HL Deb 06 July 1900 vol 85 cc759-63

Order of the Day read for receiving Report of Amendments.


In moving the reception of this Report, I should wish to give the noble Lord who represents the Homo Office an opportunity of saying a

by the discussion which has taken place. I hope the noble Viscount will not press his motion, but if he does I shall feel it. my duty to vote against it.

On Question, their Lordships divided:—Contents, 62; Not-Contents, 59.

Grafton, D. Falkland, V. Hylton, L.
Frankfort de Montmorency, V. Kenmare, L. (E. Kenmare.)
Abercorn, M. (D. Abercorn.) Hutchinson, V. (E. Donoughmore.) Kilmaine, L.
Winchester, M. Leconfield, L.
Sidmouth, V. Macnaghten, L.
Amherst, E. Templetown, V. [Teller.] Massy, L.
Annesley, E. Monck, L. (V. Monck.)
Bandon, E. Aldenham, L. Monckton, L. (V. Galway.)
Dartrey, E. Ardilaun, L. O'Neill, L.
Kilmorey, E. Brodrick, L. (V. Midleton.) Ponsonby, L. (E. Bessborough.)
Londesborough, E. Carysfort, L. (E. Carysfort.) Rathdonnell, L.
Lucan, E. Castlemaine, L. Rossmore, L.
Mar, E. Clonbrock, L. Sherborne, L.
Mayo, E. [Teller.] Crofton, L. Somerhill, L. (M. Clanricarde.)
Morton, E. De Freyne, L.
Portarlington, E. De Mauley, L. Stanley of Alderley, L.
Rosse, E. de Ros, L. Stratheden and Campbell, L.
Sandwich, E. Digby, L. Templemore, L.
Winchilsea and Nottingham, E. Dunalley, L. Tredegar, L.
Dunleath, L. Tyrone, L. (M. Waterford.)
Fermanagh, L. (E. Erne.) Ventry, L.
Bangor, V. Grey de Ruthyn, L. Wemyss, L. (E. Wemyss.)
Clancarty, V. (E. Clancarty.) Harlech, L. Worlingham, L. (E. Gosford.)
Halsbury, E. (L. Chancellor.) Onslow, E. Churchill, L. [Teller.]
Devonshire, D. (L. President.) Romney, E. Dinevor, L.
Cross, V. (L. Privy Seal.) Selborne, E. Glenesk, L.
Spencer, E. Greville, L.
Beaufort, D. Waldegrave, E. [Teller.] Hay, L. (E. Kinnoul.)
Northumberland, D. Yarborough, E. Heneage, L.
Herries, L.
Lansdowne, M. Portman, V. Hood of Avalon, L.
Zetland, M. James, L.
Hopetoun, L. (E. Hopetoun.) (L. Chamberlain.) Kintore, L. (E. Kintore.)
Pembroke and Montgomery, E. (L. Steward.) Lawrence, L.
Leigh, J.
Abingdon, E. Addington, L. Monk Bretton, L.
Bradford, E. Alverstone, L. Monkswell, L.
Carrington, E. Ashbourne, L. Montagu of Beaulieu, L.
Clarendon, E. Ashcombe, L. Mostyn, L.
Coventry, E. Balfour, L. Norton, L.
Denbigh, E. Belper, L. Reay, L.
Kimberley, E. Brampton, L. Ribblesdale, L.
Mar and Kellie, E. Brassey, L. St. Oswald, L.
Morley, E. Brougham and Vaux, L. Windsor, L.
Mount Edgcumbe, E. Burghclere, L.
Northbrook, E. Calthorpe, L.

word as to what the Home Office has done with regard to the suggestions made in the Standing Committee upon Clause 8.


With regard to Clause 8, I should like to draw my noble friend's attention to this point. All provisions now existing in private Acts with regard to crematoria which are of a like purpose to those which are in this Bill will be overruled. On the whole, I think that that is perfectly right, especially with regard to bye-laws and matters of that kind. But in Clause 3 the powers of a burial authority to provide and maintain burial grounds is made to include the provision of crematoria. Now, I presume that the result of that would be, that any burial authority will have power to raise money for the provision of such crematoria under the Public Health Act; but it may be that the existing authorities have power to raise money for the same purpose—that is a "like" purpose—under their private Acts in another way. Now it is possible that these crematoria may be in process of erection at the present time. The money which the authority would naturally obtain under the provisions of their private Act would be partly raised for the purpose of their crematoria. I think it is rather doubtful, as soon as this Act passes, if those powers would remain valid at all, and if the authority would not have to come under the Public Health Act to raise what they required. That would obviously be inconvenient. I suggested to my noble friend that he should ask the Local Government Board whether there is anything in my point; I am not quite certain that there is; but I think it is one that ought to be carefully considered; and if there is anything in it possibly he may be able to suggest an Amendment, or I should be very happy to co-operate with him in amending the clause.


With regard to the question asked by the noble Lord opposite (Lord Monkswell) I can assure him that the Home Office have very carefully considered the suggestions made in the Standing Committee with regard to alterations in Clause 8. The first suggestion made was that the private and local Acts which it is proposed to repeal should be placed in a schedule, and the second suggestion was with regard to the word "like." The Home Office have carefully considered both these points, and are not able to accept them, for these reasons, which I think will commend themselves to the House. It is quite unprecedented in any Bill of this sort—a public Bill—in repealing local Acts to schedule those Acts, and indeed, on consideration, it would be seen that it was a very inconvenient and dangerous course, because, although it may be perfectly possible to know what the particular local Acts are which have passed lately, it may be dangerous to schedule the Acts because of the possibility of leaving out very small local Acts which may contain these powers without it being known; and it is thought that it is not desirable to attempt to schedule any local Acts when some might be omitted. With regard to the other point, it was objected that the word "like" was a somewhat indefinite word. I am, however, assured that the phraseology which has been adopted in this clause is precisely the phraseology of another Act, the Infectious Diseases Notification Act, and that in that case to inconvenience has been found. As a matter of fact the word "same," which was the word that would seem to be the natural one to be adopted, would not be convenient. This Bill is a general Bill for the purpose of making general regulations referring to all crematoria. In each of the local Acts they have only got their special powers with regard to the crematoria under their own jurisdiction. Therefore the word "like" is thought to be more convenient than the word "same." With regard to the point raised by the noble Earl the Chairman of Committees, I will certainly take care that it is inquired into in some way. Of course I am not responsible for the Local Government Board, but the matter shall be brought before them. I may point out, however, that this Act docs not come into force until the 1st day of April next, which would leave nine clear months after the Bill became an Act, and probably any financial arrangements which were in course of procedure could be completed within that time; and even if thas was not the case it would probably be no very great inconvenience, if the matter had to be put off longer, that the remaining sum had to be raised under the general Act rather than under the local Act.


I do not know how long the noble Lord thinks it will take to obtain the opinion of the Local Government Board on this matter. The session is now getting very much advanced; I am told that there is a possibility of this Bill passing this year if it leaves this House at once. I do not know whether there is any objection to taking the Third Reading on Monday.


With regard to what the noble Lord said as to the chance of the Bill passing this session, I was asked by the Secretary of State to say that, although the Home Office had moved a great many Amendments in this Bill, which they thought necessary in case the Bill passed at all, they do not wish it to be understood that they necessarily will take any responsibility with regard to the future procedure on the Bill.

Bill to be read 3a on Monday next.