MR. CARVELL WILLIAMS (Notts, Mansfield)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the fact that the Burial Boards of Bishop's Stortford, Weston-super-Mare, Walton-on-Thames, and Aylsham are acting under tables of fees and charges in which, contrary to the Statute, fees are charged in the unconsecrated parts of their cemeteries equal in amount to the fees paid to the clergy in the consecrated parts; and whether steps have been taken to put an end to these illegal exactions; and, if so, with what results?
§ MR. ASQUITH
My attention has been called to certain irregularities in the tables of fees under which the four Burial Boards named in my hon. Friend's question have been acting. I have written to the Boards explaining 43 that the only burial fees of a compulsory character are the Board's fees approved by the Secretary of State, which are the same whether the burial is in consecrated or unconsecrated ground, and the ecclesiastical fees for interment in consecrated ground approved by the Bishop of the Diocese; and that all other payments, however customary, are entirely voluntary, and must be left to private arrangement. The Burial Boards for Walton-on-Thames and Weston-super-Mare have already submitted to me tables of fees revised in accordance with my suggestions, and I am expecting answers from Aylsham and Bishop's Stortford.