§ 26. Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what date he received from the hon. Member for Newham, North-West a letter dated 14 October 1981 regarding Ms Shirley G. of Romford Road, E7 9HJ (Ref N. L169654/9); what was the purport of this communication; why it took him until 24 November 1981 to write to the hon. Member saying the matter was receiving attention; why by 4 January 1982 no further communication had been sent; when the hon. Member may expect a substantive reply; and whether he will take action to expedite replies to the hon. Member, to hon. Members generally and to members of the public who write to his Department.
§ Mr. Mayhew
The hon. Member's letter of 14 October 1981 was received in the Home Office on 15 October and acknoW1edged that day. The case about which the hon. Member wrote raised difficult matters of law and policy, and when it became clear that it would take some weeks to resolve, he was informed on 24 November that my right hon. Friend the Minister of State would send him a full reply as soon as possible. This he did on 6 January, and he wrote again on 11 January to explain the delay.
The Home Office has a very large volume of correspondence and I am satisfied on the whole that letters from right hon. and hon. Members and from the public generally are answered as soon as practicable.