Page 193 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
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more. Sir Robert Finlay: But that additional accommodation, 6,225, which my friend has referred to, would not be required, having regard to the watertight compartments under the recommendation of the Committee, on application to the Board of Trade. The Attorney-General: I agree. The Commissioner: So that, I think, as Mr. Carlisle said, it comes back again to the same thing. The Attorney-General: I think so. The Commissioner: If you take into consideration the sufficient watertight bulkheads or compartments to satisfy the Board of Trade. Sir Robert Finlay: The obvious intention of the report was that the provision of watertight bulkheads should be encouraged by allowing a dispensation from the additional boats. The Attorney-General: I agree. The Commissioner: This correspondence shows that, I think. Sir Robert Finlay: And the comparison is really between the 8,300 cubic feet which are required and the 11,325 cubic feet which the “Titanic” had. It comes back to what was said in the first instance. The Commissioner: Just allow me to read something which may explain or afford an answer to a question which I put as to why the White Star Line stopped at 1,178 in finding accommodation for the people on board. The “Titanic’s” boats could carry 1,178. The suggestions of the Advisory Committee would necessitate boats to carry 1,452. That is what you said just now. The Attorney-General: Yes, quite right. The Commissioner: If the Board of Trade’s approval as to subdivision were obtained and one- half the additional boats excluded, the number would be reduced to 1,141, and the White Star Line provided accommodation for 1,178, that is to say, a little above the total number required. Sir Robert Finlay: That is under the old Rule - under the Rules as they existed unmodified by the recommendations of the Advisory Committee. The Commissioner: No, that is not at all what I mean. What I mean is that the boats provided upon the “Titanic” complied with the recommendations of this Advisory Committee, the Sub- Committee. The Attorney-General: I think probably my friend and I are in agreement upon it. What we are venturing not to agree with in what your Lordship said is in taking the half of the 8,300 in order to give you that total of 11,000 odd. That you only do under Rule 12 of the old Rules. If, as Sir Robert Finlay says quite rightly, you adopt the Committee’s recommendation, as you do for your figure of 8,300, and if you assume that the “Titanic” had applied for exemption because of its efficient watertight compartments, then following out still the recommendation of the Committee you would exempt them from all additional craft, and therefore you would get back to the 8,300. The Commissioner: Yes, you would. Sir Robert Finlay: That is right. The Commissioner: But apparently they had not adopted that. The Attorney-General: They had not. That is right. And, of course, if the “Titanic” did not apply, then she had to provide boat accommodation for a capacity of 14,525 feet. I think this recommendation of the Committee is the first time, so far as I can trace in the very numerous documents I have had before me, that the Merchant Shipping Advisory Committee had recommended that there should be a total exemption from the requirements for the additional craft if efficient watertight compartments were provided, and also provided that there is a proper wireless telegraphy apparatus. So that the direction of the Committee apparently in 1911 was still more for less requirements for boats if you have both the proper wireless telegraphy apparatus and efficient watertight compartments. That is the position, I think. The Commissioner: Of course, the great object I suppose must be to reach that condition of
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