SIR WALTER FOSTER (Derbyshire, Ilkeston)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that, notwithstanding that the Burial Act of 1900 came into operation on the 1st of January last, the Parish Council of Draycott, Derbyshire, have been required to divide their cemetery, opened since the 1st of January, into consecrated and unconsecrated parts, in accordance with a plan sanctioned by the late Home Secretary prior to the passing of the said Act; and whether, seeing that this deprives the burial authority of the discretionary power in regard to consecration given by that Act, and subjects them to an enactment which has been now repealed, he will take steps for the withdrawal of this requirement.
§ *MR. RITCHIE
The division of the burial ground in question into consecrated and unconsecrated parts was approved by my predecessor in accordance with an application made by the parish council before the Burial Act of last year was passed. I am advised that the obligation of the burial authority to proceed to the consecration of the part so approved is not affected by the passing of the Act. I may add that even under the new law the question of the consecration of burial grounds is not left entirely to the discretion of the burial authority.
In reply to a further question by Sir WALTER FOSTER, Mr. RITCHIE said he was of opinion that burial grounds approved prior to the passing of the Act must be dealt with in accordance with the old Act.