Page 177 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
P. 177
boats under davits? - Yes, that is quite so. But you have not quite got my point. My point is that it was quite clear that the scale was intended to include the “Lucania,” because she was in existence and already launched, and her tonnage was 12,952, so that that vessel was in existence when the Rules for 10,000 and upwards were laid down. 22377. That I think you do make clear. Whatever may be thought of it, that is quite clear, that although you had a vessel of 13,000 tons in existence at the time they passed these Rules, they did not mean to make a scale which would extend to that, but would be satisfied if that vessel complied with the scale for one of 10,000 tons and upwards? - Yes, that is exactly what I mean. 22378. But it still does not answer the question which my Lord put to you, which we want to know something about, if you can help us, as to why it was that it was thought worthwhile to alter the scale by adding this line “10,000 and upwards”? - In order to include ships similar to the “Lucania.” The Attorney-General: Well, it made a small demand upon a vessel like the “Lucania.” The Commissioner: It would have been included in the 9,000 and upwards equally. The Attorney-General: Yes, but she would have to find more boats. The Commissioner: There may be no significance in it, I do not know, but the “Lucania” was practically a boat of 13,000 tons. The Attorney-General: Yes. The Commissioner: Very well. Its amended scale which included the words “10,000 and upwards,” was, according to the Witness, made in view of the fact that the “Lucania” was a boat of 13,000 tons. The Attorney-General: Yes. The Commissioner: Now the provision in the scale before it was altered was that as far as boats of 9,000 and upwards went they were to carry 14 boats. You have a boat then made which is more than one-third bigger - nearly half as big again - and yet the increase for the number of boats in the “Lucania” would only be two, from 14 to 16. The Attorney-General: That is it. 22379. (The Commissioner.) It may be that it is right, but it appears to me that it is wrong. I am not poking fun at it at all. It may he that it is not wrong, but it looks wrong. The Witness: At any rate, it shows they made some increase there. 22380. (The Attorney-General.) I will tell you what it shows. If I may say so respectfully, what my Lord says is really the crux of the criticism to be directed to this scale? - I am quite aware of that, and that will be dealt with by the professional officers. The Attorney-General: We want to understand it. 22381. (The Commissioner.) You have not answered my question, you pushed it off on to somebody else, who is not in the witness-box, and that is: Why, having thought it worthwhile to make one alteration in the course of four years, did it never occur to anybody in the next 18 years to make any alteration? - That is a question I am not competent to answer. 22382. But I am sure, Sir Walter, that you must have talked about it to somebody in the Board of Trade? - Oh, yes. 22383. Now, to whom did you talk? - I talked to the professional officer of the Marine Department. 22384. And what explanation did he give? - He said that he did not think the scale required any further alteration. 22385. Why not? - I have not a very clear recollection of what his reasons were. I would rather he gave them in his own words. 22386. I should have thought it was so important that you would have had? - No, because conversations were taking place frequently on many things. 22387. The gentleman is here, I understand, and you prefer to leave him to get out of the
   172   173   174   175   176   177   178   179   180   181   182