Page 179 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
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The Commissioner: But he nevertheless thinks his is better. The Attorney-General: No, I do not. The Commissioner: You have just said so. The Attorney-General: No, what I said was I thought it was useful; I did not go further. I certainly should not, without seeing Mr. Laing’s. But there is some information which the Board of Trade as a Department has which Mr. Laing cannot have. That is what I meant. The Commissioner: The serious point, to my mind, here, and the one which I want to have cleared up, is this. Why did the Board of Trade leave this Table which finishes at 10,000 and upwards in existence for 18 years without any revision. That is the point. The Attorney-General: Yes, I know the answer. The Commissioner: That the shipowners thought the Table was not sufficient is obvious, because they themselves provided a considerable number of boats beyond the number mentioned in the Table and that must have been because they thought the Table was not sufficiently stringent. 22392. (The Attorney-General.) It would be better that the Witnesses should give the answer. I know what their answer is, and we shall discuss afterwards whether it is a good one (To the Witness.) I will pass somewhat rapidly on, Sir Walter. As far as I understand, between 1894 and 1904 there was no great development in the tonnage of passenger steamers? - No, I think not. 22393. There was a development in the direction of increasing the tonnage, but no great development. I notice the “Baltic” was built in 1904. She was over 20,000 tons? - Yes. 22394. There was also the “Celtic,” which I see was built in 1901, she was 20,000 tons or more, was she not? - Yes. 22395. (The Attorney-General.) There was some increase. Your Lordship will see it is an increase undoubtedly from the 13,000 that we have got. It is not quite right to say between 1894 and 1904, I think, to make it right, we had better say between 1894 and 1901 here is no great increase, but from 1901 to 1904 there are several steamers built of over 20,000 tons? - Yes, those three. 22396. That is how it stands? - Yes. 22397. (The Commissioner.) I suppose that every ship that is built informs the Board of Trade of the number of lifeboats to be carried? - Certainly. They have to be to the satisfaction of the Board of Trade. 22398. So that if the Board of Trade is satisfied that a sufficient number of boats are, in fact, carried there is, in a sense, no occasion to alter the Table? - Yes, my Lord. The Commissioner: Perhaps you will not assent to that, and I am sure Mr. Scanlan will not. The Attorney-General: Your Lordship has in mind the provision with regard to additional boats and rafts that have to be provided. I mean this scale is not exhaustive, as your Lordship knows. If you want to see exactly how it stands you must not only take page 17, but you must take page 6 as well. The Commissioner: Yes, I know that. The Attorney-General: Because the requisition for the “Titanic” was not 5,500, as the scale would indicate; it was 9,625 cubic feet capacity, and that is arrived at by taking the scale at page 17, which is for vessels of 10,000 tons and upwards, requiring 16 boats of the capacity of 5,500 cubic feet; then you have to go to page 6, paragraph D, and it is under that that you get the requirement for the three-fourths additional cubic capacity in the number of boats and rafts. The Commissioner: You had better read it. The Attorney-General: “If the boats placed under davits in accordance with the table do not furnish sufficient accommodation for all persons on board, then additional wood, metal, collapsible, or other boats of approved description (whether placed under davits or otherwise) or approved life-rafts shall be carried. One of these boats may be a steam launch, but in that case
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