§ Fiona Mactaggart
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how long, on average, it took between refusal of settlement entry clearance at(a) New Delhi, (b) Bombay, (c) Islamabad, (d) Karachi, (e) Lagos, (f) Accra and (g) Moscow and the dispatch of the explanatory statement to the UK for statements dispatched in (i) September 1998, (ii) December 1998 and (iii) March 1999; and if he will estimate how long it will take for explanatory statements to be dispatched for refusals made in (A) December 1998, (B) March 1999, (C) April 1999 and (D) May 1999. 
§ Mr. Hoon
Information in the form requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Explanatory statements are not prepared until a Notice of Appeal against the entry clearance decision is received. The time limit for this is three months from the date of refusal. In 1998, 81 per cent. of settlement refusals worldwide resulted in an appeal.
In 1990 guidelines were introduced requiring Entry Clearance Officers to produce and submit explanatory statements to the appropriate authorities in the UK within three months of receipt of the notice of appeal.369W
The following table shows the percentage of explanatory statements submitted within three months at the posts named, during 1998:
Percentage New Delhi 85 Bombay 98 Islamabad 74 Karachi 91 Lagos 92 Accra 50 Moscow 100