HC Deb 17 April 1890 vol 343 cc675-6
MR CAUSTON (Southwark, W.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the use made of the unconsecrated "Old Cross Bones" Burial Ground, in Union Street, Borough, closed in 1854, and from which the human remains have not been removed; whether he is aware that the property was sold by auction by the parish in or about the year 1886, and that since that date it has been constantly used for the following purposes, namely, penny circuses, switchback railways, waxworks and ghost shows, steam roundabouts, &c., accompanied by steam and other organs, rattles, drums, bells, and steam shriekers; and whether any existing Authority can prevent the landlord from letting the property for these purposes; and, if not, whether he will take steps to legislate in the direction of giving powers to put down this and similar proceedings.?


No, Sir; my attention has not been called to this matter, otherwise than by the question of the hon Member. I am informed by the Commissioner of Police that the property was sold to a private individual by the Trustees of the parish, and that it is used for the purposes referred to by the poorer classes, who conduct themselves in an orderly manner. It is a question of law, as to which I can give no opinion, whether the temporary erections referred to are buildings within the meaning of the Disused Burial Grounds Act, and it is left to the Local Authority or to private individuals to proceed by indictment for nuisance. The County Council are the Authorities under the Act of 1884, and I think any representation on the matter should be addressed to that Body.


The London County Council have proceeded against the tenants, but when a conviction takes place the tenant retires, and another takes his place; I want to know whether there is any way by which we can get at the freeholder?


I cannot venture to express an opinion upon a question of law like that.