HC Deb 15 March 1945 vol 409 cc362-3
4. Mr. Touche

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will take steps to expedite replies sent by himself and the Parliamentary Secretary to Members of Parliament regarding the cases of constituents, as at present there is frequently a delay of some weeks in dealing with comparatively simple cases and such delay often causes hardship to the constituents concerned.

Mr. Bevin

These apparently simple cases nearly always involve local enquiry to establish the facts and the careful review of action taken. I can, however, assure my hon. Friend that the prompt handling of correspondence is a matter to which I give constant attention.

Mr. Touche

Is my right hon. Friend aware that, in one case, which is causing great anxiety to a soldier at the front, and concerns the whole future of his business, it took six weeks to get a reply?

Mr. Bevin

I know it took a long time in that case, but, if my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary had sent the first answer which was submitted by the Department, my hon. Friend would have been totally dissatisfied with that answer. It was sent back for reconsideration, and, I think, the right answer was given finally, to the satisfaction of everybody.

Mr. Keelinģ

Is my right hon. Friend aware that 24 hours are frequently lost because a letter which has been signed by the Minister or his Parliamentary Secretary one afternoon, is not despatched until the following morning, or even afternoon?