HC Deb 22 December 1893 vol 20 cc200-1
MR. CARVELL WILLIAMS (Notts, Mansfield)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has seen, in The Daily News of 18th December, a letter of the Rev. W. Urwick, of St. Albans, stating that whereas for many years Nonconformist ministers were allowed, without payment of fees, special facilities for inspecting the Nonconformist Registers of Births, Marriages, and Deaths which in 1837 were deposited with the Registrar General at Somerset House, such facilities are now denied, and the payment of fees is required; whether, as they were so deposited at the special request of the Registration Authorities, he will make such representations to the Registrar General as will secure for those who are specially interested in them the means of referring to these Registers without payment and without inconvenience; and whether the catalogue of Non-Parochial Registers, having been long out of print, can be reprinted and sold at a moderate price?


I have communicated with the Registrar General on the subject of the question, and he states that the Non-Parochial Registers were deposited in the General Register Office under authority given by the Non-Parochial Registers Acts, 3 & 4 Vict., c. 92, and 21 & 22 Vict., c. 25, and under the provisions of those Acts the Registrar General is directed to cause lists to be made of all the registers and records, and any person is entitled, on payment of the statutory fees, to make searches and to have certified copies of the entries in those registers and records, the sinus so received by or on account of the Registrar General being paid to the Treasury. The Registrar General states that it is true that in the early days of the formation of his Department facilities were given to properly introduced persons to inspect and take copies of Non-Parochial Registers for literary purposes only. But of late years he has had neither the necessary space at his command, nor the requisite staff to enable him to give those facilities, and he is obliged therefore to refuse all such applications, and to enforce strict compliance with the statutory regulations under which certified copies are given. The Registrar General further states that the lists of Non-Parochial Registers, which are prepared for official purposes only, are sufficient and in perfect order.