Page 33 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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the officers and masters? 23019. You as an officer? - Yes - competency. Mr. Scanlan: Surely there is no impossibility in having an examination or some test of the competency of a man who gets a certificate for seamanship - efficiency. 23020. (The Commissioner.) That is a statement by you? - I do not agree with you. The Commissioner: It is not a question. Will you suggest what the examination is to consist of? Mr. Scanlan: Yes, my Lord, I will read it - such qualification or such certificate may be got “either by producing three years’ certificates of discharge,” that is in accordance with the Act of 1894, “or failing this, of proving that they have knowledge of the compass. The Commissioner: How are they to prove it? Is there to be an examination, or what? Mr. Scanlan: I will tell you what was suggested, my Lord - either that there should be an examination under the Board of Trade, or that the Board of Trade should empower committees of shipowners and seamen to set examinations themselves, and on their reports, or certificates, of the candidates passing those examinations, to give such certificates. The Commissioner: A sort of Civil Service examination of these men that are to go to sea? Mr. Scanlan: Yes, my Lord - I do not say that it is a Civil Service examination. It would be a voluntary body. The Commissioner: You know how gentlemen desiring to enter the Civil Service are gathered in a big room - hundreds of them, and printed questions are put to them to answer. Do you suggest that that sort of thing should be done with seamen? Mr. Scanlan: I do, my Lord, and I am giving what was the opinion of the Advisory Committee of the Board of Trade. The Commissioner: I do not care much about that. I want to know what your suggestion is. Mr. Scanlan: I cannot set myself up as above the Advisory Committee of the Board of Trade, in this matter, at all events. The Commissioner: I think on that particular point your real opinion would be worth more than the opinion of the Advisory Committee. Mr. Scanlan: Then, my Lord, I agree with the Advisory Committee in this particular. The Commissioner: You did not observe the adjective that I put before “opinion”! 23021. (Mr. Scanlan - To the Witness.) I take it from you that you, at all events, do not consider that the Advisory Committee were warranted in making such a suggestion, or that it had good reason for making this suggestion to the Board of Trade? - I do not. 23022. With regard to the handing of boats, have not you at the Board of Trade considered that a man recognised as an efficient seaman should have a competent knowledge of the handling of boats? - Not the handling of boats, but the rowing of boats - handling with an oar. 23023. That he is to pull an oar? - Yes. 23024. Your inspectors are directed to make some investigations in regard to that? - Yes. 23025. I put it to you that a recommendation was made that there should be a standard of efficiency for men in the stokehold; have you any recollection of that? - Yes, I have. 23026. And that nothing was done to carry out that recommendation? - Nothing. 23027. You did not consider it advisable to do so? - No, I did not. 23028. Do you believe in the efficacy of a sight test for men placed on the look-out on ships? - The owners insist upon it. In a great many cases it is certainly efficacious. 23029. Do you believe in making it obligatory? - No, I do not, not in the case of seamen. 23030. Not for seamen? - Not for seamen. 23031. I mean look-out men? - I say that there is no necessity for the State to step in and make it obligatory. 23032. But you say some shipowners do it? - Yes, some shipowners do it - nearly all the passenger shipowners do it.
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