HC Deb 04 June 1964 vol 695 cc1236-7
25. Mr. Holt

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce amending legislation at an early date to give discretion to coroners concerning cremation where an offence is alleged and prosecution is pending under Section 1 of the Road Traffic Act, 1960.

Mr. Woodhouse

My right hon. Friend intends, in the course of the next month or two, to make new Cremation Regulations which will include a provision giving the coroner discretion to issue at any time after an inquest has been opened a certificate which will enable cremation to be authorised.

Mr. Holt

While thanking the hon. Gentleman for that Answer, may I ask whether he is aware that in my constituency a boy died as a result of a car accident in January and that his body is still in cold storage because of an offence by his friend who was driving his car, which comes under Section 1 of the 1960 Road Traffic Act? This is highly embarrassing to all concerned. May I have an assurance from the hon. Gentleman that the amending Regulations which he intends to bring in within a month will take care of that kind of case?

Mr. Woodhouse

I am aware of the very unhappy case to which the hon. Member refers. I think that he understands the circumstances in which the case arose under the existing law. It will certainly be taken care of in the new Regulations.

Mr. Lubbock

Can the hon. Gentleman say whether the revision of the Cremation Regulations will provide for a maximum charge for death certificates in these cases? Will he also provide for only one death certificate to be issued in the case of cremation instead of two as at present?

Mr. Woodhouse

Without notice, I could not give the hon. Member an answer on those two points, but they have both been considered in the review of the Regulations.

Mr. Gresham Cooke

Will a certificate be necessary for the demise of the Liberal Party?

Mr. Woodhouse

That is not a question for me.