Page 123 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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24222. Is it the fault of the Board of Trade? - I suppose it is. 24223. Is it their fault to begin with? - Well, it is not my fault. 24224. No, I know it is not; I did not suggest it was, because I feel quite sure that you would tell me that it was not; but can you tell me why passenger ships are not surveyed in the same way as emigrant ships? - I think it is due to the number of one class being so much greater than the other. We are a very small body; there are only 17 of us. 24225. Who do you mean by “we”? - The Nautical Surveyors of the Board of Trade. We do the bulk of the emigration work. There are only 17 of us, and there are a very large number of engineers, and they do the passenger certificates. There are 80 engineers. The Commissioner: That does not appear to me to be an answer. The Attorney-General: There are different statutory requirements. The Commissioner: Oh, there are, no doubt; but the question I put was, and what I wanted to know was, why the passenger steamers are not surveyed in the same way as the emigrant ships are. The Attorney-General: Yes; why Parliament did it. The Commissioner: Yes. The Attorney-General: We can see why Parliament was more careful, because it was thought emigrants might be put in any kind of ship, and, therefore, Parliament’s attention was specially directed to see there was proper accommodation, and proper food and properly constructed ships. The Commissioner: That, I think, is the proper explanation. The Attorney-General: It was thought that passengers could look after themselves and emigrants could not. The Commissioner: That is exactly the truth. Emigrants are, very properly, treated as if they were children or sick people, and have to be looked after. (The Witness withdrew.) WILLIAM DAVID ARCHER, Affirmed. Examined by Mr. BUTLER ASPINALL. 24226. Are you Principal Ship Surveyor to the Board of Trade? - I am. 24227. How long have you held that position? - Since the year 1898. 24228. I believe your offices are in London? - In London, yes. 24229. And for the purposes of this Enquiry what you have to do is this, is it not? You are consulted by the Ship Surveyor at Belfast with regard to certain matters? - Yes. 24230. And I believe you have certain plans sent over to you from Belfast? - Yes, I had certain plans sent. 24231. And I think they are sent to you for the purpose of enabling you to determine what the freeboard of the ship should be? - That is so. 24232. I believe, incidentally, in connection with the assigning of the freeboard the question of the bulkheads is considered by you? - They were. 24233. And did you have adequate information to enable you to give this vessel a safe freeboard? - Yes. 24234. And you did so? - Yes. 24235. I do not know if you were consulted by Belfast in regard to other matters in connection with this ship, were you? - Yes, several other matters; for example, such questions as the ventilation of emigrants’ quarters. 24236. I do not think they are matters which would assist my Lord in any way? - Not in the least. 24237. They are small matters of detail, but you had all these matters before you; you gave them your attention? - Yes.
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