Page 171 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
P. 171
such bulkheads as the “Mauretania” and the “Lusitania” had? - No, my Lord, those had been rejected. 24712. (The Attorney-General.) Is that quite right? - Yes, we were told, and the dates were given, that the plans of the “Mauretania” and the “Lusitania” had been sent to the Board of Trade and rejected as not complying with Rule 12. I have a Return, and I will give it to you, Mr. Attorney, giving all the names and all the dates. 24713. (Mr. Scanlan.) Was it from somebody officially in the Board of Trade you got information about the “Lusitania” and the “Mauretania” failing to comply with the Board of Trade’s requirements? - No, the information about the “Lusitania” and the “Mauretania” in June, 1911, came from Mr. Royden, who was a member of our Committee and the Deputy-Chairman of the Cunard Company. 24714. I should like to ask you this to make it clear. Is there any official in the Board of Trade who is responsible for the statement that the “Titanic” did not come up to the Board of Trade’s requirements? - Under Rule 12, no. I had the statement from no official. The Commissioner: You are talking always of Rule 12? 24715. (Mr. Scanlan.) Yes, my Lord. (To the Witness.) I think we had the statement made that no application was made under Rule 12? - Mr. Carlisle told us at the Committee that it was no use applying for the “Titanic.” 24716. Was it the case, then, that either the builders, Messrs. Harland and Wolff, or the owners, the White Star people, knew themselves that the ship was deficient in some particulars, and consequently did not make the application? - I do not think that is quite a fair way of putting it. 24717. Just put it in any way you like yourself? - Rule 12 says that if you comply, or if you come up to the category of unsinkable ships - I am paraphrasing the Rule - - 24718. (The Commissioner.) That is not what it says, Sir Norman? - That is too strong, my Lord. 24719. (Mr. Scanlan.) I will read it to you? - I have it, so that I can follow it. 24720. “When ships of any class are divided into efficient watertight compartments to the satisfaction of the Board of Trade, they shall only be required to carry additional boats, rafts, and buoyant apparatus of one-half of the capacity required by these Rules, but the exemption shall not extend to lifejackets or similar approved articles of equal buoyancy suitable to be worn on the person? - Yes. The way the Board interpret that Rule is this in practice: Unless the ship comes up to the standard laid down by Sir Edward Harland’s Committee of 1890 as practically an unsinkable ship it will not pass you under Rule 12. 24721. (The Commissioner.) Will you repeat that explanation; I did not hear it? - My Lord, the way the Board interpret Rule 12 is this; that unless a ship comes up to the standard laid down by Sir Edward Harland’s Committee in all respects they will not give the exemption under 12. 24722. Sir Edward Harland’s Committee reported as follows: “Vessels may be considered able to float in moderate weather with any two adjoining compartments in free communication with the sea if fitted with efficient transverse watertight bulkheads, so spaced that when two such compartments are laid open to the sea the uppermost watertight deck to which all the bulkheads extend, and which we will call the bulkhead deck, is not brought nearer to the water surface than would be indicated by a line drawn round the side at a distance amidships of three-hundredths of the depth at side at that place below the bulkhead deck.” That is what they reported? - Yes; and then there are detailed recommendations as to the mechanical arrangements by which that result is to be obtained, and the Board, as I understand it, insist on these particular detailed arrangements being carried out in all respects before they will give the certificate under Rule 12. Rule 12 does not appear to me to contemplate the construction of a vessel which shall be unsinkable, otherwise there would be no occasion for any provision of lifeboats except for the
   166   167   168   169   170   171   172   173   174   175   176