Mr. Alan Williams
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the average time for a substantive reply to be sent to hon. Members' correspondence; what proportion takes more than(a) four weeks, (b) six weeks and (c) eight weeks; and what is his estimate of the number of letters received in a year from hon. Members. 
§ Ms Jowell
I refer my right hon. Friend to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Cabinet Office to my hon. Friend the Member for Lincoln (Gillian Merron) on 11 June 1999,Official Report, columns 403–06 which sets out performance against departmental targets for answering correspondence from right hon. and hon. Members, in the 1998 calender year. More detailed information about the percentage of correspondence replied to within the time scales specified could be provided only at disproportionate cost.