Page 205 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 14 - 18
P. 205
expected to arrive? - In a general way. 19274. Is it any part of the arrangement for the voyage that she shall leave at such a time, and aim at arriving at such another time? - Yes. 19275. Who decides that? - We do, to this extent: We have told the Commander, for instance, of the “Olympic” that we do not want him to land on the Tuesday evening at certain times of the year when he is on a long voyage; we do not want him to try to do it. We have told him again and again to make a Wednesday morning arrival. To that extent we have given instructions, but not beyond that. 19276. The Attorney-General has just given me the mail contracts with the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, and one looks at them to see if there is any provision in them for a minimum of speed. One of them is the contract for the conveyance of American mails, dated 31st July, 1899, and clause 10 provides: “Provided also that whenever the mail ship employed by the Company for the conveyance of mails under this agreement is of less speed than 17 knots per hour, the Postmaster-General shall be at liberty to transmit by any steamship available all or any part of the mails which would otherwise be delivered under this agreement, but so that no postal packet specially superscribed by a sender for transmission by the said mail ship shall be transmitted otherwise.” That gives the Postmaster-General the right to go elsewhere if the ship does not go 17 knots. Sir Robert Finlay: If it is not capable of going 17 knots? The Solicitor-General: Yes, I think it means that. Sir Robert Finlay: It means, the capacity of the ship for doing 17 knots; not its actually doing it. The Witness: That is quite right. 19277. (The Solicitor-General.) And as far as we have noticed it that is the only provision in your mail contracts which has anything to say on speed? - That is true. It is only put in because occasionally we replace a ship. The Commissioner: With whom is that contract? The Attorney-General: The Postmaster-General with the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company. You will remember I asked about it yesterday. The Witness: We occasionally replace one of the regular ships with a boat that is not regularly employed, and if she is less than 17 knots the Postmaster-General exercises his right to send the mails elsewhere. 19278. (The Solicitor-General.) One other question with regard to speed. What is, in fact, the White Star record from Southampton to New York, the voyage which the “Titanic” was going; or from Queenstown to New York, I think you count it? - The best speed that the “Olympic” has ever done - and that is our fastest ship - is, I think, something less, going West, than 22 knots. 19279. (The Commissioner.) We were told between 21 and 22? - It is nearer 22 than 21. That is my recollection. The best speed the other way is 22 1/2 knots. 19280. (The Solicitor-General.) I daresay you could provide us with the time - days and hours? - I could. 19281. No doubt the White Star keeps a record showing what is the best done by the White Star and we shall see how this matter stands? - I can give it to you. The fastest passage the “Olympic” has ever made from Queenstown to New York is 5 days, 7 hours, 29 minutes. 19282. And the other way? - Strangely enough, I have not got it. 19283. Well, you can give it to us later on? - Excuse me, she does not call at Queenstown coming the other way. That is the reason. I can give it to you from New York to Plymouth, if you want it. 19284. It is as well we should see it? - From New York to Plymouth her fastest passage is 5 days, 14 hours, 32 minutes.
   200   201   202   203   204   205   206   207   208   209   210