§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection whether he will give the average time taken by his Department to send formal acknowledgements of receipt and replies to letters sent to him generally and by Members of Parliament in particular; how these times compare with a stated period as long ago as may be conveniently recorded; and what action he has taken or intends taking to expedite these replies to the taxpayer and their elected representatives.
§ Mr. Hattersley
Information in the form requested could only be supplied at a disproportionate cost. My normal practice is to send a substantive answer within 15 days of receipt of a letter. If this does not prove possible then an interim reply is normally sent. I keep the arrangements under review, but do not envisage taking any special action to expedite replies to letters received by my Department as I am confident that correspondence is being dealt with as quickly as possible within the resources available.