Page 40 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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23117. Have you a standard or scale of bulkhead, I am asking you, except what is to be found in the Report of the Sub-Committee? - Yes, I have told you. Our standard of strength is laid down in the tables of freeboard. Mr. Edwards: Will you, please, produce those tables and show me where there is anything at all said about bulkheads? 23118. (The Commissioner.) There is nothing said apparently, but what he says is that the consideration of bulkheads is necessarily involved in it. - It is involved in the question of the transverse and the vertical strength of the ship and the longitudinal as well. 23119. I rather gather from what you say that bulkheads are not specifically mentioned in the provisions that are made with respect to freeboard? - Not specifically mentioned. 23120. But you say that the consideration of them is necessarily involved? - The consideration of them is necessarily involved, absolutely. 23121. (Mr. Edwards.) May I just test that. It is possible to get the strength apart altogether from watertight bulkheads, is it not? - Not in a ship of that sort. 23122. That is to say, you might have transverse structures which were not watertight? - They would not have the necessary strength. 23123. Do you suggest that the strength of a transverse structure depends upon it being watertight? - No, but it depends upon the scantling. 23124. Do, please, follow my question, Sir Alfred. The question of the relative strength of a transverse structure does not in the least degree depend upon whether that structure is watertight or not? - That I am not prepared to say, because I am not a naval architect. 23125. (The Commissioner.) But you can answer the question? - No, I cannot. Mr. Edwards: I do not think I shall trouble you any further, Sir Alfred. The Commissioner: I am very glad to hear that. (After a short adjournment.) Re-examined by the SOLICITOR-GENERAL. 23126. My friend Mr. Clement Edwards was asking you, before the adjournment, about transverse bulkheads, and you replied as to their value from the point of view of stiffening the ship. I suppose that a transverse bulkhead of a given scantling and dimensions will equally stiffen the ship, whether it has been caulked and made watertight or not? - Quite so. 23127. But supposing that a naval engineer puts into a ship bulkheads of sufficient scantling to give it strength, is it conceivable that he should not go to the trouble of caulking them and making them watertight? - Not at all; he would be sure to do so. 23128. (The Commissioner.) Suppose it is not watertight in the strictest sense of the term, is it true that any quantity of water likely to get through may be kept down by the pumps? - Quite so; it would be quite under the control of the pumps. 23129. (The Solicitor-General.) I am much obliged, my Lord. Of course, a big vessel like the “Titanic” must have bulkheads to stiffen her, or else when she is on a wave she would break? - Quite so. 23130. (The Commissioner.) The Bulkhead Committee’s Report was in 1891, I think? - Yes. 23131. Since that Report has the Board of Trade given any consideration to the question of subdivision of vessels by watertight bulkheads? - No, no special consideration. 23132. You have not considered the question of subdivision with reference to floatation since that Report? - No, not beyond what the Report gives. 23133. Has the Board of Trade had under its consideration the desirability of watertight decks? - Only when a bulkhead is stepped, then the deck must be made watertight.
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