asked the Minister for the Civil Service what is the normal period of time between Her Majesty's Stationery Office receiving orders from account holders for official publications, including the Official Report, and dispatch from the office.
Mail orders for recent publications received by HMSO bookshops outside London are usually dispatched within two or three working days. In London the interval is at present about 15 working days. The poor London service at present is due to an increase in business—orders in the first quarter this year were nearly 20 per cent. up on the previous year—at a time when there are staff vacancies and it is proving difficult to obtain extra staff. Every effort is being made to recruit more staff, and to improve the situation generally.