asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why it took him until 16 April to send a formal acknowledgement letter stating the matter would receive attention to the communication from the hon. Member for Newham, North-West dated 19 March, enclosing one from the Reverend D. O'Hanlon S.C.C.; and whether he will expedite replies in future.
It is the practice in the Home Office for letters from hon. Members to be formally acknowledged on receipt by means of a printed card. I am sorry that it has not yet been possible to send the hon. Member a substantive reply to his letter and that an interim reply should have been delayed by pressure of work within the Department. The matter raised by the hon. Member is being looked into and a full reply will be sent to him as soon as possible.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why it took him until 16 April to send a formal acknowledgement saying this matter would be receiving attention to the letter dated 4 April from the hon. Member for Newham, North-West; and whether, in the light of the fact that it is now taking between six weeks and two months to get any substantive reply from his Department, he will expedite replies to correspondence.
It is the practice in my Department for letters from hon. Members to be formally acknowledged on receipt by means of a printed card. The letter of 16 April to which the hon. Member refers was sent when it became apparent that, because of the need to consult the governor of Pentonville, there might be some delay in sending a full reply. A substantive reply was, in the event, sent on 23 April. Bearing in mind the volume of correspondence received in my Department I am satisfied that letters from hon. Members are dealt with as expeditiously as possible.