§ Mr. Ian Bruce
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how long on average it takes his Department to answer letters from hon. Members: what target date his Department sets; what percentage receive replies within the target date; and what assessment he has made of how long it takes to deliver a letter after it has been typed. 
§ Mr. Hoon
For 1997, the average time taken by this Department to answer letters from hon. Members was approximately 19 working days. The target date for replies is twenty working days. For 1997, 76.54 per cent. of letters were answered within the target date. All letters are dispatched by the first class post or delivered by hand to the House of Commons.