HC Deb 10 July 1902 vol 110 cc1362-3
MR. JOHN BUTTON (Yorkshire, Richmond)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the inquest held on James Allinson, who lost his life in a quarry accident at Holwick, Yorkshire, on 2nd December, 1901. whose body was, by order of the coroner, forbidden to be taken to its home, a short distance away, on account of the county boundary intervening, and was kept in a weigh-house at the quarry; and whether he will inquire into the action of the coroner in preventing such removal.

(Answer.) I have considered carefully the papers relating to this matter with which the hon. Member has been good enough to furnish me. I am advised that, it being undoubtedly an offence to remove a body for the purpose of preventing an inquest, the coroner has a discretion to prevent any dealing with a body which might have that result. And it is also the duty of constables and all other persons to prevent, so fat-as possible, the commission of any such offence and to assist the coroner. At the same time it is clear that the discretion ought to be exercised with great care, and I feel bound to say that I deprecate the laying down of any hard and fast rule such as must inevitably, in circumstances such sis those of the case in question, cause pain and distress to the relatives, which might perhaps be avoided by some arrangement. I have no jurisdiction to inquire into the action of the coroner in this case.—(Home Office.)