Page 138 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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down to the firemen’s tunnel? - I do not quite appreciate what you mean by a hollow space. 24360. You know the plan of the “Titanic”? - Yes, I have a general idea of it. 24361. In the case of the “Titanic” there are no decks running the whole length of the ship, are there? - I beg your pardon, I think there are. 24362. Have you a plan of the “Titanic” before you? - Yes, I have a plan here. 24363. I am not on the superstructure decks, but do not all the other decks for all practical purposes terminate immediately at the spiral staircase leading down to the firemen’s tunnel? - No. 24364. Which do not? - C deck does not terminate. 24365. That is the shelter deck? - The so-called shelter deck. 24366. Is not that broken by the spiral staircase? - No, I think not. 24367. How in the world does the spiral staircase find its exit, then? - I think the spiral staircase finds its exit apparently on D deck. But may I say in any case, whether it finds its exit there, it only makes a comparatively small hole in the deck, and does not stop the deck. Mr. Edwards: That is what I am coming to. The Commissioner: Are you sure it was that that you were coming to? Mr. Edwards: Perhaps not, my Lord, perhaps I have put my foot in it. (After a short adjournment.) Mr. Edwards: My Lord, I have had an opportunity during the adjournment to go through a number of these letters, and, broadly, they disclose this. There are a number of letters missing, to which I shall make reference in a moment, but, broadly speaking, there was on the part of the Marine Department of the Board of Trade a series of suggestions made to Messrs. Harland and Wolff as to the greater height of the bulkheads, and it was pointed out that they were not conforming, in the plans, to the Regulations, and there appears to have been a good deal of discussion as to the height to which these bulkheads should come and as to the watertighting of the spiral staircase, and so on. If I may say so, I regard the correspondence as of the very highest importance in relation to this Enquiry and future safety, and I was going to ask that your Lordship should consider at once a request that the Board of Trade will cause copies of all the essential letters to be made, together with those letters, if they can get them, which are missing from this correspondence. The Commissioner: Very well, if you will mark those letters that you think are important, I have no doubt that the Board of Trade will cause them to be printed. Mr. Edwards: There is one bundle here, my Lord, of some 25 documents in all. I think every one of them ought to be copied and the intermediate letters to which reference is made here, which are missing, ought, if possible, to be found and put in their right places. The Commissioner: You speak of 25. I have no idea how many there are. Do you want them all printed? Mr. Edwards: All in the one bundle. The Commissioner: Do you want any in the other bundle printed? Mr. Edwards: Certain of them which I will mark as your Lordship suggests. The Commissioner: There is no objection to printing them? The Attorney-General: No, my Lord. Mr. Edwards: I think, if I may say so, it is very important from the point of view of certain officials of the Marine Department of the Board of Trade that these letters should be made part and parcel of the proceedings. (To the Witness.) Now, Mr. Archer, there are here a number of letters with which you are familiar. But before I come to these letters I want to ask you one or two questions about the Rule and Circular 1401. I also want to ask you about the Report of the Bulkhead Committee of 1890.
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