Page 28 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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“Olympic” was rather a jump, and I thought it might be prudent to advise the Department to refer the matter to the Advisory Committee, because, although we had power to vary the Rules ourselves, it has always been the practice of the Board, as a Statutory Committee was appointed, to deal with lifesaving appliances, to refer the matter to the Advisory Committee. 22934. Did you refer it to the Advisory Committee? - The Marine Department referred it to the Advisory Committee. 22935. Did you make yourself acquainted with the Terms of Reference to the Advisory Committee? - Yes, I did. 22936. In the Terms of Reference I think you state that consideration should be given to the provision of bulkheads and other things? That was stated? - Yes. 22937. Did you express as the view of the Board of Trade, the considered opinion of yourself and others that the provision of additional lifeboats was not so necessary in the case of ships which were divided into watertight compartments? - That is the case. 22938. So that it would be scarcely fair to say that the action of the Advisory Committee was left free from restrictions by the Board of Trade? - That I cannot say. The Advisory Committee had a very free hand and exercised it. 22939. Were you present at any of the meetings of the Advisory Committee? - None at all. 22940. Do you know if the minutes of the meetings of the Advisory Committee have been kept? - I do not know. The clerical officers would know that. 22941. Do you know whether the clerical officer is coming here who kept the minutes of the Advisory Committee? - I do not. Not being attached to the Department, I know nothing about it. 22942. Do you know whether the question of the insufficiency of lifeboat accommodation was pressed upon that Committee by any of its members? - I do not. 22943. Or whether they took evidence? - No, I do not. I know nothing of their procedure at all. 22944. Did the Advisory Committee make a report? - They did. 22945. Is that the Report of last year? - That is the Report of last year. 22946. Had any other Report been made previous to that? - Not to my knowledge. 22947. Do you know any reason from a practical point of view - I mean do you know any reason affecting the safety of the ship - that makes it undesirable to increase the lifeboat accommodation? - The undue encumbrance of the decks, and the provision of extra hands to man them. 22948. Would that make it unsafe for the ship - to have a number of extra hands to man the lifeboats? - Not unsafe, but it would take away from her commercial value. 22949. Was the principal consideration that you had in adhering to the old scale, the commercial value of the ship? - No. The several reasons that I gave were the reasons. 22950. Was it a leading consideration with you? - No, it was a subsidiary one. 22951. Was there any other consideration, apart from encumbering the deck space, as to the safety of having lifeboats on a ship, that influenced you in coming to the decision that you should not increase the scale? - Simply that they were not necessary, in my opinion. 22952. The opinion has been expressed to my Lord and the Court that the provision of additional boats might make the ship more tender. That did not impress itself upon you, did it? - No, not at all. 22953. You do not think it would make a big ship more tender? - No, and if it did you could compensate for it easily. 22954. By ballasting? - Yes. 22955. I want your views as a nautical expert on this question: How many seamen, deckhands, would it be desirable to carry for each lifeboat? - I should say about three, in some circumstances it might be two. It all depends on the size of the boat. 22956. But at least - ? - Two.
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