Page 132 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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24302. Not as to the number? - No. 24302a. What was the question as to character that came before you? - The question as to character was with regard to the bulkhead which is marked A on that diagram. (Indicating.) The Surveyor, Mr. Carruthers, wrote to me, pointing out that the upper portion of that bulkhead was constructed nearer to the stem of the vessel than the Board’s instructions contemplated, and asking whether he should pass it or not. 24303. (The Attorney-General.) Does that mean a step forward? - A step forward. 24304. (Mr. Edwards.) What other questions as to the character of the bulkheads came before you? - No question with regard to the bulkheads as bulkheads was submitted to me. 24305. Let us be perfectly clear upon this. We already have it in evidence that inasmuch as there was no application by the owners or the builders to get boat exemption under Rule 12 - that we quite understand - there was no question of bulkheads qua bulkheads coming before you, but only as to the questions of their strength and efficiency, so that we can clear that away right at once, and you can address your answer to the questions I put? - An application was made by the builders for the assignment of a freeboard to the vessel. 24306. Have you their application; have you the correspondence relating to this? - Yes, I have most of it here. I have some letters from them. Mr. Edwards: My Lord, may I say that in the view that I have taken of this matter, this is of very great importance, and I ask formally for the production of the correspondence between the heads of the Marine Department in London and their Surveyor in Belfast, and between Messrs. Harland and Wolff and the Surveyors of the Marine Department relating to the question of freeboard, and the construction of bulkheads. The Commissioner: Is there any reason why that should not be given? The Attorney-General: I have not seen it, and I do not know what it is. I cannot tell till I see. The only question that can arise here - I do not imagine that it will be so - is that there may be something against public interest in the production of the document, but I cannot say without seeing it. The Commissioner: I do not suppose any difficulty of that kind will raise. The Attorney-General: I cannot answer the question without satisfying myself that it is so - I mean that I cannot from the public interest point of view. As I say, I do not anticipate it will arise, but I cannot say that I will give him any correspondence without looking at it. But that will be the only objection. The Commissioner: I think it would be better - I do not want the Note encumbered with a vast number of documents which may be of no relevancy at all - for someone for the Board of Trade and somebody for Harland and Wolff to get this correspondence together, and let Mr. Edwards see it. The Attorney-General: I do not anticipate there will be any difficulty. The Commissioner: That is all you want to see, Mr. Edwards, I suppose? Mr. Edwards: Yes, my Lord. The Commissioner: If you find anything in it that is important, then you must draw my attention to it. Mr. Edwards: Yes, my Lord. Probably I can get pretty nearly as much as I want from this Witness, but I should like to have the opportunity of looking at the correspondence because quite an important point turns upon it as to relative responsibility. The Attorney-General: There will be no difficulty about it unless something occurs which I do not for a moment anticipate. The Commissioner: I do not anticipate any difficulty of that kind. 24307. (Mr. Edwards.) You said there was an application from Messrs. Harland and Wolff as to the freeboard. Just to make the position perfectly clear, the greater the freeboard under your Rules the less height is there need for the bulkheads to go. That is so, is it not? That is to say,
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