Page 224 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 14 - 18
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dozen doctors could not possibly attend. Mr. Harbinson: Then, my Lord, under such special circumstances my suggestion would be that, with notification to the Company beforehand, that that contingency was going to arise, it would be their duty to provide a sufficient number of doctors to attend to the passengers and crew. The Commissioner: Then you would have to carry a ship full of doctors. 19488. (Mr. Harbinson.) I cannot conceive the circumstances where that would be possible, my Lord. (To the Witness.) Now, Mr. Sanderson, I would just like to ask you a question about this launching of the boats from such a height. Of course, you will agree with me, and with what other witnesses have said, that in a heavy sea with a heavy roll on it is a very dangerous operation to launch these boats? - From any height. 19489. Have you considered the matter, or can you offer any suggestion as to whether or not it would be feasible to launch the boats from slips further down, constructed nearer the water? - I do not understand what you mean by a slip. 19490. I mean by a gangway or doors so constructed nearer the water’s edge that it would be possible, probably by means of rails, to shoot the boat out on to the water? - I think that would be quite an impracticable suggestion. 19491. And your Company have not considered any suggestions to that effect? - We usually put a thing of that kind in the waste-paper basket. 19492. That suggestion was very seriously made in a debate which took place not very far from here quite recently, but you say you do not consider it practicable? - We have a very great many suggestions sent to us, for which we are very grateful, but the majority of them go into the waste-paper basket. 19493. I presume you read them all - Sir Robert Finlay: Where was the debate? Mr. Harbinson: In the House of Commons, Sir Robert. I think he is a member of your party, I am not sure. Sir Robert Finlay: Who made it? Mr. Harbinson: Mr. George Terrell. The Commissioner: I want to know what we are doing at present. Mr. Harbinson: My purpose, my Lord, is to ask Mr. Sanderson a question now about the classification at Lloyd’s. (To the Witness.) I understand your steamers are not classified at Lloyd’s? - No. 19494. Do you not think that it would probably add to the general efficiency of ships and increase the public confidence if there were some inspection made other than the inspection that is made by the Board of Trade? - I am quite sure it would not. 19495. Why do you say so? - Because the White Star ships are recognised as being of such a superior type to the ships which are ordinarily classed in Lloyd’s that the fact that Lloyd’s passing them would commend itself to no one in particular. 19496. That is to say, you consider that public confidence could not be increased by Lloyd’s making an examination? - I am quite sure it could not. 19497. Do I rightly understand that there is no examination made of your ships beyond that made by the Board of Trade? - The Board of Trade, and, of course, the builders building up to their special specification. 19498. By the Board of Trade examination, do I understand that that was the examination upon which the certificate read by the Attorney-General is founded? - Yes, that is correct. 19499. Would you explain to the Court of what exactly that examination consists? - I prefer to leave that to the builders. The construction of the ship is supervised, to a certain extent, by the Board of Trade people.
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