Page 199 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 14 - 18
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Sir Robert Finlay: 7,562. The Solicitor-General: No, my friend must not take that, that would only arise if there had been an application to the Board of Trade for approval, and it had been approved. Sir Robert Finlay: That is so, on the Board of Trade being satisfied; but there is not the slightest doubt the Board of Trade were satisfied with the watertight compartments, and that being so, they could if they had applied to the Board of Trade have got the necessary certificate and in that case only 7,562 were wanted. The Commissioner: You did not apply? Sir Robert Finlay: No. The Commissioner: And not having applied, and not having got the permission, you were bound to provide the larger number? Sir Robert Finlay: Oh, yes. The Solicitor-General: I do not think it had better be assumed until the Board of Trade evidence comes, that the Board of Trade would have been satisfied. I do not say they would not. The Commissioner: It is a mere suggestion. 19199. (The Solicitor-General.) Perhaps I might ask this further question following up what my Lord was putting to you. Supposing you build a new ship. Probably you decide what her size is to be, and get her general dimensions determined, the number she will carry, and her horse- power and the like, but who is it that decides how many boats she will have? - I think we should be very largely influenced by the builders. They would on their plans no doubt show us boating arrangements to comply with the requirements, and they would say: “We suggest that over and above those you put boats here and there,” and so on. We should then consult our Marine Superintendent, and we should be very largely guided by his advice on the matter. 19200. Do you anticipate that there are documents in existence which show in the case of the “Titanic” what the builders suggested, what your marine adviser suggested, and what you determined on? - I doubt it very much. These plans are submitted to us and we examine them round a table and talk over the different points and make little notes of what we would like to speak of with the builders when they next come to us, and then we go over them again. 19201. I daresay you will have a search made to see whether there are such documents? - I will. 19202. And ask Messrs. Harland and Wolff? - I should doubt it, but I will have them looked up. 19203. (The Commissioner.) I should have thought there would have been correspondence on the subject? - There may be, but I have no recollection of it. 19204. I do not know whether Messrs. Harland and Wolff send someone to Liverpool to talk over these matters or whether you talk them over with your Marine Superintendent at Liverpool, and then write to Harland and Wolff? - They send us plans and we consider them amongst ourselves, and later on they send one of their people over to us and we go over it with him, or we have the advantage of conferring with Lord Pirrie himself in London. 19205. It may be there is nothing in writing? - I am pretty sure that is so, my Lord, but I will have it traced if there is. 19206. (The Solicitor-General.) I understood you to say just now that you thought you had on such a ship as the “Titanic” a crew abundantly sufficient to deal with a larger number of boats? - That is my feeling. 19207. Were you referring then to the launching of the boats? - I was referring to the launching and the manning of them, too, for that matter. 19208. Let us just take the manning. To man these boats, do you want sailors? - You want a man who understands something about using an oar for the purpose of rowing; he need not be a sailor.
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