Page 81 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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23535. What you recommend would the Assistant-Secretary have power to override? - Certainly. 23536. (The Commissioner.) And I suppose in the days when Mr. Lloyd George was there he would have the right to override that again? - Yes, but whether he would be right or not is another thing. 23537. (Mr. Clement Edwards.) But so far as the permanent staff is concerned the position is this, is it not, that Mr. Archer, the responsible adviser on, say, bulkhead construction can be overridden by you with nautical experience? - He can be. 23538. And you can be overridden by an entirely non-expert person, the Assistant Secretary? - Yes. 23539. (The Commissioner.) And then he can be overridden by the secretary? - Yes, but it is an extremely unlikely contingency. 23540. (Mr. Clement Edwards.) I am coming to that. Presumably the Secretary can be overridden by the President, the President by Parliament, and Parliament by an election, and so we go on? - You cannot very well leave that out. The Commissioner: And that election by another election. 23541. (Mr. Clement Edwards.) This is my last question. In your view do you think that any permanent official ought to be in a position on matters of a technical character, to override the advice and recommendations of technical experts? - That is not a matter which I need take into consideration at all, or you either, I think. 23542. You will allow me to judge of that, unless his Lordship intervenes, and you will kindly answer my question if you do not mind, unless you think there are very special departmental reasons why you should not? - There are no departmental reasons at all. 23543. Then do you mind saying whether you think it a good plan that a permanent official who is non-expert should have the power to override the advice of technical experts? - It is a question as to whether he would accept that advice, or not. 23544. (The Commissioner.) Have you thought of the matter? - I have thought of it, naturally. 23545. You seem to have thought of everything. I give you so many opportunities of saying no? - It is not a matter I would give very much thought to, because it is hardly necessary. In my opinion it is a contingency which is remote. Examined by Mr. HARBINSON. 23546. I notice, as far as I can see, that in these Regulations the Board of Trade have framed no regulation as regards the location of lifeboats on steamers? - No. 23547. It has been given in evidence, I think, by Mr. Sanderson, in the course of this Enquiry, as an explanation of why the percentage of third class passengers drowned was higher than the first and second class that the reason was the inaccessibility of the boat; that is, that the boat deck was nearer the first and second class quarters than the third class? - Yes. 23548. Would you agree with that view? - I do not see how it can be avoided. 23549. That is exactly what I wanted to put to you. Have you considered the question of how the boat accommodation on these huge vessels could be made more accessible to third class passengers? - No, I have not. 23550. That is one question you have not considered? - No, I have not considered it. I do not think it necessary to consider it. 23551. In view of Mr. Sanderson’s explanation? - I do not know precisely what his explanation was. I have not seen the whole of the evidence, but undoubtedly the boats will be carried as far aft as would be desirable, and as would be considered safe. If you have your boats too far aft you get under the counter, and it is not advisable. 23552. Then if it is not advisable you would consider it not advisable to place boats on the well deck and on the poop? - I think you could carry boats in the well deck, certainly, but you would be rather close
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