HC Deb 24 May 1949 vol 465 c1045
35. Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning whether he is aware of the threat to the beauty of English churchyards from black stove-enamelled headstones and other monuments devised in stone or marble imported from abroad; and what action he proposes to stop their erection.

Mr. Silkin

I am quite content to leave this matter to the judgment of the church authorities concerned, and I would deprecate any attempt to use the powers of the Act to interfere in a matter where personal feelings may be so deeply and intimately concerned.

Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

As I am sure my right hon. Friend would be one of the first to turn in his grave if one of these headstones was put up to his memory, will he make personal representations to the Church authorities to enforce the regulations and to use such facilities as are available to them to prevent the widespread desecration of the countryside by the erection of these headstones?

Mr. Silkin

I do not think I should interfere.

Mr. Keeling

Does not the right hon. Gentleman think it would be well for his hon. Friend to name the dioceses he has in mind, so that the diocesans, chancellors and incumbents may be aroused to their rights and responsibilities, if they are not already alive to them?