HC Deb 08 February 1967 vol 740 cc1631-2
15. Mr. Macdonald

asked the President of the Board of Trade within what period his Department expects to give a reply to an inquiry from a potential exporter about tariffs and import regulations in a West European country.

Mr. Jay

Of 14,000 tariff inquiries dealt with last month, half were answered at once by telephone. Most written replies go out in three or four days. But where inquiry has to be made in the foreign country, there can be appreciable delay.

Mr. Macdonald

In thanking my right hon. Friend for that reply, may I ask what steps he has taken or what machinery he has instituted to satisfy himself that the standards for written replies to which he has just referred are maintained?

Mr. Jay

We are continually reviewing this position, but 7,000 replies virtually instantly out of 14,000 is a quite good record. I will certainly follow up what my hon. Friend has said.