Page 147 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
P. 147
hatch, and supposing it goes down that spiral staircase and fills the tunnel, the vessel then will only go down by the head 2 ½ feet,” and when I had ascertained myself that the top of this bulkhead would then be 15 ½ feet above the water, I felt I had insufficient ground for insisting that that should be done, and withholding the declaration. 24458. Now, in the light of what has happened to the “Titanic,” do you think that your view was the best one, or the builders’ view was the best one? - I think that my view was the only right one within our powers under the Merchant Shipping Act. 24459. And that applies today? - Yes. 24460. I only want to touch on one other aspect. There has been something said here as to the difficulty that there might be in utilising the boat deck for a larger number of boats, and it has been suggested that if you put the number of boats there, an increased number, you increase the tenderness of the ship. It has also been suggested that you might correct such tenderness by increasing the ballasting. Do you take the view that any greater tenderness which may be caused by the larger number of boats may be corrected by a process of ballasting? - Yes, it may be corrected by ballasting. The Commissioner: I think I can relieve you also in this part of the case. One of the matters which the Committee will be asked to consider - they will have, I think, to have the submission to them amended in order to enable them to do it - will be the provision of boats. It is quite obvious that it is a matter of importance, and ought to be taken into consideration and dealt with. I think you will probably agree with me. The Attorney-General: Yes, my Lord. I do entirely. Mr. Edwards: I purposely put it because of that. The Commissioner: You are quite right to put it. 24461. (Mr. Edwards.) I did say that I was going to ask Mr. Archer some questions on this matter, and you asked him to be prepared, but since then your Lordship gave the intimation which you did on Friday, and therefore having got this reply to a comprehensive question. I will not pursue it any further at all. (To the Witness.) You will see, Mr. Archer, that this correspondence is got into order for the purpose of being printed, and I will have the letters marked for you. The Witness: I will endeavour to get them. Examined by Mr. HOLMES. 24462. We have been referred to you by Sir Walter Howell. We have been told that he relied upon you to satisfy yourself as to the capabilities of the Board of Trade Surveyors when they were appointed? - Yes. 24463. Can you tell us exactly what test you put to them to satisfy yourself that they are capable of performing their duties. For instance, do you appoint a large number of Surveyors as engineer and Shipwright Surveyors? - They are appointed. 24464. One man does the two things? - Yes. 24465. They are in a great many cases men who have had nothing but engineering experience at sea? - They have had workshop experience as well as engineers. 24466. What test do you put to them as to their practical experience as shipwrights, or as nautical men? - As nautical men, none. I put to them a test as regards their ability to construct and repair - their knowledge of the construction and repair of iron vessels. 24467. Do you put them through examination? - Yes, both written examination and verbal examination. 24468. Is that before their appointment, or after it? - That is after they have served a probationary period of about six months.
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