Page 170 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
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proceeded to divide it into these divisions by tonnage, as they found the other impracticable. 22306. Either you do not understand my question or I am not sufficiently intelligent to understand your answer; I do not know which it is. I want to know why, when they were applying themselves to the question as to how to provide for the safety of a number of lives, they excluded the number of lives from consideration and took into consideration only the tonnage of the ship? - I should be sorry to say that was the only thing they took into consideration, but it was the main consideration. 22307. Did they take into consideration the number of lives on the ship? - Yes, undoubtedly. 22308. I did not understand that they did? - Oh, yes; but that was not the main basis they took. The main basis they took was the tonnage of the ship, because that indicated her size. A consideration running through it all was the number of lives on board, so that they took both. 22309. (The Attorney-General.) Still one vessel may carry a very much larger number of persons in proportion to her tonnage than another? - Quite so. 22310. Nevertheless, according to your views, they were to carry the same number of boats. That is the difficulty that we want you to explain? - I was secretary of this original committee. I was not a member of it. 22311. Are you speaking now of the Committee that reported in 1887? - No, of the Life-Saving Appliances Committee. 22312. Formed under the Statute of 1888? - I was secretary, and I am telling you what I remember, what my impression is after this long period of time, that first of all the Committee said, “We have to consider the number of lives on board; can we form that as a basis?” 22313. (The Commissioner.) You are putting the thing all the other way about. You say the very first thing they did was to consider the number of lives on board? - “Can we take this as the basis? No, we think it impracticable.” 22314. Can you take which as the basis? - The basis of the Rules to be drawn up. 22315. You say, “Can we take this as the basis?” What is the “this”? - One consideration was: Can we take the basis of persons on board, or is it better to take the basis of size, as indicated by gross tonnage; and they came to the conclusion that it was better to take the basis of size as indicated by gross tonnage. 22316. But why? - Because they thought so, I suppose. 22317. But why did they think so? - I cannot tell you; I cannot tell you what other persons thought. 22318. But cannot you give me any notion? - I was trying to do so just now. 22319. Well, what is it? - The reason was they were told to divide the ships into classes. If they were told to do that, why should they say the basis is lives, because that would not require the division of the ships into classes. You would simply say ships of all classes are to carry boats sufficient to save all on board. That would not require division into classes and size and so on. It would be simply enunciating one principle. 22320. (The Attorney-General.) Suppose you had to divide your vessels into classes, it would mean that you would have one class for emigrants, carrying the largest number of passengers; another class would be passenger ships; another class would be cargo ships, foreign-going cargo ships; and then I suppose you would also have the home trade passenger ships? - Yes, every sort of ship; every class of ship. 22321. You would have excursion steamers, I suppose? - Of course. 22322. And supposing you said that they would have to carry according to the number of passengers, unless you made an exception with regard to excursion steamers it would mean that they would have to carry on these ships boats for passengers on the same scale as a foreign-going vessel. Is that what you mean? - Not quite. What I mean is this: Supposing you had made up your mind that the principle was to be the safety of all carried - that boats were to be provided
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