HC Deb 12 April 1989 vol 150 cc611-2W
Mr. Brandon-Bravo

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he will authorise any extension to the release of information from censuses more recent than 1881.

Mr. Freeman

Public access to individual census returns less than 100 years old is not generally permissible. However, I am prepared to extend the existing special arrangements which apply to the censuses of 1891 and 1901 and allow, subject to the consent of the person concerned or of direct descendant, for the release to researchers of the information recorded about that person's age and place of birth. This information may now be released also in respect of persons who die childless, provided the consent of the next of kin is given, and it will be available additionally to public trustee administrators seeking to trace possible beneficiaries to the estate of a deceased person. A charge for this service, approximating to the cost of providing it, will be made by the registrar general.