Page 207 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
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of very great importance. Generally, you may ask him whether they have power to draw up a manning scale, and whether they have drawn it up, and whether they have been asked to do so. 22596. (Mr. Scanlan.) You have said, Sir Walter, that you have been asked to draw up a manning scale. I will put this further question to you: No manning scale has been drawn up? - No manning scale extending to all vessels has been drawn up. Mr. Scanlan: I want to ask you now if you consider it would be desirable to draw up a manning scale. The Commissioner: I am not sure that you should ask him that. The Union think so, obviously. 22597. (Mr. Scanlan.) With regard to the rating -? - Will you allow me, before passing from this, to call your attention to Section 305 of the Merchant Shipping Act of 1894, which deals with the crew of an emigrant ship. 22598. (The Commissioner.) What is it? - It shows the way my Lord, in which the Emigration Officer, who is the responsible officer, deals with the clearance of an emigrant ship - the legal requirements. 22599. Read it to me. - “Every emigrant ship shall be manned with an efficient crew for her intended voyage to the satisfaction of the emigration officer, from whom a certificate for clearance for such ship is demanded. After the crew have been passed by the Emigration Officer, the strength of the crew shall not be diminished nor any of the men changed without the consent in writing either of that Emigration Officer or of the superintendent at the port of clearance. (2) Where the consent of a superintendent has been obtained, it shall within 24 hours thereafter be lodged with the said Emigration Officer. (3) If the Emigration Officer considers the crew inefficient, the owner or charterer of a ship may appeal in writing to the Board of Trade, and the Board shall, at the expense of the appellant, appoint two other Emigration Officers or two competent persons to examine into the matter, and the unanimous opinion of the persons so appointed, expressed under their hands, shall be conclusive on the point.” The Commissioner: As I understand it, Mr. Scanlan, that seems to answer you? 22600. (Mr. Scanlan.) That is in the Act of Parliament? - That is so. The Commissioner: It is left by law to the discretion of the Emigration Officer. Mr. Scanlan: What I suggest, my Lord, is that if it is left to the discretion of the individual Emigration Officer, you may have a difference in practice between one port and another. The Commissioner: Certainly you may. Mr. Scanlan: And it is for that reason, my Lord, that I respectfully suggest, as a matter for this Inquiry, that it is desirable to recommend a manning scale which would be universally observed. The Commissioner: That would appear to me to involve - it may be right, you know - an alteration of the law, not to leave the matter in the discretion of different minds at different places, but to make one hard-and-fast Rule. Mr. Scanlan: That is so, my Lord. The Commissioner: That does not throw any discredit in any way upon the Board of Trade itself. You cannot yet - I do not know what you may be able to do later on - blame them for obeying the law. Mr. Scanlan: I will read, my Lord, one short sentence from the report of a conference between the representatives of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth of Australia and New Zealand on the subject of Merchant Shipping legislation. The Commissioner: What date is that? Mr. Scanlan: It is in 1907. The then President of the Board of Trade, Mr. Lloyd George, was talking with reference to manning, and he is asked, “Which section?” and he said, “There is only one section. We have simply extended the definition of unseaworthiness to undermanning. We can issue any instructions we like to our Surveyors; we can impose a scale.” 22601. (The Commissioner.) Who said that is extending the definition of unseaworthiness to
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