Page 15 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 1 - 5
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these questions which are being put to this Court by the Board of Trade, and which have been enumerated by the Attorney-General. Mr. Thomas Lewis: My Lord, I desire to make an application to represent the British Seafarers’ Union. The President: How does that differ from the other Union of Sailors and Firemen? Mr. Thomas Lewis: It is a distinct organisation, my Lord The President: It may be a distinct organisation, but what is the difference between the two? Mr. Thomas Lewis: The same class of men are catered for in the organisation, but the British Seafarers’ Union represents a large number of the crew. My friend represents a certain number and my organisation represents about 200 members of the crew, about 60 or 70 of whom are survivors. That is on the Sailors’ and Firemen’s section, and I ask on behalf of the British Seafarers’ Union to be allowed to represent them. Mr. Clement Edwards, M.P.: My Lord, I appear on behalf of the Dockers’ Union, a number of whose members formed a part of the crew, some of whom were drowned and some of whom survived. Mr. L. S. Holmes: My Lord, I appear on behalf of the Imperial Merchant Service Guild, which is a society of officers of the mercantile marine, numbering over 15,000. The second, third, fourth, and fifth officers, who are survivors, are members of that Guild, and the chief and first officer and sixth officer, who are dead, were also members of that Guild, and on their behalf I apply for leave to appear, to represent them at this Inquiry. Mr. Botterell: My Lord, may I say that I appear here upon instructions on behalf of the Chamber of Shipping. They are anxious to give your Lordship and the Commission any assistance and information they can, and therefore I ask that I may be allowed to appear on their behalf in case any questions arise upon which you may require any assistance. The President: Mr. Botterell, what is the object of the Association which you are representing? Mr. Botterell: It is the Chamber of Shipping, my Lord. The President: In this connection I mean? Mr. Botterell: Directly, I do not suppose they have any interest in the Inquiry at all, but indirectly, the President of the Chamber thought, as they represent the shipping of the United Kingdom and take a great interest in the matter, it would be as well for them to place themselves at your Lordship’s service in case you should require any assistance from them. The President: Now, Mr. Attorney, subject to anything you may have to say, I propose to allow the National Sailors’ and Firemen’s Union to be represented; and I propose also to allow the Chamber of Shipping, as I think you called it, Mr. Botterell, to be represented. With regard to the others, if during the Inquiry it occurs to me that it is desirable that they should be represented, then I can take care that the bodies concerned should be communicated with; but I do not feel disposed at present to have more than the two I have mentioned represented, and I will not do that until I have heard whether you have any objection to it, Mr. Attorney. The Attorney-General: No, my Lord, I raise no objection. The President: Do you see any objection to it, Sir Robert Finlay? Sir Robert Finlay: I am quite content to leave it on the footing your Lordship has suggested. Mr. W. M. R.. Pringle, M.P.: My Lord, may I make a further submission to you? I think that the Ship Constructors’ and Shipwrights’ Association has a somewhat special interest - The President: You must not argue the question again. I thought you had said what you wanted to say. Mr. Thomas Lewis: I am not quite clear, my Lord, with reference to your reply to the Attorney- General. Do I understand that your Lordship will allow the British Seafarers’ Union to be represented here? The President: No, not at present. I may later on.
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