HC Deb 04 March 1957 vol 566 c13W
Mr. Allaun

asked the Secretary to the Treasury why, on 22nd February, 1957, the Treasury Solicitor, as administrator of the estate of Agnes Lily Nish Davies, deceased, refused to allow Alderman Samuel Sidebotham of Stockport, the deceased's nearest blood relation, to inspect the personal effects left by the deceased; and whether he will take steps to ensure that the Treasury Solicitor, in administering the bona vacantia of deceased persons, will not, in future, prohibit inspection by the deceased's near blood relations of the deceased's personal belongings, such as family photographs and private letters, which, although worthless to the Crown, may be of sentimental value to the relations.

Mr. Powell

The estate of an intestate, where there are no blood relations with a legal interest in the estate, falls to the Crown asbona vacantia. The Treasury Solicitor, as administrator of the estate, has discretion to allow inspection of the personal belongings and papers of the deceased; and in this case Alderman Sidebotham was informed that, should any papers of family interest be found among the deceased's effects, they would be preserved and made available for his inspection at a later stage.

I am sending the hon. Member further details of this particular case.