Page 39 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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The Commissioner: Oh, dear, dear me! Do not answer a statement of that kind. It is quite accurate, Mr. Edwards, and I have heard it over and over again. Their theory is that it is sufficient to have these matters to be judged of by the persons whom they appoint. 23101. (Mr. Edwards.) That is your view? - As long as they work in excess of our requirements we leave it to them. 23102. That is not an answer to the question, and I really must get it from you. You heard what his Lordship said, and you have heard my question. Does that represent your view? - No, you have misrepresented my view. 23103. Will you please tell us what your view is? - My view is this, that there are certain requirements with regard to bulkheads, and every other matter laid down in our Rules, and if they work beyond that we leave the shipowner a free hand. But he must obey our requirements. He can go as far beyond them as he likes. We leave him a free hand. 23104. What I want to get at is this. You speak of your requirements. You say you have certain requirements for bulkheads? - Yes, we have. 23105. Do you think that the requirements for bulkheads should be abolished, and that the bulkheads should be left to the shipowner? - No, we would leave our requirements in. 23106. That is inconsistent, if you will allow me to point out, with your answer to a previous question of mine, as to whether you would leave bulkheads to the shipowner in the same way? - I mean to say beyond our requirements - leave the matter to them beyond our requirements. I explained that fully. 23107. Do you think that in view of what has happened to the “Titanic,” and in view of the fact that you say that you would anticipate these troubles, and provide against them, that your present requirements as to bulkheads are sufficient? - Yes. 23108. What do you understand to be your requirements as to bulkheads? - Our requirements as to bulkheads, as far as watertight compartments are concerned, are stated in paragraph 16. 23109. That there shall be four bulkheads? - Yes. But there comes a question of bulkheads for strength purposes, and I told you that before that vessel could get her freeboard she would have to come up to certain standards of strength, and for that standard transverse bulkheads were required. 23110. That is exactly what I want to get at. Have you in print any standard of strength; have you in print any scale of scantlings for bulkheads? - Yes, we have the Bulkhead Committee’s Report. 23111. Beyond what is to be found in the Bulkhead Committee’s Report, have you any other scale or standard? - No, but everything is submitted to our Principal Ships’ Surveyor. 23112. That is exactly the point. That is to say that whether a thing is satisfactory or not is not referable to any printed standard or scale, but is referable to the personal judgment and discretion of a particular officer? - No. As far as the freeboard is concerned the standard of strength is laid down by the tables of freeboard, and that is statutory. 23113. I was not on freeboard? - But I am on freeboard, because it relates to the strength of the ship. 23114. But may I remind you that for the moment you are in the box to answer my questions, and not to travel to matters which you may think right and necessary. Therefore, will you please leave freeboard alone and bring your mind to bear on my question as to bulkheads. In the case of bulkheads, have you, beyond what is to be found in the Report of the Advisory Committee, any scale or standard of strength? - Of strength we have, in the tables of freeboard. 23115. Of the bulkheads? - Yes. 23116. Where are those tables? - Tables of freeboard. It does not go as far as a bulkhead, because it comes into the strength of the ship, both longitudinal, transverse, and vertical, and the bulkheads are concerned in that.
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