Page 20 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 1 - 5
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Lordship. I do not desire unduly to prolong the Inquiry - possibly I may not call evidence - but I do desire to have an opportunity to ask questions of the Witnesses. The Commissioner: I shall see about that later on. I do not accede to the application of a single person to be represented. Mr. W. M. R. Pringle: May I be allowed to make an application on behalf of two members of the crew who were assigned to the ship in respect of the trades which I represent; one was a ship’s carpenter and the other a joiner, and I am appearing on behalf of the relatives of both the deceased? The Commissioner: There is no objection to your remaining here and listening, but I cannot at present allow you to interfere. Mr. W. M. R. Pringle: May I be allowed to put questions with your Lordship’s permission? The Commissioner: Well, that depends upon the question and upon the circumstances of the case. Those circumstances have not arisen yet. The Attorney-General: If your Lordship pleases, in the statement of the case which I shall now make to your Lordship, of course you will understand, as I indicated yesterday, that our information, that is to say, such information as I can act upon in opening the case to your Lordship, is founded at present upon very slight material. I do not feel justified in referring to press statements which have appeared, or reports in the papers of statements made elsewhere until, at any rate, I know that I shall be in a position to call as Witnesses before your Lordship those who made the statements; and therefore, although it would be an affectation to pretend, certainly as far as I am concerned, and I have no doubt also with regard to your Lordship and those who are assisting you, that you did not know a good deal more than may be stated this morning, you will understand why it is that I am confining myself to basing my statement upon evidence which I know at present I shall be able to put before you. And I think it will be sufficient for the purpose, because all your Lordship will require is a short statement of the material facts and some indication of the particular points upon which we desire to lay stress. Now, my Lord, the “Titanic” was constructed under survey in the usual way by the Board of Trade for a passenger certificate, and to comply with the American emigration laws. She was a triple-screw steamer, a British steamship built by Harland and Wolff, Limited, at Belfast, for service in the White Star Line between Southampton and New York. She was a vessel of gigantic dimensions, and her length (I am reading from the register, copies of which will be handed up both to your Lordship and to those who are associated with you) from the fore part of the stem under the bowsprit to the aft side of the head of the stern post (that is the system of measurement) was 852 feet. I need not trouble about the decimal. Her main breadth, that is measured to the outside of the plating, was 92 feet. The depth of the vessel from the top of the deck at side amidships to the bottom of the keel was 65 feet. There are other measurements, but I think I have given your Lordship the material ones. Now, my Lord, she had one turbine, and two sets of 4-cylinder triple expansion reciprocating engines, with a nominal horse-power of 6,906. The two reciprocating engines drove the wing propellers, and the turbine drove the centre. That I think is sufficient for the present purpose with regard to the engines. The horse-power was sufficient to give a speed of at least 21 knots. She was registered at Liverpool with a gross tonnage of 46,328 tons. Her registered tonnage was 21,831 tons. Your Lordship will see from the plan (and I only propose to state quite simply the points with reference to the plan) that she had five decks amidships - it is rather important to bear in mind the number of decks fore and aft and amidships - seven decks in the No 1 hold, and six decks in the other holds. Apparently there was a lower Orlop deck in the No 1 hold, and that is what made the seven. She had a promenade deck. Your Lordship notices there is the boat deck which is the top deck, then there is a promenade deck, and a bridge deck. The promenade deck was about 500 feet long. My Lord, I will say something a little later about the bulkheads, but that is sufficient
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