§ Mr. Dobson
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the difference in status and authority between a departmental circular to health authorities and advice such as that offered in December 1985.
§ Mr. Whitney
[pursuant to his reply, 10 February 1986, c. 367]: In so far as both circulars and letters can be used to convey advice on or amplification of policies already promulgated on his behalf, the Secretary of State would expect both to carry similar weight in influencing action by health authorities. Letters are a more personal and 66W informal means of communication and, as such, would remain subject to the Secretary of State's discretion as to whether, in any individual case, they may be released more widely.