POINT OF ORDER – WRITTEN ANSWERS – 12 November 2007
Dr Julian Lewis: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Are you aware of the league table that has been compiled by my hon. Friend the Member for Forest of Dean (Mark Harper) showing the very wide variation in departmental substantive answers to written questions? Whereas some Departments, such as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, give more than 80 per cent. of substantive answers on the due date for a named day question, the Ministry of Defence is the worst of the lot, with only 22 per cent. One of the answers that I received recently was to a question asking the Ministry of Defence whether, when it responds to an hon. Member by referring them to a previous written answer to another hon. Member's question, it would make it its policy to include a copy of that answer in with its reply. The reply to that was one word: “No.” Is there any reason you can think of for this discourtesy to hon. Members?