Page 121 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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24170. Never mind about the custom; it is what you did? - Yes. 24171. And you now do not think it is satisfactory? - No. 24172. Did you think it satisfactory before the “Titanic” accident? - Well, no. 24173. Then why did you do it? - Because it is the custom. 24174. But do you follow custom, although it is bad? - Well, you will remember I am a Civil servant. Custom guides us a good bit. The Commissioner: Perhaps that is the answer. 24175. (Mr. Cotter - To the Witness.) Has the bulkhead door drill anything to do with you? - Yes. 24176. Did you see any bulkhead door drill taken part in that day? - Yes; I had three watertight doors closed in my presence. 24177. Is it not the fact that where there is a properly disciplined drill on board ship a bugle goes, and everybody goes to his station? - Yes, in some Companies that is the case. The Commissioner: Is that in port or at sea? Mr. Cotter: In port. The Witness: In port, my Lord. The Commissioner: And at sea? Mr. Cotter: If necessary, my Lord. 24178. (The Commissioner - To the Witness.) Have you ever been present at a drill of that kind? - Oh, yes, but not in my official capacity. This is all done before I go to the ship. Sometimes if I am a little earlier I see it. 24179. Whose duty is to do it? - The marine superintendent of the Company. 24180. It has nothing to do with the Board of Trade? - No, nothing at all. 24181. (Mr. Cotter.) If you ordered a thing and said, “I want that boat lowered,” it would be done? - Yes. 24182. If you said you wanted the bulkhead doors closed it would be done? - Yes. 24183. So that it rested with you what kind of drill took place? - Yes, perhaps so. 24184. Have you had any drill with collision mats? - I never heard of them, not in merchant ships. I have had them in the Navy. 24185. (The Commissioner.) It is the first I have heard of collision mats? - We have them in the Navy. The Commissioner: I am told we had some evidence about them before. 24186. (Mr. Cotter - To the Witness.) You saw no collision mats on the “Titanic”? - No. The Commissioner: Do these lines carry collision mats? Mr. Cotter: Some of them, my Lord. The Commissioner: I was asking the Witness. The Witness: No, not to my knowledge. The Commissioner: You see, he differs from you, Mr. Cotter. 24187. (Mr. Cotter - To the Witness.) I put it to you that there are not enough Surveyors in Southampton now they are introducing these large ships? The Commissioner: You do not represent the Surveyors’ Union, do you? Mr. Cotter: No, my Lord. The Surveyors are there to see to the safety of the ship, and I am putting it now to this Witness that there are not enough Surveyors to survey the ships in a proper manner. 24188. (The Commissioner.) What do you think of that now? The Witness: Well, of course, undoubtedly we are getting very congested, because all foreign ships now have to comply with the English law. 24189. Will you answer a simple question? Are there enough Surveyors in your opinion? - No. 24190. That is an answer. Have you ever represented to the Board of Trade that there are not? - That would not be in my province. 24191. Have you ever represented it? - No. 24192. The answer is you have not? - Yes.
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