§ Mr. Steen
To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many officials he employed(a) full-time and (b) part-time in his Department in each of the last three years to answer letters sent to him from hon. Members; and what was the estimated overall cost of replying to them in each of the last three years. 
Mr. John M. Taylor
No officials are employed either full time or part time in the Department solely to answer letters from Members of Parliament. Supplying the information required to reply to such correspondence is part of the normal duties of many of the staff of the Department.
Within the Department's top level organisation which includes all Ministers' private offices approximately 10 years of staff effort are expected to be spent on processing all ministerial correspondence in 1995–96, including correspondence with Members of Parliament. However this is only part of the total staff effort spent on ministerial correspondence across the Department, a detailed estimate of which could be supplied only at disproportionate cost.