Page 200 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
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approximate to our own. 22535. That is not the point we are on. We may take that, I think, quite compendiously as showing that the requirements of Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United States, for vessels of just over 10,000 tons, are approximately the same as our own? - Yes, and for all of those below. The Attorney-General: Yes, I know, but we are not concerned with that. If that is all that we shall get out of this Table I do not think I will encumber the Note with it. The Commissioner: I do not think it is worth encumbering the Note with it. 22536. (The Attorney-General.) Nor do I. (To the Witness.) There is one other matter I wanted to ask you about, and that is with reference to wireless telegraphy. Your Lordship will remember there is a question with regard to that before you. Has there been an inter-departmental discussion between the Board of Trade and the Post Office as to the action to be taken? - Yes, there has. 22537. And the question of how far wireless telegraphy should be made compulsory, and under what conditions and safeguards, is at present under consideration, is it not? - Yes. The Attorney-General: Then subject, my Lord, to this question of the agreement between us, with which I do not think it is necessary to trouble Sir Walter, I think that is all I want to ask him. The Commissioner: Mr. Scanlan, before you begin to examine the Witness, could you tell me in a few words first of all whether you are going to make or suggest any charges of neglect against the Board of Trade? Can you tell me that first? Mr. Scanlan: No, there is no specific charge of neglect. I think there appears on the evidence matter on which a comment of neglect could very properly be made to your Lordship, and I purpose asking a few questions dealing with that. The Commissioner: I will tell you why I am asking you. Both you and Mr. Edwards have been of great use to me in putting your points to the Witnesses, and it would help me to understand your view of the conduct of the Board of Trade if before you examine this Witness and the others you could tell me whether there are any specific acts - if that is the right word - of neglect that you suggest against the Board of Trade. Mr. Scanlan: Yes, my Lord. The Commissioner: I ask you the question for this reason. We all know that outside there has been a considerable outcry against the conduct of the Board of Trade, and I am to enquire into the circumstances. I should like to know from you now, if you can tell me, if there is any specific act of neglect - I do not like the expression - that you charge against them? Mr. Scanlan: I follow your Lordship. I say that there is a neglect in reference to the life-saving appliances, basing this assertion on the fact that the obligation to make provision for life-saving appliances is imposed not on an Advisory Committee but on the Board of Trade itself, and that the Board of Trade, through the years in which the tonnage of ships has been going on increasing, have been negligent, as a Department of State, in not making better regulations, in not bringing the regulations more up to date. Another point is that in the interval, since the Advisory Committee reported, attention was drawn in the House of Commons, the only place where the responsible executive head of the Board of Trade can be got at, to the importance of providing life-saving appliances commensurate with the number of passengers carried, as opposed to provisions based on tonnage. And, again, we say that the Board of Trade Regulations with respect to the manning of ships are defective; in point of fact, that when a former President presided at a Commission especially appointed to enquire into this, he had the importance of a manning scale brought under his notice, and he stated that the Department already had power to impose a manning scale under the provisions of the Act of 1906. I am going to make this point, my Lord, that notwithstanding the powers which the Board have, and which a former President
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