Page 134 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
P. 134
21932. (The Commissioner.) I should like to ask you a question. You gave us what I may call the pros, and cons, with reference to the use of searchlights. You pointed out to us the advantages and the disadvantages. Weighing the one against the other, what is the conclusion, if any, that you have arrived at as to the desirability of using searchlights on this track in ships of the mercantile marine? - I think the Admiralty’s view is that it would be advisable not to use them. 21933. That you think is the result of your experience? - Yes. Taking the general navigation throughout - not limited only to the immediate vicinity of ice, but the use of searchlights generally, if they were established in ships in the mercantile marine they might be used in any locality - in the English Channel or in any crowded waterways. 21934. You think it is better that ships of the mercantile marine should be without them? - Yes. 21935. (The Attorney-General.) I want to follow up what my Lord said to you. Would it be possible to do this, to have searchlights which could be fixed, supposing it was known that upon a particular night there was a possibility of encountering either icebergs or an ice-field? - Would it be possible to have them fixed? 21936. To have them there ready to be fixed for use, but not otherwise fixed in position for use; that is what I want to know? - Yes, they could be moved up or down, as necessary - yes, certainly. 21937. Supposing that that was the case, and there was a report received that icebergs or ice- fields would be encountered in the night, do you think it would be an advantage to use a searchlight on that night for the purpose of illuminating the space in front so as to detect the icebergs or ice-fields? - Yes, it might possibly be of advantage. 21938. As I understand with regard to the disadvantages which you have pointed out to my Lord, on balance, you are afraid of their being used in places where they will create confusion and danger? - Yes, that was the idea. 21939. Or being used on the particular track even in that respect? - If they are established there ought to be stringent regulations as to their use. 21940. They should only be used in certain conditions such as I have described? - Yes, under certain conditions. 21941. (The Commissioner.) Are those observations of yours that you have just made intended to qualify the opinion that you expressed to me just now, that, on the whole, it is desirable that ships should not have them? - Yes, I think the summary of the conclusion would be rather that they should not carry searchlights, but that if they did they should be under stringent conditions. 21942. Then it comes to this: You think, on the whole, it is better that they should have no searchlights at all, but if they should have them then there must be some stringent regulations governing the use of them? - Yes. (The Witness withdrew.) The Attorney-General: That is all the evidence we propose to give, my Lord, with regard to the searchlights. The Commissioner: I think there have been some enquiries made in Germany about the use of searchlights, and as far as I am able to gather it has not been favourable to the use of searchlights in ships of the mercantile marine. The Attorney-General: I gather that the same sort of difficulty has been found by them - I am only speaking on my recollection of a newspaper report - as Captain Miller has pointed out - has resulted from the experience of the Admiralty. The Commissioner: It was some Committee or body which sat in Berlin to consider the question.
   129   130   131   132   133   134   135   136   137   138   139