Page 189 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 14 - 18
P. 189
The Solicitor-General: He is Captain Tillar. He is the Principal Officer of the Board of Trade (this Department) in Ireland, and I understand his signature is a covering signature, the details or the headings having been certified by one or other of these officials, who are subordinate to himself. The Commissioner: He cannot say anything about what happened at Southampton? The Solicitor-General: No. The Commissioner: All these different matters are certified to by different people, and then Mr. Tillar’s name, whose name does not appear among the persons who certify, comes in at the end, and I want to know what he does, whether he does anything. Tillar may not have seen the ship at all. The Solicitor-General: I think that is the position, my Lord. He really certifies that he has got all this previous information, each paragraph of which is docketed with its appropriate name. Perhaps I may just give your Lordship the reference, in order to get it on the note, to the definition of “emigrant ship” and “passenger ship.” It is not necessary to trouble you to look at it now, but an emigrant ship is defined in the Merchant Shipping Act, in section 268: “The expression ‘emigrant ship’ shall mean every sea-going ship, whether British or foreign, and whether or not conveying mails, carrying upon any voyage to which the provisions of this part of this Act respecting emigrant ships apply, more than 50 steerage passengers or a greater number of steerage passengers than in a certain proportion.” (To the Witness.) And of course you were carrying in this vessel steerage passengers, and she was therefore an emigrant ship for the purposes of this Act? - Yes. The Attorney-General: My Lord, at a convenient time what I propose is to put in an abstract of all those sections in the Merchant Shipping Act which have any relation whatever to the subject matter of this Enquiry. I have got it now. You can do it in quite a convenient form. We will have that done, so that it may be handed to the Court and the Assessors. 19102. (The Solicitor-General.) Of course I am coming back to the boats, but subject to that we can pass from those documents now. I am now going to 3. (To the Witness.) Now, correct me if I am wrong. Just look at 3. Mr. Wilding, I understand, is going to give evidence about design and construction. Is there anything you want to say about 3? - I could only help you with regard to 3 by indicating under the heads the features which we look upon as the special features in this ship. Mr. Wilding, for the builders, could give you the details, which will probably be much more valuable. 19103. Can you give me in a couple of sentences what you say the special features are to which you attach importance, and leave Mr. Wilding to explain them in detail? - Very well. I should mention that she had a specially powerful wireless installation, long distance. She was built with an unusual number of watertight bulkheads, 15 in all; those bulkheads were of special construction, carried up as much as possible in one fair line, and they were built in excess of the requirements of Lloyd’s. The plating and connections were also of special strength, and in excess, I am told, of what Lloyd’s requirements would have been. She had a double bottom, which was carried nine-tenths of the way; that double bottom was divided for the midship section of the ship into four tanks athwartships, and the rest of the distance into two tanks athwartships; and the double bottom, instead of terminating at the bottom of the bilge, which is ordinarily the case, was carried up to the top of the bilge. In regard to the wireless installation, she had got the power for that from three different sources; in the first place, from the ordinary electric light plant; in the second place, from an emergency plant which could be put in use if the ordinary electric light plant in the engine room were flooded; and, in the third place, she had storage batteries in the Marconi Room. The pumping arrangements were exceptional, each boiler compartment having its own equipment, which is quite an unusual thing of the kind. I think I have now indicated the special features.
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