§ MR. NEWDEGATE
said, he rose to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Under what provisions of the Law is the power to grant Licences for Private Burial Grounds or Places vested in the Home Secretary, and should not such Licences be published; where does the Law require the Registers of Burials performed within such Private Burial Grounds or Places to be kept, and are there specified by Law any means by which, or conditions subject to which, the Public have the right of access to and inspection of such Registers; who are the Persons or Officers whom the Law holds responsible for the Registration of Burials in such Private Burial Grounds or Places within the Metropolitan District; the same questions with respect to Places beyond the Metropolitan District; who are the Persons or Officers whom the Law requires to make, or to afford facilities for making, extracts from such Registers, and to certify such extracts; and which of the Statutes relating to Burials apply to the 873 Registration of Burials in such Private Burial Grounds or Places; and, if no Statute applies or is sufficient to enforce such Registration, does the Government intend to introduce a Bill to amend the Law in these respects?
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
Sir, there is no express power given by law to the Secretary of State to grant licences for Private Burial Grounds; but, by the 15 & 16 Vict. c. 85, s. 9, it is enacted —That no new Burial Ground shall be provided or used in the Metropolis, or within two miles of it, without the previous approval of the Secretary of State.And by 16 & 17 Vict. c. 134, s. 6, power is given by Order in Council to prohibit the opening of a new Burial Ground beyond the Metropolis, within the limits mentioned in the order, without the same approval. Before the Act passed as to the Metropolis any Burial Ground might be opened without any approval, and this is the case still beyond the Metropolis in any place with regard to which no prohibitory Order in Council has been passed. By the 52 Geo. III. c. 146, s. 5, it is enacted that, where the burial is performed in any other place than the Parish Church, and by any other person than the incumbent, the officiating minister shall transmit to the clergyman of the parish a certificate of the burial, and the clergyman of the parish is to register it in the parish register. The same Act provides for access to and search of parish registers. The parish clergyman is charged with the custody of the register and with the duty of registering. I believe this Act is in force with regard to all Burial Grounds not provided by Burial Boards under Burial Acts, and with regard to which there are special provisions. This is independent of the registration of death required in all cases by law.
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
Do I understand the right hon. Gentleman to say, that a clergyman of the Church of England of the parish is the person responsible for the registration of burials performed by other ministers?