§ Mr. Tom Clarke
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will indicate the average time taken by his Department to provide a substantive answer to letters from right hon. and hon. Members during the 12 months period to the latest available date.
§ Mr. Younger
A precise reply could not be produced in respect of the period stated without disproportionate cost. A random sample, however, taken for the period from 1 May 1984 to 30 April 1985 suggests the average time from the date of a Member of Parliament's letter to the date of a substantive reply was about 27 days.