made earlier in the year, which we have not repeated. As regards the second part of my hon. Friend's supplementary question, unless these people offer themselves for employment at the employment exchanges, I have no power to take them out of their jobs.

Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

How many people have been diverted from productive industry as the result of those figures my right hon. Friend has mentioned?

Mr. Isaacs

It is only fair to state that a great number of these people are unsuitable for other employment, because some of the pool promoters have agreed to take only such people as we say are unemployable elsewhere.