HC Deb 29 November 1926 vol 200 cc958-9

I beg to move, in page 2, line 20, to leave out the word "effecting," and to insert instead thereof the word "procuring."

I move this Amendment in view of the fact that the Parliamentary Secretary for Health for Scotland who was in charge when this Bill came before the House on the 18th June, stated that he would be prepared to accept this minor Amendment standing in my name and that of the hon. Member for Stratford if we withdrew the Amendment which has just been debated by the House. The Amendment is to Sub-section 3 of Clause 2 which deals wholly with the question of where the body of a deceased person has been removed into England for disposal and no order has been given by a Coroner in respect thereof, the Registrar of the sub-district in which it is intended to dispose of the body, if it appears that the death is not required by law to be registered in England, shall give upon application by the person effecting the disposal and upon payment of the prescribed fee, a certificate to that effect in the prescribed form. The person effecting the disposal is, of course, the undertaker, but it has been pointed out that in the case of a body brought to this country for disposal it is not reasonable to expect the undertaker to obtain this certificate and to pay the fee. The Bill ought to provide that the person securing the disposal of the body should incur this expense and ought to obtain the certificate. It is quite clear that in the case of bodies brought into this country for burial there must be somebody responsible for the deceased and who ought to take on this duty and it is not fair to place that on the undertaker.


I beg to second the Amendment.

I feel sure that after the withdrawal we have made, this will be accepted. I want not to reinforce the arguments in support of it, but to amplify them, and to say that the real person effecting the disposal of the body is the cemetery superintendent. I want to submit one more hypothesis. Assuming a body comes to Southampton and is to be buried in West Ham and the relatives are in West Ham, the person effecting the disposal of the body is the cemetery superintendent. Whatever has he got to do with the rendering of the certificate in this case? The people who are concerned are the relatives, the people who procure the body. I hope the right hon. Gentleman's department will consider this and that he will give his opinion on the matter. It seems simple, but we feel that the word "effecting" should be removed and "procuring" inserted, because when you come to consider it, the persons "procuring" is certainly not the cemetery superintendent but the relatives of the deceased person.

Sir K. WOO D

After the observations that have been made, I should be prepared to accept this Amendment, and I think, after what has been said, it will carry the commendation of the whole House.

Amendment agreed to.