Page 47 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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condition of giving a certificate of efficiency as a seaman? - If it were deemed necessary to have a certificate for that purpose I should say yes. 23213. With your own considerable knowledge and experience, do not you think it would be desirable? - I do most decidedly. 23214. You agree that it would be desirable? - Yes. 23215. Oh, we are getting on. It has been suggested to me that a way of testing the efficiency of seamen would be to examine them in their knowledge of the compass, steering, splicing of wire and rope, tying the ordinary knots, and the marks and deeps of the lead-line? - Yes. 23216. Would it be desirable to have that incorporated as the standard of efficiency? - You want too much I think for your money. 23217. Ah! But you do not know the price I am willing to pay? - Well, I have a shrewd idea of it. 23218. That rests with the shipowners, you know? - I certainly think that a certain proportion of the qualifications that you have just foreshadowed ought to be embodied in a certificate. We want certain qualifications, but what those qualifications should be, I am not prepared at the moment to say definitely, or decidedly at all events. 23219. But you think a standard of efficiency should be set up and certificates given? - If it is possible to set up a standard of efficiency, I do not think the able seamen of the present day would be hurt by it. 23220. (The Commissioner.) Do you think they would reach the standard that you would set up? - They might after a course of considerable training. 23221. (Mr. Scanlan.) Still, of course, a beginning must be made? - I quite agree with you there. It is desirable. 23222. (The Commissioner.) Sometimes it is desirable that an ending should be made? - Undoubtedly. 23223. (Mr. Scanlan.) Do you agree also that there should be some training of the men in the stokehold? - Well - 23224. You have heard it suggested that before a man should be regarded as an efficient stoker, he should have served from three to six months as a trimmer? - I think you could very well leave that degree of training to the judgment of the firemen with whom the new fireman has to work. 23225. This matter came up quite recently in the experience of your Department as a practical question, did it not? - Yes. 23226. At Southampton? - Yes. 23227. I do not want to press it further than this, that seeing a recommendation was made by a Committee which investigated this, do not you think it is time now that something should be done to secure efficiency? - No, I think, after a man has been for a short time as a trimmer on board a ship he would very soon fall into the duties of firing. 23228. That is exactly what is suggested is it? But to say that a trimmer shall have so many months’ training as a trimmer in order to qualify him as a fireman, I say is altogether nonsense. 23229. In regard to your views as representing the Board of Trade as to the number of boats for a ship like the “Titanic,” I want to ask you specifically, do you or do you not consider it desirable to make regulations compelling such a ship to carry either sufficient lifeboats or sufficient boats with rafts, to provide accommodation for all persons carried, including the crew? - I have already replied to that question in the statement that I made to his Lordship, in that I consider that where it is practicable for a shipowner to carry boats or rafts for all persons on board, they should carry them. 23230. I think you said in the case of the “Titanic” you thought it would be practicable? - So far as I can judge from the construction of the vessel I think it would be practicable, and that you could find room by piling up one boat on top of another.
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