Page 76 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
P. 76
23468. Can you tell me who would know that? - Yes, Sir Alfred Chalmers would know. 23469. (The Commissioner.) Will Sir Alfred tell us? Sir Alfred Chalmers: No scale was submitted. Although I advised that in my minute, and conferred with Sir Walter Howell afterwards, and we came to the conclusion that it was much better to leave the Committee a free hand altogether, and send nothing but a skeleton scale. 23470. (Mr. Clement Edwards.) May I ask Sir Alfred this: Did you, or did any other official of the Board of Trade give any evidence at all before the Advisory Committee before they came to their conclusions? Sir Alfred Chalmers: None at all. 23471. (Mr. Clement Edwards.) That is to say, the Advisory Committee on their recommendation were entirely unguided and unaided by the Marine Department. Sir Alfred Chalmers: Entirely. The Commissioner: Do you complain of that failure, if it be a failure, on the part of the Board of Trade to advise the Advisory Committee? Mr. Clement Edwards: Not after the view I have formed. The Commissioner: Do you complain of it? 23472. (Mr. Clement Edwards.) No, I do not complain of it. (To the Witness.) The recommendations of the Glasgow official which Sir Alfred Chalmers approved gave, for boats under davits, less cubic capacity than that which in fact was provided by the “Titanic”? - Yes. 23473. You have heard the evidence of your predecessor? - Yes. 23474. And you heard him say that in his view there was no single regulation of the Board of Trade that should be modified in the light of the “Titanic” disaster. That, I gather, is not your view? - No, that is not my view. 23475. This term has been used, and I suppose you regard the “Titanic” disaster, apart altogether from its colossal character, as being of an extraordinary nature? - Naturally; yes. 23476. What is there extraordinary about it? - This, that it was not what you may consider a fair blow. There is very little doubt that had it been an ordinary case of collision, or an ordinary running into an iceberg, the vessel would still be afloat; but when her side impinges against the side of the berg then something else is going to happen, and it is a matter which has not been provided for. 23477. Let us come to that because it is leading up to something else. Do you not as a fact test the turning capacity of a ship to see within what space she can answer to her helm, so that she may avoid objects in front that are seen? - The capacity of vessels is put through a course of experiments as a Rule before they have their passenger certificate granted. The Surveyor takes a note of it, but he does not demand it. 23478. But is not that for the purpose if an object is seen in front of enabling the ship to be steered off to clear the object? - Of course that is the idea, no doubt. 23479. Therefore, is it not a perfectly common thing that over and over again it happens in seeking to avoid an object immediately in front it is not entirely avoided, and you get your side or glancing blow? - Undoubtedly. 23480. Do you see any reason in the natural course of things why that should not happen with an iceberg at any time in the future? - No; having happened once it may happen again. So it cannot be on that ground that the accident was extraordinary. 23481. (The Commissioner.) Oh, yes, it may be? - It is out of the ordinary altogether. 23482. (Mr. Clement Edwards.) As I understand, you take the view that there may be boat accommodation less than that required to take every soul off a ship? - Yes. The Commissioner: Have you left the last point - the question as to why this was an extraordinary accident? Mr. Clement Edwards: Not quite. I am coming back to it another way. The Commissioner: Because it occurs to me there is another matter - the fact that for some
   71   72   73   74   75   76   77   78   79   80   81