HC Deb 17 November 1966 vol 736 cc620-1
26. Sir G. Nabarro

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will now announce his decision concerning application of Mr. Granville Gardner, Offenham, near Evesham, Worcestershire, for removal of human remains interred in a shallow garden grave 45 feet from his house, the presence of which was not divulged in the title deeds, the widow of the deceased being elderly and bed-ridden; and whether he will authorise removal to consecrated ground of these human remains, under the Burial Acts.

Miss Bacon

My right hon. Friend has decided to issue a licence for this purpose.

Sir G. Nabarro

While thanking the right hon. Lady for bringing this long controversy to a conclusion, may I ask her whether she will now examine the condition of the law in regard to the interment of human remains on private property to ensure a proper interment, that the place of interment is clearly denoted and that when the property changes hands there is an appropriate entry as to the presence of human remains -in this case in a shallow grave—on that private property and that the title deeds note that fact?

Miss Bacon

I will certainly look into the matters which the hon. Member has raised, although I could not give any specific assurance about our conclusions. As the hon. Member knows, this has been a particularly difficult case because we have to consider the feelings of the widow who was elderly and the feelings of the people who bought the property and were unaware that the remains of a human body were interred in their garden, but I hope that now a satisfactory conclusion has been reached to this difficulty.

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