Page 37 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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Examined by Mr. CLEMENT EDWARDS. 23074. Has the “Titanic” disaster led you to believe that any single one of the Board of Trade Regulations should be modified? - No. 23075. That is to say there are no lessons to be learned from this disaster? - No, because it is an extraordinary one. The Board of Trade, the Marine Department, guards against ordinary occurrences, not extraordinary. 23076. It is an extraordinary Department for guarding against ordinary mishaps? - Perhaps so - very good. 23077. I am not quite sure that I caught correctly your view as to the effect of recommendations being made by what you called a one man Department, and by an Advisory Committee. I think you said that if an Advisory Committee made a recommendation it would put up the backs of the shipowners? - No, I did not. I said the one man power might. The Advisory Committee could not because the shipowners are represented on it. 23078. I only wanted to get it quite clear. That is to say, that a recommendation, an identical recommendation, which came through and from an Advisory Committee would be likely to find greater acceptance than if it emanated from the Department itself? - Quite so. 23079. You have spoken of the Marine Department as a one man department. Who is the one man? - No; I did not speak of that. I said that as far as the nautical advice was concerned which was given to the Assistant Secretary of the Marine Department, it was given by one man, assisted by the officers whom he liked to call into council. 23080. When you were there, in nautical matters you were the one man of that Department? - I was. 23081. You said that it would be better to leave the boating scale to the shipowners themselves? - To leave the extension of it. 23082. Why do you say that? - For this reason, that up to 1890 the scale that was in force for emigrant ships was for 1,500 tons and upwards, but in practice the shipowners who were sailing across the Atlantic with 4,000, 5,000 and 6,000-ton ships were going beyond that scale tremendously. It was really their practice which was crystallised by the Live-Saving Appliances Committee into this scale. 23083. Has it occurred to you that the shipowners were doing that because the scale of the Board of Trade was ridiculously antiquated? - Because it was antiquated, yes. 23084. And there was some need to bring it up because of the increased tonnage? - Quite so. 23085. If there was a need to raise the scale from 1,500 tons and upwards to 10,000 tons and upwards, why is it not necessary to raise the scale for 20,000, 30,000, and 40,000 tons and upwards, as we now have ships of that size? - I have told you the reason that I consider the number of boats and life-saving appliances laid down by the Rule is the maximum useful number that can be used and really employed to save life. 23086. Then what you would say is that in relation to the growth of ships of a colossal character there has been a much greater growth of other improvements - what I may call collateral safety appliances than there was from the period of 1,500 tons up to the period of 10,000 tons? - Quite so. The Commissioner: We have had all this before, Mr. Edwards. 23087. (Mr. Edwards.) With respect, my Lord. I only wanted to get one point quite clear from him for the purpose of laying the foundation for two further questions which I propose putting. (To the Witness.) Do you think that if the scale should be left to the shipowners themselves, that other questions like bulkheads should be left to the shipowners themselves? - Yes, I do. 23088. Do you think that the number of men that are carried should be left to the shipowners themselves? - Yes, I do.
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