§ 9. Mr. J. H. Hollins
asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he will seek the amendment of the Regimental Debts Act, 1893, under which funeral charges constitute a first charge against the estate of service personnel, and especially the 1945 abolition of the Regulation which in effect compels a service man to provide his own coffin?
§ Sir A. Sinclair
The Regulations provide for Service funerals at public expense in the case of all deceased airmen. When the relatives do not desire a Service funeral, a grant is made from public funds. Funeral expenses are a preferential charge against the estates of all deceased persons, and when these are not chargeable to public funds the Regimental Debts Act applies this rule to deceased members of the Forces. The arrangement is of long standing, and I see no reason for making a change.
§ Mr. Hollins
Will the right hon. Gentleman instruct his Department not to send letters to relatives of a dead man stopping £6 4s. 6d. for his coffin?