Page 54 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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23310. When did you give to the Marine Department of the Board of Trade this advice that a boat of the size of the “Titanic” should have accommodation for 2,730 persons? - That advice was given - I forget the precise date, but it was during the course of February, 1911, before I was appointed to my present position. 23311. To whom was it given? - It was reported to the Board of Trade. 23312. Do you mean to Sir Walter Howell? - Exactly, the Assistant Secretary. 23313. (The Commissioner.) How was it given? - I might as well lay this matter out quite straight. The reason for the report - 23314. (Mr. Scanlan.) That is not the question. You were asked in what form was your advice given? - It was given in the form of a report. 23315. A letter? - A letter that was asked for by my own department. That is what I want you to understand. 23316. (The Commissioner.) Now where is that letter? - That would be included in the Minutes, my Lord. 23317. Where are the Minutes? - They can be brought here, no doubt. The Commissioner: Mr. Aspinall, I must see that minute. Mr. Butler Aspinall: Yes, I was just asking about that. The Commissioner: Is Sir Walter Howell here? Sir Walter Howell: Yes, my Lord. 23318. (The Commissioner.) Do you remember this letter, Sir Walter? Sir Walter Howell: Only generally, my Lord. 23319. (The Commissioner.) I do not know what that means. Sir Walter Howell: I do not remember the terms at all. 23320. (The Commissioner.) Do you remember a letter from this Witness to your department of the Board of Trade, stating that for vessels of the size of the “Titanic” there ought to be lifeboat accommodation calculated to take 2,730 persons? Sir Walter Howell: No, I do not remember it. The Witness: It was not put into that form, my Lord; it was not based on the capacity; it was based on the number of boats, 26 boats. 23321. (The Commissioner.) It seems to me to come to the same thing, and if you like I will put the question in another way. Did you send anything in writing from Liverpool to the Board of Trade in or about February, 1911, which would or ought to convey to people at the Board of Trade that vessels of the size of the “Titanic” ought to be furnished with lifeboat accommodation for 2,730 people? - Yes, up to 50,000 tons. 23322. Very well. That is beyond the size of the “Titanic.” Now I want to see that letter? - That can be furnished, no doubt. Mr. Butler Aspinall: Your Lordship shall have it. The Commissioner: You will get it, Mr. Aspinall? Mr. Butler Aspinall: Yes, my Lord. 23323. (The Commissioner.) And then I want to know this, if you can tell me. I assume for the moment that it was sent. Why was it not acted upon? - I believe it was acted upon to a certain extent in that it was compared with the reports that the Marine Department of the Board of Trade receive at about the same time from the Principal Officers of London and Glasgow. 23324. Do you know what I mean by “acted upon”? By that expression I mean this: Why was the communication not sent to the builders of the “Titanic” - I do not know what position the “Olympic” was in at this time - to say that they would be required, or ought to provide this accommodation? Do you follow my question? - I do, perfectly. I am not in a position to say why that recommendation of mine was not acted upon, in that I was a subordinate officer of the department residing at Liverpool at the time, and consequently when that letter left my hands it
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