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Official Spelling

Volume 407: debated on Thursday 19 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy that all official (a) correspondence, (b) reports and (c) documentation from his office uses the English spelling of words where this differs from the US version. [118867]

The Ministry of Defence adheres to the guidance produced by the Cabinet Office on the handling of ministerial and other correspondence which emphasises that appropriate arrangements should be in place to ensure that the quality of all replies is high. Similarly, we subscribe to the Cabinet Office guidance on plain written English. Departmental publications are prepared in line with the Guidance on the Work of the Government Information and Communication Service.The MOD supports and promotes the principles of plain English. We have in recent years won six awards for examples of good, clear written work in the Plain English Campaign's annual Government-wide "Inside Write" competition, claiming prizes in each of the last four competitions.