§ *MR. ERNEST GRAY (West Ham, N.)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been called to the circumstances attending the death of a pauper named Richard Davey at the West Ham Union, at the inquest on whom the house surgeon of the West Ham Hospital stated that Davey's jaw was broken, and the dead man's brother stated that Davey had been buried without any notification of his death having been made to his relatives; and, whether the Local Government Board has made or intends to make an inquiry into the matter?
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. T. W. RUSSELL,) Tyrone, S
The attention of the Local Government Board has been 1507 called to the case referred to. The circumstances attending the death of the man were the subject of a prolonged inquiry by the coroner, and I am informed that the jury returned the verdict that the death was from peritonitis, and that they unanimously expressed their opinion that the officers used no more violence than was necessary to convey the deceased to the receiving wards. As regards the statement that the man had been buried without any notification of his death having been made to his relatives, the guardians inform me that when he was admitted to the workhouse in April of last year, he described himself as a widower, and gave the address of a brother residing at West Ham as his only relative. Immediately Davey was placed on the danger list by the medical officer, a messenger was dispatched to the address given with a message notifying the fact, when it was found the brother had removed to Worth Tawton, Devon, and a letter was immediately posted giving particulars of the death and date of the funeral. In the course of inquiries made by the police, it was ascertained that the deceased had a wife living at Leyton. The widow received notice at 11 a.m. on the 7th instant, the deceased being buried at 2.30 p.m. I have applied to the coroner for a copy of the depositions, and when they are received I will consider whether any further action on the part of the Local Government Board is required.