HC Deb 25 June 1852 vol 122 cc1299-301

Order for Committee read.

House in Committee.

Clause 2.


said, he wished to inquire whether the Proviso proposed by the hon. Member for the Tower Hamlets (Sir W. Clay) to prevent the erection of shops and dwelling-houses upon private burying grounds that might be closed under this Bill, was to be inserted. He asked that question, because he was informed by a gentleman who was the proprietor of a private burying ground, that he intended to lease that land for building purposes, although used as a place of interment for a great number of years. He (Viscount Ebrington) understood that the Government had assented to the insertion of the Proviso. He would feel it his duty to press the Proviso, if not assented to by the Government.


said, he would appeal to the recollection of every Member of the Committee whether such assent had been given to the insertion of the hon. Baronet's Amendment. On the part of the Government, he (Lord J. Manners) told the Committee that the Government could not sanction its introduction into the Bill; and to that declaration he now adhered.


said, he could corroborate the statement of the noble Lord (Lord J. Manners). Of course, if the noble Viscount (Viscount Ebrington) should persevere with his (Sir W. Clay's) Proviso, he should feel it his duty to support him; but he confessed he felt considerable difficulty with respect to it. He thought it would be a most extraordinary violation of public decency, if private burial grounds were to be let for building purposes.


said, he should move the Proviso, as an addition to Clause 2.

Amendment proposed— At the end of the Clause, to add the words, 'Provided that no Burial Ground in the Metropolis where Burials shall have been discontinued by such order as aforesaid, shall be allowed to have any dwelling-house, shop, or warehouse erected thereon.'


said, he should certainly regret if the closed burial grounds were to be let out for building purposes. In a sanitary point of view, it would be unfortunate if these spaces were blocked up with buildings.


said, he was of a similar opinion. It would be far better if the closed graveyards were planted with trees than with houses.


said, he thought it would be better not to adopt the Proviso. The owners of these burial grounds were not at present prevented from building over them by any positive law, but they were prevented from committing such an act of desecration by a feeling among the public, which might be considered higher than the law. In his opinion they would do well to allow public feeling to continue to deal with the matter. The compensation in question could not be paid out of the public taxes, and he believed that great opposition would be offered to any attempt to take the money out of the poor-rates.


said, that although he had himself suggested the adoption of the Proviso, he could not help thinking that there would be no use in pressing it to a division.


said, he had proposed to compensate owners out of the Consolidated Fund, because he knew of no other fund out of which compensation could be taken. He did not think that parishes would agree to give compensation out of the poor-rates, and he trusted the Proviso would be withdrawn.


said, he thought the charge of the compensation might be spread over the whole of the metropolitan parishes.


said, he felt bound to support the Proviso, and to guard against the possibility of so irreverent a proceeding as a desecration of those burial grounds.

Question put, "That those words be there added."

The Committee divided:—Ayes 21; Noes 80: Majority 59.

Remaining Clauses agreed to.

House resumed; Bill reported as amended;—Read 3° and passed.