§ 29. Sir John Birchall
asked the Home Secretary whether he is now in a position to take criminal proceedings against the Silkburn Coal Company for ordering their drivers to take out lorries when in an unfit condition, resulting in the death of a boy while standing on a street refuge?
§ Sir J. Simon
The question whether there are or are not grounds for a prosecution in any case is not one which I have any authority to decide, and I have no power to direct that any prosecution shall or shall not be instituted. I have, however, made inquiries about this case, and I understand the facts were as follow: The Coroner's jury found a verdict of accidental death. The Chief Constable considered the question whether proceedings should be instituted for manslaughter and took legal advice. As a result it was decided that there were no sufficient grounds for preferring a charge of manslaughter; but proceedings were taken against the company for breaches of the Road Traffic Act and resulted in a conviction.