§ MR. DARLING
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department a question of which I have given him private notice. It is whether his attention has been called to the statement that the coroner for Greenwich has been asked to deliver up the body of Martial Bourdin, and that the Anarchists of London propose to make it the occasion of a public funeral; whether there is not reason to suppose that Martial Bourdin came by his death in the course of a felonious act; and whether his own death, resulting from this, would not properly be found to be felo de se? In that case, does not the law provide for the disposal of the body? I wish further to ask whether the right hon. Gentleman will interfere in this matter, having regard to the action which the French Government found it necessary to take in the case of the Anarchist Vaillant?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. ASQUITH, Fife, E.)
I only received notice of this question this morning. From such inquiries as I have been able to make it appears that the coroner has made the usual order for the body of this man to be delivered up to 851 his relatives, but that his relatives have not yet claimed it. If they do not do so the body will he buried by the Parish Authorities. I know nothing of any proposed demonstration by Anarchists as referred to by the hon. Member. In reference to the other part of the question, I may say that it, is not usual in the case of an adjourned inquest to make the disposal of the body await the verdict of the jury, a course that would be attended by inconvenient results. I do not know any ground for departing from the ordinary practice on the present occasion.
§ MR. DARLING
The circumstances of this case, after all, being somewhat unusual, may I ask whether there is not power for the coroner, under Geo. IV., c. 52, to order the disposal of this body as being that of a person dying felo de se?
§ MR. ASQUITH
That would certainly be a most extraordinary proceeding, considering that the jury have not yet found a verdict of felo de se. I do not know whether the hon. Member proposes that either I or the coroner should keep the body above ground until the jury has found a verdict.