HC Deb 21 May 1896 vol 41 cc71-2
MR. JOHN BURNS (Battersea)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether he can give the House any information with respect to the alleged breaches of the Burial Acts in the village of Swanscombe, in Kent; whether he is aware that Edith Laura Hodge, who died on 26th March 1893, is registered as buried on 1st April 1894; that the entry in the register of the burial of James Godwin, who was buried on 1st August 1895, has been so altered as to be illegible; that Robert M'Intosh and Ann Hoadley, not being members of the same family, are registered as having been buried in the same grave on consecutive days; and that William Brown, who was buried on 29th December 1894, is entered in the register as bured in the wrong grave, and the actual place of burial registered as unused, and that an inspection of the burial ground has been made under the direction of the Burials Department of the Home Office in February last, and whether the above statements were brought before the Inspector at such Inquiry; whether a Report has been presented to the Home Office by their Inspector; and, whether the Report will be furnished to the Parish Council for Swanscombe, being the authority charged with the rectifying the mistakes in the burial books of the parish.


The Inspector was directed by me to report on the state and condition of the burial ground, and whether the regulations of the Secretary of State have been observed and complied with; and I have received a preliminary report from him which shows that serious irregularities have occurred. The inspector's detailed report, however, has not yet reached me, nor have I had an opportunity of consulting him since the hon. Member gave notice of his Question. Until I have that report before me, I am unable to give the hon. Member an answer with regard to the several points raised in the Question, or to say whether it will be for me to take any action in the matter.