Page 157 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 14 - 18
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Mr. Edwards: I should not attempt to do it, my Lord. The Commissioner: Does that mean you cannot. I am asking if you can do it? Mr. Edwards: With great respect, your Lordship - The Commissioner: You decline? Mr. Edwards: I propose conducting the cross-examination of this witness in accordance with the rules, and not putting forth the particular evidence upon which my instructions are based. The Commissioner: You call it a cross-examination, and I rather agree with you that it is. I do not think it ought to be. I think it ought to be an examination conducted for the sole purpose of informing the Court, and when you ask him whether he knows the difference between the “Titanic” and the requirements of Lloyd’s I want you to assist me by telling me, if you can, what the difference is? Mr. Edwards: At the right time, my Lord. The Commissioner: But this is the time I want it. I suspect you do not know. Mr. Edwards: I shall not attempt to cross-examine you as to the foundation for that suspicion. The Commissioner: There is plenty of foundation for it. 18806a. (Mr. Edwards - To the Witness.) You neither considered with your Board the relative standards of the different registration societies, nor are you in a position to say what those relative standards are? - I have already said so. 18807. (The Commissioner.) Will you let me ask him a question. (To the Witness.) Can you tell me whether you insure these vessels? - Yes, we do. 18808. Is there any other line of steamers that get their property insured at a less premium than yours? - No. The Commissioner: Perhaps you do not appreciate what I am asking. 18809. (Mr. Clement Edwards.) Yes, my Lord, and I will follow it up with this further question. (To the Witness.) Is there any other line of steamers that offers to bear so large a proportion of the initial loss as your line of steamers? - I could not answer that. 18810. Am I right in saying that on the “Titanic” the initial loss which your Company bears is something like a quarter of a million? - I do not think it is quite so large; I think it is £200,000. The Commissioner: If so, it shows the confidence that they have in their boats. 18811. (Mr. Clement Edwards.) Yes, my Lord; and it also shows that they appreciate the kind of element that would appeal to the insurers to enable them to get excellent terms of insurance. (To the Witness.) Can you tell me any other company that even approximates to your Company in the high proportion of initial loss the Company are prepared to bear before coming on the insurers? - I have no idea what the other steamship companies do in regard to their insurance. 18812. When the plans were considered by you and your co-directors, do you remember any discussion taking place as to the number of lifeboats that you should carry? - No, I do not. 18813. Do you know whether there was any discussion at all as to the extent to which safety might have been interfered with or militated against by the extra large decks on the top? - No, I certainly do not. 18814. Have you and your co-directors at any time considered the relation between the luxurious equipment of a ship of this kind and the safety of the crew and the passengers? - I do not understand your question. 18815. If there had been less of those high decks, take A deck - there would have been greater safety, probably, would there not? - I should not think so. 18816. May I put this to you? If the bulkheads in the “Titanic” had gone much higher than they did, there would have been greater safety? - I presume there would. 18817. And if the bulkheads had been taken higher they would have interfered somewhat with the luxury of the super decks? - You mean to say, if they had been taken right away to the top? How high are you going to take them?
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