Page 108 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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his duty or what? Mr. Edwards: No, my Lord. What I want to get at is what amounts to the fulfillment of the requirements of the Board of Trade, because if I may say so, we are not here merely in the nature of an inquest, to discover why the “Titanic” went down; we are here also for the purpose of ascertaining what things ought to be done to prevent future “Titanic’s” going down. And what I do want to get at from this Witness is precisely what tests he applies. The Commissioner: Very well. I do not say you may not do it, but has it been suggested that these bulkheads were not watertight? Mr. Edwards: No, my Lord; what is perfectly clear is this, that in spite of the existence of bulkheads, this ship went down. The Commissioner: Yes, that is because she had holes knocked along her side. It has nothing to do with bulkheads. Mr. Edwards: It may not have anything to do with bulkheads qua bulkheads, but it may have a very great deal to do with bulkheads qua part of the strength of the ship relied upon for resisting a shock of this kind. I will be very short. The Commissioner: I am not sure about that. Mr. Edwards: Your Lordship has rather a suspicious mind. (To the Witness.) I asked you whether you deemed it your duty to test these bulkheads for the purpose of seeing they were watertight? 23964. (The Commissioner.) And let me interrupt you for a moment. (To the Witness.) Suppose you found some of the bulkheads were not watertight, would you have refused your certificate? - I do not know; it would have depended which bulkhead it was, my Lord. I think if I had found any of the bulkheads not watertight I would have submitted the question to London. 23965. Did you find any of the bulkheads not watertight? - No, I found them all very good indeed. 23966. (Mr. Edwards.) Now, what I want to get is what was the test you applied to see the bulkheads were watertight? - I went over the bulkheads with a feeler, a small-bladed knife, round the caulking, and saw there were no rivet holes left unfilled. 23967. Is that the only test you applied for watertightness? - Yes. The Commissioner: Now suggest to him some other that he ought to have applied. 23968. (Mr. Edwards.) You did contemplate the possibility of these compartments between the bulkheads, or some of them, being flooded? - Yes. 23969. Did you apply any test of any kind to see the resisting strength of the bulkheads? - You mean to resist that which would be placed upon them by the place being filled with water? 23970. Yes? - No, excepting the collision bulkhead. I saw it filled with water up to the level of the forepeak tank top. 23971. That is the only one you saw tested with water? - Yes. 23972. (The Commissioner.) Is it customary to test any other bulkhead except the peak bulkhead with water? - No, my Lord. The Commissioner: I am told it is never done. 23973. (Mr. Edwards.) What are the grounds upon which and the method by which you arrived at the conclusion that the bulkheads are efficient? - Are strong enough to resist this pressure? 23974. Yes? - There is a standard Rule - The Commissioner: Is there any reason to suppose that the bulkheads in the “Titanic” broke down? Mr. Edwards: I think there is some evidence. The Commissioner: Well, will you tell me what it is? Mr. Edwards: There is the evidence of Barrett, my Lord. The Commissioner: What is that, that he saw some water coming in?
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