§ Mr. Tom Clarke
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the average length of time taken by his Department to respond to right hon. and hon. Members' correspondence during the summer recess.
§ Mrs. Rumbold
Information is not available for the period of the summer recess alone. However, during the period July to October 1987 the Department received over 5,000 letters which required a ministerial reply. Much the greater part of these were from right hon. and hon. Members. The average time taken for replies was 25 days.