Page 144 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
P. 144
Sir WALTER J. HOWELL, Sworn. Examined by the ATTORNEY-GENERAL. 22089. (The Attorney-General.) This is the oblong which appears in the “Sphere” of June 8th. (Handing same to the Commissioner.) It strikes me as useful. (To the Witness.) Sir Walter Howell, are you one of the Assistant Secretaries to the Board of Trade? - Yes. 22090. And Chief of the Marine Department? - I am. 22091. You entered the Board of Trade nearly 40 years ago? - Yes. 22092. And you became head of the Marine Department in 1899? - That is so. 22093. Is the Marine Department of the Board of Trade charged with the administration of the Merchant Shipping Acts? - Yes. 22094. And also some of the Acts affecting shipping with which we are not concerned at this Enquiry? - Yes. 22095. It is entrusted also with the general superintendence of all matters relating to merchant shipping and seamen? - Yes, as defined in the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894. 22096. With regard to foreign law applicable to ships, do you strive as far as possible to obtain international agreement? - Yes. 22097. And especially as affecting the safety regulations? - Yes. 22098. Much has been done to secure that object? - I think a considerable deal has been done. 22099. The regulations as to the survey of passenger steamers enforced in France, Germany, Denmark, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway and Belgium have been recognised as of equal effect with your own since 1907? - That is so. 22100. What is the position with regard to the United States? - They were recognised by mutual agreement in 1905. 22101. That is as to survey of passenger steamers? - That is as to survey of passenger steamers. 22102. There are negotiations proceeding on the subject of passenger steamers with other countries, and I need not go into detail with regard to that? - Yes. 22103. Now will you tell me, with reference to foreign requirements as to life-saving appliances, have they also been considered by the Board of Trade with a view to recognition since 1907? - Yes, since the passing of the Act of 1906. I think there are only two sections in the Act of 1906 with which your Lordship need be troubled - Sections 4 and 9, I think, are the ones. Section 4 of the Merchant Shipping Act of 1906 gave power to apply our rules as to life-saving appliances to foreign ships in certain cases. I will read the section, and your Lordship will see at once how it stands: “Sections four hundred and twenty-seven to four hundred and thirty-one of the principal Act relating to life-saving appliances shall, after the appointed day apply to all foreign ships while they are within any port of the United Kingdom as they apply to British ships; Provided that His Majesty may by Order in Council direct that those provisions shall not apply to any ship of a foreign country in which the provisions in force relating to life-saving appliances appear to His Majesty to be as effective as the provisions of Part V. of the principal Act, on proof that those provisions are complied with in the case of that ship.” The Commissioner: That is Section 4. 22104-5. (The Attorney-General.) Yes, of the Merchant Shipping Act of 1906. That is the only section which relates to the life-saving regulations with which we are now dealing. (To the Witness.) In the same way, have the life-saving appliance rules of France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands been recognised by Orders in Council under Section 4 of the Act of 1906? - Yes, after considerable negotiation they have. 22106. And negotiations are proceeding with other countries for the same purpose? - Quite so.
   139   140   141   142   143   144   145   146   147   148   149