Page 153 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
P. 153
the policy he advocated? - Yes. He said, “I think I may further say that it is perfectly useless to supply a ship with a number of boats if in case of collision she is to founder immediately if she is not properly subdivided so that she will float, or, on the other hand, if there are not a sufficient number of seamen on board the vessel to man the boats.” The Commissioner: What is it you are reading from? The Attorney-General: I am reading from the evidence of Sir Digby Murray, then the professional member of the Marine Department of the Board of Trade before this same Select Committee of the House of Commons in 1887. The Committee reported in 1887. I have got all the documents, but it is so much more convenient to summarise it, and get it on the Note for your Lordship in this way. The Commissioner: That is what I want. The Attorney-General: It saves so much looking through documents. The Commissioner: Yes, and there I can find it. 22228. (The Attorney-General.) It is very difficult if you have to follow this from several documents. The Committee reported, “Though the question of construction was clearly not included in the reference to the Committee, still they think it only right to state, after having heard the evidence, that the proper placing of bulkheads, so as to enable a ship to keep afloat for some length of time after an accident has occurred, is most important for saving life at sea, and a thing upon which the full efficiency of Life-saving Appliances largely depends.” Then in 1890 a Committee came into existence which was presided over by Sir Edward Harland? - Yes. The Commissioner: Was that gentleman a member of the firm of Harland and Wolff? 22229. (The Attorney-General.) I think so? The Witness: Yes. 22230. (The Attorney-General - To the Witness.) He was, I should imagine? - Yes. 22231. I am told he was the founder of the firm. That Committee was formed mainly with reference to the standard to be required by the Board of Trade in granting exemptions under the Life-Saving Appliance Rules? - Yes, it was the fact that that rule was laid down which led to the appointment of the Committee. 22232. That rule came into existence in 1890? - Yes. 22233. Under that rule some standard was to be laid down by which the Board of Trade was to determine whether a ship was divided into efficient watertight compartments? - Yes. 22234. So this Committee was formed? - Yes. 22235. Then, incidentally, the best method of dividing ships into watertight compartments was also discussed? - Yes, that was a necessary part of it. 22236. One further thing with reference to it. Was the method then considered of subdividing ships into watertight compartments so as to float in moderate weather with two compartments in free communication with the sea? - That was what was laid down. 22237. I mean it was not two adjoining compartments? - “In moderate weather with two compartments in free communication with the sea.” 22238. When that Committee reported did the Board of Trade adopt its recommendation with regard to the standard of subdivision into watertight compartments? - They did. 22239. That would be presumably when an application was made under this Rule 12? - Precisely. 22240. That was the standard then upon which they acted? - That was the standard. There is one clause - I will not trouble you with the book, I will read it so as to get it on the Note - in the regulations and suggestions as to the survey of hull, equipments, and machinery of steamships carrying passengers issued by the Board of Trade under the Merchant Shipping Act which deals with this question of bulkheads and that is the only other, I think, that there is
   148   149   150   151   152   153   154   155   156   157   158