HC Deb 29 June 1899 vol 73 cc990-1
SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the report of an inquest on a lead-poisoning ease held a Hanley on the 21st June, and to the remarks of the Coroner stating that an application from the Manufacturers' Association had reached him through the Home Secretary, who suggested that he should allow the Manufacturers' Association to be represented at every inquest where lead poisoning was alleged, and to the Coroner's dissent from the recognition of any such association as being in any way a party interested in individual cases; whether the Coroner has declared his intention of himself calling in a medical man in every such case to make a post-mortem examination and give evidence, without necessarily requiring the attendance of the doctor acquainted with the past history of the case who has given the death certificate; whether the post-mortem in the recent case was a mere naked eye examination; and whether he will use his influence with the Coroner to cause chemical analysis of the organs in any such post-mortem examination.


I have made inquiry regarding the case mentioned, and I learn from the Coroner that, while he objects to recognising the Manufacturers' Association, he is quite willing to allow the Secretary of the Association to appear on behalf of any manufacturer who desires to be so represented. This seems to me a satisfactory arrangement. The Coroner further informs me that he proposes to call in an independent medical man in every case of suspected lead poisoning to make a thorough post-mortem examination, and where necessary to order also a chemical analysis. I understand that in the present case he considered such analysis unnecessary. These are points, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, within the Coroner's discretion.