I regret that no close estimate can be made, since it is impossible to foresee to what extent the prohibition of poundage charges will affect the activities of the check trading companies. Nor is it known exactly how many persons they now employ. But the number is certainly considerable and I am informed that one company alone still has over 9,000 employees. I am in consultation with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour with a view to ensuring that all persons released as a result of this measure are directed to essential war service.