HL Deb 07 March 1901 vol 90 cc768-74


Order of the Day for the Second Beading road.


My Lords, the object of this Bill is to provide for the regulation of the burning of human remains, and to enable burial authorities to establish crematoria. This power is at present exercised in many large towns under the various provisions of different private Acts of Parliament. As the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack stated last year* it is much better, both in order to save expense and also for the sake of uniformity, that the practice of cremation, which is a rapidly growing practice, should be conducted under some general Act of Parliament. It is proposed by this Bill that cremation should be partly under the jurisdiction of the Local Government Board and partly under that of the Home Office. The Bill provides that the plans of crematoria and the fees to be charged shall be approved by the Local Government Board, and that the Home Office shall regulate the conditions under which burning shall be permitted to take place. Clause 5 imposes penalties for any breach of these regulations; in Clause 7 it is provided that nothing in the Act shall authorise the burial authority to create or permit a nuisance: and by Clause 8 all private Act regulations are superseded by the regulations of the * See The Parliamentary Debates [Fourth Series], vol. lxxxiv., pages 264 and 1269. (For an analysis of the discussions, see heading "Cremation Bill" in the Index to that volume,) Home Office. Last year the noble Lord the Secretary for Scotland asked me to exclude Scotland from the Bill, but I have received a pressing letter from the Cremation Society of Scotland begging that Scotland may be included. On that point, however, I should be quite willing to do whatever the Secretary for Scotland may desire.

Moved, "That the Bill be now read; 2ª."—(Lord Monkswell.)


My Lords, I do not think it is necessary for me to say much with regard to this Bill, as it is framed on the same lines as the Bill which left your Lordships' House last year. It may be within the recollection of the House that, to the Bill, I moved a good many Amendments on behalf of the Home Office, the object of the, main portion of them being to make the Bill refer, not only to local authorities which in future might wish to start crematoria, but also to those local authorities which already had powers under private Acts. It was thought desirable that in regard to this matter local authorities should be subjected to general regulations made by the Secretary of State, and that crematoria established and kept up by private individuals should also be subjected to such regulations. In giving the assent of the Home Secretary to this Bill I have only to say that the right hon. Gentleman reserves the power to consider any points which may arise when the Bill reaches the other House.

On Question, agreed to. Bill read 2ª accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Monday next.