Page 17 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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doing it. 22815. (Mr. Holmes - To the Witness.) Can you help us upon that? Do you know what the German Regulations are? - I am not sure. I do not think they survey every vessel; certainly not. I should think no. 22816. Do they survey every passenger vessel? - I think so. 22817. And do you know how many Surveyors survey each vessel? - No. The Commissioner: Does it not depend upon the size of the vessel? Mr. Holmes: I think not, my Lord. My instructions are there are three separate departments, and each Surveyor of the different parts surveys different parts of the ship. 22818. (The Commissioner.) Who is it sees the ship is not overloaded? Anybody? - Yes, our Surveyors exercise a general supervision. There is a loadline disc on the ship. 22819. Who is it sees the vessel is not laden below the line? - Any of our Surveyors is supposed to report that. 22820. Do the Surveyors, in fact, visit each ship in order to see whether she is loaded below the loadline or not? - Oh, my Lord, certainly not; it would require an army of Surveyors. The Commissioner: No, I think we have had Sir Walter Howell nearly long enough, Mr. Holmes. 22821. (Mr. Holmes.) Just two more questions. (To the Witness.) Can you tell me upon what principle only four boats out of all those supplied on a ship are required to be equipped under these Rules with compass and lamp, and so on? - No, I cannot answer that question. One of the technical officers will answer that. 22822. It is a fact that there are only four? - Speaking from memory, I think that is correct. 22823. In reply to Mr. Scanlan, you agreed that it would be improper to allow a ship of the size of the “Titanic” to go to sea with only two certificated officers in addition to the Captain? - Of course, I should say so, decidedly. 22824. That is the extreme limit which can be required by the Merchant Shipping Act? - By statute, yes. 22825. Then do you not agree that the Merchant Shipping Act, on that point, is out of date, and requires amendment? - I think that requires very careful consideration. There are many considerations to be taken into account, and I should hesitate to say that it was wise to legislate on the subject, having regard to our present practice in our Mercantile Marine. 22826. You do not suggest we should rely upon our present practice for all the requirements of ships? - No; but I think directly a Government Department lays down a minimum there is a very strong tendency to make that the maximum. Mr. Holmes: At present the minimum is two. 22827. (The Commissioner.) I have had something to do with the new Wages Bill, and I found just the reverse. I found the tendency was to make the maximum the minimum? - I think, for instance, that it was the habit of some steamship companies to carry seven certificated officers, and soon after that the Board of Trade laid down a Regulation requiring five. I think it would be a strong temptation to that firm to consider whether they would not reduce their practice. 22828. (Mr. Holmes.) I am not suggesting that anything of that kind should be done. What I suggest is that there ought to be a graduated scale in the same way as there is for boat accommodation? - I will repeat what I said, that I think it is a matter deserving very attentive consideration. Mr. Pringle: May I ask one or two questions, my Lord? The Commissioner: Yes.
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