§ MR. HALLEY STEWART (Lincolnshire, Spalding)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether he has now received further representations relative to the desecration of the vault of the Combe family in Hemel Hempstead Church, to the effect that the coffins were removed and broken up, and the lead sent away by railway, the remains in such coffins being placed in a hole in the churchyard; whether an official inquiry into the facts of the case has been asked for by a descendant of the Combe family; and, if so, whether such inquiry will be instituted?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. MATTHEWS) (Birmingham, E.)
Yes, Sir. I have received the representations mentioned in this Question from a person claiming to descend from the Combe family. The circumstances referred to by the complainant are, however, disputed by the incumbent. If there has been, in fact, a removal of remains such as is complained of, I may point out that there is a legal remedy by summary proceedings prescribed by Statute. If an ecclesiastical offence has been committed, the matter is for the Ordinary, who, I learn, is making inquiry. Therefore, I do not propose to take any action.