Page 135 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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24339. I wish you would speak just a little louder, if you will. I then asked you this question, whether in arriving at that, you took into consideration the strength of different parts of details of the ship? - Yes, I did. 24340. Do you say that that was done by the Marine Department of the Board of Trade in the case of the “Titanic”? - It was done by me. 24341. Have you the particulars in writing by which you made these different calculations? - Yes. 24342. Can you produce them? - Yes. 24343. Will you produce them? - Yes. 24344. (The Commissioner.) Are they here? - I think so. The Commissioner: Will you tell me what we are doing at present? What part of the Enquiry are your questions directed to, Mr. Edwards? Mr. Edwards: They are directed to the question of seeing whether there were right tests made in the case of the “Titanic” as to the strength and efficiency; and, secondly, my Lord, whether, with a view to avoiding similar trouble - The Commissioner: What do you mean by “similar trouble”? Mr. Edwards: I would rather put it in this way, my Lord: Whether by way of reducing to a minimum the possibility of a recurrence of the “Titanic” disaster the Marine Department of the Board of Trade, by its methods as adopted in the case of the “Titanic,” can be deemed a sufficient and an efficient body for applying tests to other ships that may be constructed? The Commissioner: I am at a loss to understand what your present examination has to do with the disaster that overtook the “Titanic.” It is not suggested that her scantlings were not right or that her scantlings had anything to do with the disaster. Mr. Edwards: Well, my Lord, with very great respect, when I come back to the bulkheads, your Lordship will see that there is a very great deal to do with the question of scantlings. I am really on the third question of the Enquiry: “In the actual design and construction of the “Titanic” what special provisions were made for the safety of the vessel and the lives of those on board”; and so on? The Commissioner: I only want to understand it. Are you going to suggest that if the scantlings had been different the iceberg would not have knocked a hole in her side? Mr. Edwards: I do not go quite as far as that, my Lord, but I think there is a ground for suggesting here - I mean, frankly, it is a matter which I shall comment upon to your Lordship with a view to your Lordship carefully consulting with the expert Assessors who sit by your side - that if there had been right tests to test the strength of the bulkheads (I am going to suggest that the bulkhead between 5 and 6, on the evidence, did give way) possibly that bulkhead might not have given way. I am further going to suggest to your Lordship that in this case the ship was not constructed according to the Rules as laid down by the Board of Trade. What I am going to call attention to is this, that either Messrs. Harland and Wolff the builders, defied the Board of Trade, or that there was extraordinary laxity on the part of the officials of the Marine Department of the Board of Trade to allow, in the construction of this ship, a departure from those Rules which they have already laid down. The Commissioner: Will you suggest to the Witness the particular Rules of the Board of Trade which you say they failed to enforce? Mr. Edwards: Yes, my Lord; that is why I want the correspondence in the matter of the bulkheads. The Commissioner: Then you are not speaking to it at the present moment. Mr. Edwards: I can do it at once, my Lord, but I thought it would save the time of the Court if I did it after I had an opportunity of examining the correspondence. The Commissioner: Then perhaps you had better adjourn your cross-examination of this
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