HC Deb 28 January 1897 vol 45 cc663-4
MR. E. BOULNOIS (Marylebone, E.)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury why any person residing or having offices within the registration limits of the metropolis who may desire to procure a certificate of birth must suffer the inconvenience and loss of time of a personal application by himself or on his behalf while those who do not, live within that area can obtain one through the post; and whether the procedure can be altered so as to relieve dwellers in London from this disability?


I have communicated with the Registrar General, and he states that the Registration Acts make no provision for searching or obtaining Certificates at the General Register Office by means of correspondence. The imperfect information possessed by applicants renders such procedure often difficult and sometimes impossible. Nevertheless, as a matter of grace, the Registrar General assists the public on the point, as far as possible. When fairly clear information is given, he causes searches to be made and certificates furnished on application through the post from the provinces, but these applications through the post add very much to the work of the office, which could not be carried on with the present staff if certificates were supplied generally through the post. The Registrar General finds it absolutely necessary, in order to prevent the obstruction of official business, that applicants within a reasonable distance of the General Register Office shall attend, or employ some one to attend personally, as contemplated in Section 37 of the 6 and 7 Will. IV., chap. 86.

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