Page 216 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
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bulkhead by which your Surveyors may be guided? - No, there are no definite Rules on that subject. 22706. So that the question of whether a ship is seaworthy, at all events, in relation to the bulkheads, is a matter which is left to the personal judgment, without guidance, of each particular Surveyor that you have in your employment? - I am perfectly sure that every Surveyor would report any question about bulkheads of that sort to the Department for guidance. 22707. I will put that to you in a moment. What may or may not be done is one question. So far as the powers are concerned, it is within the personal discretion of each Surveyor to say whether he considers a particular bulkhead in a particular ship is right or not - he has not to refer to any specific standard? - What he has to do is to declare that he is satisfied with the hull of the vessel. 22708. And for that purpose he has not to refer to any specific standard? - No. I do not think any specific standard has been laid down. 22709. Is it not a fact that you have among your Surveyors a large number of persons who have had no special training apart from any experience they may have derived in their position in the Board of Trade, in the testing of the character of bulkheads? - Every Surveyor, before his appointment is confirmed, has to pass an examination that satisfies the Chief Ships’ Surveyor that he is - 22710. (The Commissioner.) I wish you would try, when the question admits of an answer of “yes” or “no,” to answer it by “yes” or “no.” - Yes, my Lord, I always try to do that. The Commissioner: If you will listen to the question put to you again you will see that it admits of one of those answers. Now put it again, Mr. Edwards. 22711. (Mr. Clement Edwards.) Have you not in your employment as Surveyors a number of gentlemen who have had no practical experience and training in bulkheads except what they have derived in their experience as Surveyors to the Board of Trade? - If I am to say “yes” or “no,” I think I will say “no.” 22712. Then we may take it from you that every one of your Surveyors has had experience of testing bulkheads apart altogether from their experience in the Board of Trade? - That is where it becomes so necessary for me to qualify what I say. 22713. I did not ask you not to qualify your answer, Sir Walter. Qualify it as you like? - A Surveyor is not allowed to make a declaration for a vessel upon the particular points with which he is entrusted that is to say, hull, equipment and machinery, until he has satisfied the Board of Trade that he is fit to do it. 22714. That is a very general and beautifully vague answer. What test have you at the Board of Trade for the efficiency of your Surveyors in this matter of bulkheads? - That the officer has passed the Chief Ships’ Surveyor. I really must ask you to ask the Ship’s Surveyor any further questions on that when he is examined. I cannot carry it any further. Mr. Edwards: Who is the gentleman that you suggest that I should ask, because it seems in this Enquiry we are constantly being put off and told that other people are coming who will give the information, and when they come they do not give it. The Commissioner: Oh, you must not make that complaint, Mr. Edwards. I have asked you over and over again to give me information, and you always tell me that you are going to do it at some other time. 22715. (Mr. Clement Edwards.) Of course, my Lord, I know I have shown a pedantic regard for the Rules. The Witness: What I am most anxious that the Court should understand is that I am not a technical officer but an administrative officer, and that the whole of my administrative staff is at your disposal. The Commissioner: Never mind, let us go on. 22716. (Mr. Clement Edwards.) Will you give me the name of the gentleman who can give me
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