Page 99 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
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great you could not compare them, I think. I could not give you a comparison between the two, they are so very different. The one is made for going out and receiving shell and everything of that sort. We build ships to float, not either to hit icebergs or hit rocks. Unfortunately they do so. 21467. You have hit one? - We have. 21468. They require great speed in a warship; they require to move quickly inside a warship; so that if it is possible in a warship why is it not possible on a merchant ship? - Well, I do not think it is workable. 21469. From what point of view. Do you mean mechanically workable or commercially workable, or what? - Both mechanically and commercially. 21470. Why do you say it is not mechanically workable on a merchant ship if it is shown to be mechanically workable on a warship? - Well, you see they have such an immense number of artificers on a warship that they are able to put one or two or three of these men in each of these stokeholds. They have not to go about, whereas in a merchant ship you must keep one of the engineers in charge constantly in these stokeholds moving rapidly from one to the other so as to see that the fires have been properly fired, to see that the water is at the proper height in the boilers, and to keep a general supervision rapidly. I do not think that in a merchant ship the thing is possible. 21471. If it can be done with what you call artificers in the Navy it could be done with some equivalent person or persons in the merchant ship? - You could not run the ships at that expense. It resolves itself into what I suggested, not a mechanical difficulty, but a commercial reason. The Commissioner: Oh, no, it does not do anything of the kind; you must not say that. Mr. Edwards: I am putting that interrogatively, my Lord. The Commissioner: It is not the effect of his evidence. 21472. (Mr. Clement Edwards.) I am putting it to him interrogatively. (To the Witness.) Is there any mechanical difficulty in the way of having in each boiler section - in this case there were six sections - the equivalent of the artificer or artificers who you suggest make it possible to run a warship with bulkheads without watertight doors? - Will you just take the Navy and the Mercantile Service. A man in the Navy understands every inch of the ship and has very likely lived in the ship for years. The man who leaves Southampton in a great many cases has never seen an engine or a ship before; and therefore the two things are entirely different, and cannot be considered together. The Merchant Service being put on the same basis as the Admiralty to me only seems foolish. 21473. That is your view? - That is mine. 21473a. I am only now dealing in relation to a bulkhead without watertight doors. Does it then resolve itself into this, that owing to the difficulty of getting for the Merchant Service people of a similar character to the artificers who thoroughly understand their ship, you cannot run bulkheads in the lower decks without watertight doors? - I am not able to answer a question like that. That is something for you to ask the people that are running the ships, not the builder. I as the builder do not think the thing is workable at all, but the people to ask are the shipowners of the country, if they can do it. 21474. When I was asking them in this case they assured me that the builders would be able to tell me all about it. There will have to be recommendations from this Commission, and I was trying to get your views as a very experienced man on the construction of ships. Do you know what the financial relations are between Messrs. Harland and Wolff and the International Mercantile Marine Company? - I know nothing about it. 21475. It is no good asking the builder about that? - I never was a member of Harland and Wolff; I was not a shareholder; I was their general manager and their chairman of directors, but had no monetary interest in the thing, and, therefore, it was not my business to go into those details.
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