HC Deb 22 April 1948 vol 449 cc155-6W
Mr. Sharp

asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the average time taken by his Department to answer letters from Members of Parliament; to what extent the existence of a Central Register, with a staff of approximately 400, contributes to the delay; and what remedial action he proposes taking.

details of stores and equipment of a military nature which have been sent to Czechoslovakia since VE-day, showing the dates on which such stores or equipment were despatched from this country.

Mr. H. Wilson

In the case of a number of articles such as aircraft, vehicles, clothing, radio and electrical equipment, it is not possible to determine on export the precise use to which they may be put, and the Trade and Navigation Accounts do not attempt to distinguish between civil and military types.

The following table gives particulars of the exports of arms, ammunition and military and naval stores for the period March, 1946, to February, 1948. There were no exports between May, 1945, and March, 1946.

Mr. H. Wilson

The average length of time during March, as far as can be ascertained by a sample analysis, was about 19 days. There is no central registry; and any delay is not due to preliminary sorting. Many letters call for detailed investigations which necessarily take some time. I hope that measures now being taken will reduce the delay in other cases.