Page 13 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
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bottom? That has been suggested, you know. - I quite understand the point, but the available arrangements, the pipe arrangements for flooding any bottom space, act comparatively slowly, and it would therefore take in the first place a long time to correct the list. 20231. But suppose, instead of flooding these spaces on the bottom of the ship, you were to flood a corresponding coal bunker on the other side? - It would be very difficult to keep flooding arrangements in a bunker in good working order. It might be done, but it would not be easy. The same objection applies as to working the watertight doors. Coal dust chokes up the working of them; it is a practical difficulty, my Lord. 20232. (The Commissioner.) Oh yes; practical difficulties are serious. Have you ever considered the practicability, when one bunker fills with water, of an automatic arrangement by which a space at the other side of the ship could be filled at the same time? - I have seen proposals for that, my Lord, but the same difficulty arises, that it is very difficult to keep any apparatus in a coal bunker, or through which coal is being continuously worked, in really good working order. We have had some experience of watertight doors and other apparatus in bunkers, and it has not been satisfactory. We have done everything we can of recent years to discourage any such arrangement. 20233. Had you no watertight doors in bunkers in this ship? - No. 20234. None? - None. 20234a. (Mr. Rowlatt.) In all cases I think the watertight doors which run through the bunkers, so to speak, were in a tunnel? - Specially brought out into the stokehold so that they could be looked after. 20234b. (Mr. Rowlatt.) Your Lordship will see it by looking at the plan. (To the Witness.) Now you have given us two broad heads of objection to these longitudinal watertight coal bunkers. One is the difficulty of working doors in them, and the other is the effect they would produce if flooded on the heel of the ship? - Yes. 20235. Is there any other objection? Will you say all you have to say on the subject to the Court. Is there any other objection which occurs to you? I do not know whether there is or not, but if you have will you tell us? - I would like to think the matter over. 20236. (The Commissioner.) The two real objections to the plan adopted in the Cunard boats from your point of view are these: That the filling of one bunker on one side of the ship will cause a list to that side of the ship, and make the use of the boats on the other side of the ship impracticable. That is one? - That is a serious one. 20237. And the other, as I understand, is the difficulty in manipulating or working the watertight doors from the bunkers, which must of necessity be open while the ship is steaming. Those are the two objections? - Those are the two very important ones. There are some other minor ones. The Commissioner: Upon this part of the case, Mr. Attorney, you know what I propose to do, and it is in accordance with what I said to you the other day. We propose to hear evidence of this kind, and if it occurs to us that the matter is of sufficient importance to engage the attention of the Committee which has been appointed, what we intend to do is not to express any definite opinion upon it, but to say that, in our opinion, the matter is one which requires full and proper consideration. The Attorney-General: If your Lordship pleases. It was in view of what your Lordship has said that we got the evidence from the Cunard Company to lay before you; and also I hope to put before you some evidence from the Admiralty with regard to it, and there I intend to leave this part of it, as otherwise we should never finish. 20238. (Mr. Rowlatt - to the Witness.) Now, Mr. Wilding, just before we forget it - I want to get it clear on the Note - I think you did not see this before I showed it to you this morning? - I had not seen that plan.
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