Page 83 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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everything before you. I have here a Table from Captain Parke, and I see also some reference to German vessels which you will consider when it is printed. It is hardly worth stopping on it now. The Table shows he was making suggestions also in reference to the deckhands, and he made a rough sketch of the boat stowage, showing how he thought 32 boats actually under davits might be placed on the ship. If your Lordship looks at that you will see what is meant. (Handing document to his Lordship.) The Commissioner: What ship is this sketch for? The Attorney-General: I think it is only a suggestion, and not with reference to any particular ship. The point being considered was whether they should have more boats on. He makes the suggestion there of how it might be carried out. Some were under davits apparently, and some with inboard boats - and as I followed it some of the boats where you have five in a row I should have thought could not be carried in davits. The Commissioner: No; there are six, and four of the six, of course, could not be. The Attorney-General: I suppose the idea is that they should be with inboard, and that the davits at the side of the vessel could be used to put them into the water. That is what it means I expect. I did see - I do not know whether your Lordship did - when we went to see the “Olympic,” a vessel with four davits on either side, and a deckhouse with two, three or four boats on it. I think it was the “City of Paris,” but I am not quite sure. He also refers to the suggestion of a single wire rope instead of the manilla rope through various blocks. When we were on the “Olympic” we saw experiments made with a single wire rope for that purpose. It is very much in the experimental stage. The Commissioner: I think I did see such a thing. I do not think I saw it in operation. It was shown to me. The Attorney-General: I think the great point was that with this wire rope you would not require to have the number of reevings through the sheaves of the blocks, and therefore would not have so much difficulty in the recovery of your tackle, and moreover this particular kind of wire rope would not get the kinks and turns in it that there would be in a manilla rope. That was the idea. 23565. (The Commissioner - To the Witness.) Can you tell me why the boat accommodation is based upon tonnage and not upon the number of persons carried? - My only idea about it is that when the tonnage basis was adopted, it was at that time taken as a better indication of the size of the vessel and her capacity or her capability for bearing the boats required at a height than anything else. It was, I think, based upon the question of the safety of the ship herself. 23566. That was long before your time? - It was before my time; but that is what I have gathered from time to time as the only possible explanation of it. 23567. (The Attorney-General.) There is one question I should like to put, if your Lordship is finished. (To the Witness.) We see what view you hold according to that report, but between that time and the “Titanic” disaster, did you modify your views at all? - I did. 23568. Were they put into writing? - Yes. 23569. Have you got the writing in which you express the modified views? - Yes. 23570. Will you let me see it? I only want to get the date and to see what the effect of it was? - You are alluding, of course, to a date prior to the “Titanic” disaster? 23571. I said so - between your first report when you expressed your opinion in answer to the instructions of the Board and the foundering of the “Titanic”? - Yes. (Handing a paper to the Attorney-General.) That is my statement for brief. 23572. Then perhaps I may put the question to you compendiously in this form. Did you from the time that you made that report, and before the “Titanic” disaster, inquire very fully and further into this question of boat accommodation? - I did, very considerably. 23573. Apparently there was a division of opinion or a difference of opinion between a number of you in the Board of Trade? - That is so.
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