Page 112 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
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21615. Then I will tell you what it was, and see if you can answer it: Have you formed any opinion as to the desirability of increasing the boat accommodation beyond that which was provided on the “Titanic”? - Yes, my Lord. 21616. Very well. Now you say Yes to that, and his next question was this: What opinion have you formed, and then you go on to a rambling statement that you have done this and done that and done the other. You did not answer his question. Do you know what the question is now? - Yes. 21617. What is it? - What is my opinion? 21618. Now let us have the benefit of it; if you have anything in any way, let us have it? - My opinion is we should not put too many boats on board a ship. 21619. Cannot you answer a question? The question is, in your opinion, ought the boat accommodation to be increased? - No, not to any great extent. 21620. And what does “any great extent” mean? - To hamper the other boats. 21621. Oh, no; I am not talking about hampering. How many more; if any, how many? - That I cannot say. 21622. Then you have formed no opinion? - No, no opinion as regards numbers. The Commissioner: This evidence is worth nothing to me at all - nothing. Mr. Butler Aspinall: Have you been consulted by any of your superiors, managing directors, or persons in that position with regard to this question? The Commissioner: Has he given you a proof? Mr. Butler Aspinall: Yes, my Lord. The Commissioner: Do let me see it. (The proof was handed to the Commissioner.) Mr. Butler Aspinall: Although the proof deals with many matters, I am not certain it deals with all the matters I have directed his attention to. I somewhat disregarded the proof, and have been rather guided by the questions which your Lordship will have to answer. That is what I was trying to get from this gentleman. The Commissioner: Is there anything in this proof about boats? Mr. Butler Aspinall: There is with regard to the number of boats, on the first page. The Commissioner: I will read it: “With regard to the number of boats on the ‘Titanic’ we are guided to a large extent by the Board of Trade requirements, but, in fact, provide a larger boat capacity than the rules call for.” Is that all? Mr. Butler Aspinall: That is all that is in the proof. The Commissioner: If that is all the man said I cannot blame him now. Mr. Butler Aspinall: One is not always, in these cases, guided by the proof, or limited by it. I was rather seeking information. The Commissioner: You were fishing in waters that had not very much depth. Mr. Butler Aspinall: They have turned out not to have very much depth. I hoped they would have had. Sir Robert Finlay: I think on the next page my friend will find something more about the boats. Mr. Butler Aspinall: I did not think so. The Commissioner: Will you read it, Sir Robert? Sir Robert Finlay: “With regard to the number of boats to be carried in future, the present appliances used on board steamships do not enable a large number of boats to be handled; and until some other arrangement can be effected for the purpose of handling and lowering boats, I think it is a mistake to load the decks up with too many boats, and so hamper the handling of those boats which can otherwise easily be handled.” The Commissioner: I must say, in justice to the witness, that is in substance what he said, but it does not help me much.
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