§ Geraldine Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what volume of mail was handled by Consignia and its predecessor in(a) 1996, (b) 1997, (c) 1998, (d) 1999 and (e) 2000. 
§ Mr. Alexander
This is an operational issue for Consignia.
The company has provided the following information, which can be obtained in its report and accounts.
Million Total inland letters (first and second class)1 International letters (number of letters posted)2 1996–97 16,251 785 1997–98 17,423 815 1998–99 17,934 830 1999–2000 18,738 839 2000–01 19,092 772 1The basis of calculation for inland letter volumes has been changed for 2000–01. Previous years' figures have been restated to reflect this change. 2 Items are outbound from the UK only. For 2000–01 the basis of calculation for international letter volumes has been changed. Previous years' figures have been restated to reflect this change.