Page 73 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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who had the knowledge which some officers must have had as to the condition of the vessel, would have refused to take that chance. The Commissioner: Perhaps you do not know what ladies will do and will not do, sometimes. 23433. (Mr. Scanlan - To the Witness.) It appears from what you have read from Sir Alfred Chalmers that the consideration of the manning scale was postponed? - Yes. 23434. Can you say why it was postponed? - No, I cannot very well, excepting that naturally the manning scale would depend to a great extent upon the boats that would be recommended. 23435. Do you think it is desirable to set up a manning scale? - What for? 23436. For the crews of ships? - What ships in particular? 23437. All ships? - We have scales for emigrant ships. That is already dealt with, and that we have under consideration for extending. 23438. That is what I want? - It is under consideration now. 23439. You think it is desirable to extend it? - Undoubtedly, under certain circumstances; only, if you increase your boats, then you must extend your manning scale; that is a foregone conclusion. 23440. But even without extending your boats you have not a manning scale applicable to the stokehold and engine room? - No, not absolutely; not a compulsory scale. 23441. I want to ask you, then, without having a long discussion about it: Is it desirable to have an exact or fairly exact manning scale or standard that will apply not only to the deck department, but to the engine department as well? - We have that scale, which is adopted for the stokeholds of large passenger vessels already, but it is not a compulsory scale, excepting that with regard to an emigrant ship, if the Emigration Officer finds there is not a sufficient number of men in the stokehold in accordance with our Rule of three tons or of 36 square feet of fire-grate surface, then he would naturally require more, and he has the power to enforce it. 23442. But there are no figures and there is nothing set up in the nature of a scale to guide him what he should insist on? - Pardon me, but there is. 23443. On a ship like the “Titanic” what is to guide him? - As to the number of men in the stokehold? 23444. Yes? - I can soon tell you that. 23445. (The Commissioner.) We are getting a little wide of the mark. There is no suggestion that there were not sufficient men in the stokehold? - We had this the other day, my Lord, that there should be one fireman for every 18 square feet of fire-grate surface in the boiler room. 23446. (Mr. Scanlan.) How many would you think, according to that, for the “Titanic”? - I have not got the fire-grate surface at the moment in my possession. The Commissioner: Have you calculated it, Mr. Scanlan? Mr. Scanlan: I have been told that the number carried was adequate. The Commissioner: Then I do not want to go into it. Mr. Scanlan: What I am informed is that the figures given here on page 10 of this Minute of Instructions give no guidance whatever for deciding how many men should be carried. The Commissioner: Well, that may be, but in this particular case, the fact that there was no guidance does not seem to have mattered at all, because you admit, and it appears to be the case, that there was a sufficient number of firemen carried. 23447. (Mr. Scanlan.) Yes. I do quite agree to that, my Lord. Of course, it is one of the complaints against the Board of Trade that they have failed to set up the manning scale. (To the Witness.) Now, I want to ask you this question. Has the Board of Trade made any regulation as to the speed which ships should be permitted to go at in fog or at night in the presence of ice? - There is a regulation with regard to fog and rainy weather in the International Regulations: “The ship shall then proceed at a moderate speed.” That is the only reference to speed there is. 23448. There is no regulation about ice, and travelling at night in the presence of ice? - No, that is left to the individual discretion of the Master. 23449. Is it desirable, in your view, as a seaman, that there should be such a regulation?
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