§ MR. JOHN ELLIS (Nottinghamshire, Rushcliffe)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been drawn to the case of one Severino Klosowski, who was convicted on the 19th March of murder by poisoning, in connection with whose trial two bodies had been exhumed after burial for some years, in respect of which grave suspicion attached to the prisoner of similar poisoning; and whether, having regard to such cases, he will take steps to secure that any rules and regulations issued under Section 7 of the Cremation Act, 1902, provide against cremation being used to destroy evidence of crime.
§ * THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. AKERS DOUGLAS,) Kent, St. Augustine's
I have prepared regulations under Section 7 of the Cremation Act, 1902, based on the recommendations of a Committee which I appointed to advise me on the 788 subject. The Report of that Committee, which has been presented to Parliament, shows that the chief point to which they directed their attention was the necessity of providing, so far as possible, against cremation being used to destroy evidence of crime. It is, of course, impossible to have an absolute safeguard under any system; but I am confident that if the bodies to which the Question refers had been presented for cremation under the proposed regulations, the inquiries to be made would have been much more searching than any required under the present system of certification before burial; and they might have led to the immediate detection of crime. The regulations will lie on the Table for forty days before coming into force.