§ Mr. Steen
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects compensation to be paid to Mr. Michael We llum of Wren well Farm, Denbury, Devon, for his handguns surrendered on 18 August and whose claim for compensation was submitted on 21 August 1997; and if he will make a statement on the reasons for the delay. 
§ Mr. Michael
The Option A and B elements of Mr. Wellum's compensation claim in respect of large calibre handguns and his accompanying ex gratia application in respect of small calibre pistols were processed on 23 January 1998. The Option C elements of the claim and application will be considered at a later date under the published arrangements for processing compensation claims. There has been no "delay" in this case. I have explained to the House on many occasions why firearms compensation claims take time to process.