Page 88 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
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21260. (Mr. Butler Aspinall.) I see it is reprinted; it was April the 18th? - Yes, that is correct. 21261. I got what was reprinted. Did such an interview take place? - Yes. 21262. And have you read what purports to be an interview between you and the representative of the “Daily Mail”? - Yes. 21263. Is it correctly reported in the “Daily Mail”? - I consider it so. 21264. And are the statements of fact attributed to you in that report correct? - I believe so. 21265. As I say, I have had no proof of your statement from you. I believe you would prefer to make a general statement to my Lord with regard to that matter. Is not that so? - Well, whatever you like. I am quite prepared to do whatever you like. The Commissioner: Mr. Aspinall is in the position that he does not know what he likes. 21266. (Mr. Butler Aspinall.) I will assist you if I can. Perhaps I might direct your attention - I am quite prepared to make a statement or answer any questions in connection with that, whichever you like. 21267. I will direct your attention to statements in the interview which were suggested and cross-examined to, in the case of one or more of the witnesses who were called. This is the statement: “When working out the designs of the ‘Olympic’ and the ‘Titanic’ I put my ideas before the davit constructors, and got them to design me davits which would allow me to place, if necessary, four lifeboats on each pair of davits, which would have meant a total of over 40 boats. Those davits were fitted in both ships, but though the Board of Trade did not require anything more than the 16 lifeboats 20 boats were supplied.” I will stop there for one moment. The paragraph opens thus: “When working out the designs of the ‘Olympic’ and the ‘Titanic.’” At that time did you occupy a position in the builder’s firm? - I was chairman of the managing directors and general manager of the whole works. th 21268. At the present moment I think you have retired from business? - I retired on the 30 of June, 1910. 21269. Did you take part in working out the designs of the “Olympic” and the “Titanic”? Deal with the “Titanic.” - Yes, they were entirely designed practically by Lord Pirrie. The details, the decorations, the equipments, and general arrangements all came under me. 21270. Did you put your ideas before the davits constructors? - I did. 21271. Who would that be? - Welin’s Quadrant Davit Company. 21272. And the paragraph goes on thus: “I put my ideas before those gentlemen and got them to design my davits which would allow me to place, if necessary, four lifeboats on each pair of davits, which would have meant a total of over 40 boats.” Have you got those designs? - Yes. 21273. Have you got them with you? - Yes. 21274. Will you produce them? - Yes. (Handing the same to the Commissioner.) 21275. (The Commissioner.) Where did you get them from? - From the davit constructor. We made a rough design in Belfast ourselves, and then I sent it to him to draw the kind of davit he would recommend, seeing that prior to that he had designed one for the Union-Castle Line to carry two boats. 21276. Is that the same design as the smaller one? - The first you have in your hand was got out about the middle of the year 1909. That was the original thing before the plan was made. 21277. Which was? - That small one. That is the one for consideration which I put before Lord Pirrie and the directors of the White Star. Then when I pointed out that I expected the Board of Trade and the Government would require much larger boat accommodation on these large ships, I was authorised then to go ahead and get out full plans and designs, so that if the Board of Trade did call upon us to fit anything more we would have no extra trouble or extra expense. 21278. You would be ready to go on with it? - Yes. 21279. How many boats does this represent? - That represents 32 boats - 16 doubled. There they are as fitted in the Union-Castle Line. That was done in 1909. That was on the “Edinburgh
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