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Members' Letters (Departmental Replies)

Volume 414: debated on Monday 15 October 1945

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asked the Prime Minister if he will give a general directive to all chiefs of Departments to speed up answers to letters from Members of Parliament.

I do not think any general directive is necessary. I am sure that all my colleagues will continue to impress on their Departments the need for answering letters from Members as speedily as the size of their staff and the volume of their correspondence permit.

Is it not a fact that in the old days, when there was a smaller volume of correspondence than there is now, answers to letters were very much delayed and that now, with the much increased volume, the delay is even greater? Will the right hon. Gentleman not bear this question in mind?

I shall be pleased to bear it in mind, but I gather that my hon. Friend was referring to some Government of the past.

Will the right hon. Gentleman discourage some of his colleagues from instituting rubber stamp signatures?

Is the Prime Minister aware that, although my correspondence has increased enormously, the replies from Ministers have improved enormously?