§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why it took until 2 September to send his letter PO(MIN)2323/16 to the hon. Member for Newham, North-West pursuant to his parliamentary reply on 29 July, Official Report, c. 670, and the hon. Member's letter of 155W 31 July, regarding over-charging by opticians; what was contained in this reply that could not have been sent earlier; and whether he will expedite his replies to correspondents in general and to hon. Members in particular.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
While we make every effort to reply to correspondence as quickly as possible, its volume is such that delays cannot always be avoided. I am sorry that I was not able to reply to the hon. Member's letter quite as quickly as I would have wished.