Page 156 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
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Mr. Andrew Laing, Mr. W. J. Luke, Mr. S. P. J. Thearle and Professor John Joseph Welch. 22253. (The Commissioner.) Are there any terms of reference? - Yes, my Lord, they are quite short. Shall I read them? 22254. Yes, let me hear what they are? - “To be a Committee to advise the Board of Trade, in the interests of safety of life, - (1) As to what, in their opinion, would constitute efficient subdivision with regard to each of the classes of vessels included in the Rules for Life-Saving Appliances made by the Board of Trade under Section 427 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, having due regard to the nature of the service in which they are respectively engaged. (2) Whether independently of the foregoing the Committee desire to make any recommendations with reference to the subdivisions of vessels already built, or of new vessels, which would in their opinion, contribute to the safety of life at sea.” 22255. There is nothing there that will cover the question of lifeboats? - No, they are not mentioned. The Attorney-General: I do not think it was meant to cover that. The Commissioner: The submission only relates to questions affecting the construction of the ship. The Attorney-General: That is right. I am dealing with bulkheads now. What I wanted to see was who were the members of the Committee which reported in 1891. That was the Committee appointed by the President of the Board of Trade to report upon the spacing and construction of watertight bulkheads in ships of the mercantile marine. The President was Sir Michael Hicks Beach, now Lord St. Aldwyn, and the gentlemen appointed were Sir Edward Harland, Mr. James Anderson, Professor Philip Jenkins, Mr. Alexander Kirk, Mr. James Laing, and Mr. Thomas B. Roydson. There is this passage: - “We have shown some appreciation of the importance of efficient subdivision of ships in Class 1, Division A. paragraph G of these rules.” That rule there referred to is what is Rule 12. “But we consider it our duty to further express our sense of the importance of the question and to recommend that it should be investigated by a Committee of duly qualified persons, the subject as a whole having been held to be outside the scope of the reference to this Committee.” 22256. (The Commissioner.) Was it ever investigated by a Committee? - The investigation was made by Sir Edward Harland’s Committee, the Committee of which the names have been just read to you by the Attorney-General. Sir Robert Finlay: What was the passage you just read, Mr. Attorney? The Attorney-General: I thought I read a passage from the Committee’s Report, but I see what the mistake is, my Lord. That which I just read is not Sir Edward Harland’s Committee’s Report but of a committee which sat earlier. It was in consequence evidently of that that this committee which sat in 1890 and reported in 1891 was appointed. The Commissioner: Now I think I understand. The Attorney-General: That is how it is. I see what happened now. I am coming now to the one over which Sir Edward Harland presided. The Commissioner: What were the terms of submission to that other committee. 22257. (The Attorney-General.) I am going to see how far it is material, my Lord. It deals altogether with the subdivision of a ship into watertight departments. I do not know whether you have it. The Witness: I can tell you quite shortly what the position was. First of all came the Life- Saving Appliances Committee of which Mr. Thomas Ismay was Chairman. That was based upon the recommendations of Lord Charles Beresford’s Committee in the House of Commons and made law by the Act of 1888, and in that Report is what the Attorney-General has read: “We have shown some appreciation” and so on. Then in order to determine what should be the standard for the bulkheads, Sir Edward Harland’s Bulkheads Committee was appointed. That is
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