Page 70 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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Mr. Scanlan: Yes. The Attorney-General: I read the letter out, and the memorandum, and it is one of the letters which your Lordship will find copied in its proper place in the memorandum which we are having printed. It would be convenient to everybody to get this while we are upon it, as your Lordship has not the document before you. Your Lordship will find when you look at that letter which I have now before me - it is important to note this - that no scale was sent to the Advisory Committee. What was sent was a skeleton, leaving columns blank for the minimum number of boats and for the minimum cubic contents. I only say this because it will, perhaps, recall it to your recollection. I pointed out that when they did come to report they had adopted a different gradation from the one which had been suggested in blank by the Board of Trade. The Commissioner: Yes; and now will you remind me again of what the provision made by the scale recommended by that Committee was? 23399. (The Attorney-General.) 8,300; and then, of course, came the question of the additional accommodation: 45,000 tons and upwards 16 minimum number of boats under davits, and an additional 8 to be readily available for attachment, and total minimum cubic content of boats required, 8,300. What did they advise about the three-fourths; it is paragraph 6? The Witness: Yes, that is the one referred to in Mr. Carlisle’s examination. The Commissioner: That vessels divided into watertight compartments to the satisfaction of the Board of Trade should be exempt from the requirements. The Attorney-General: Yes, that is the one as to which Mr. Carlisle said it came to the same thing; you add something to the 8,300, and then in vessels of this kind you take it off again by paragraph 6. So that it works out, according to that, that the requirement would be 8,300 - that you really ought to compare, comparing like with like, with the 5,500 in the table as it existed at that time and at present. 23400. (Mr. Scanlan.) From the minute of Sir Alfred Chalmers and Sir Walter Howell your recommendation was, of course, not submitted to the Advisory Committee? - No; no recommendations were submitted to the Advisory Committee. 23401. Except that of Mr. Harris? - No. 23402. (The Attorney-General.) No, that was not. That is why I was anxious to correct it? - We desired to leave the Advisory Committee an absolutely free hand. Mr. Scanlan: The only direction given was that they should have regard to ships which were divided suitably into watertight compartments. 23403. (The Attorney-General.) I do not think they say that. The Witness: There is no recommendation of that nature. The Attorney-General: Not quite in that form. My friend is right in this. It left it open absolutely to them. “I am further to state that the Board would be glad to learn whether the Advisory Committee are of opinion that Rule 12 should or should not be revised so as to exempt altogether from the requirements of additional boats and/or rafts those vessels which are divided into efficient watertight compartments to the satisfaction of the Board of Trade.” They answered that by paragraph 6 of the report. 23404. (Mr. Scanlan.) When you came to occupy your present position in the Board of Trade, did it come within your province to give any decision as to the number of boats which were actually carried by the “Titanic”? Was that matter referred to you? - No, it was not referred to me. 23405. Were you not the officer to whom it would be referred? - If it were necessary to refer it; had there been any doubt as to whether the vessel had complied with the existing requirements or not; not otherwise. 23406. Were any plans at all submitted to you? - No. 23407. No plans? - No. 23408. Your opinion now in view of the “Titanic” accident is that a larger provision of lifeboats should be made. I take that from your evidence yesterday? - So far as it is practicable to carry it.
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