Page 101 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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section and by 8 in the case of B section. You have heard the evidence of Captain Young and of Captain Clarke as to the tests which have been made with boats for finding out whether that divisor 10 or 8 was the proper one. I should like to remind your Lordship of a report that was received by Captain Young from the people to whom he entrusted this work of making experiments. He said at page 644: “The first report was received from the London Principal Officer on August 25th, and related to two boats that had been tested - (A.) A section A boat, calculated accommodation for 66 passengers. This boat, when fully loaded, was overcrowded and top-heavy, and could not have gone outside the dock gate. It would have been well loaded with 10 men less.” That is one of the first experiments, my Lord. “(b) A section D boat of similar dimensions, to carry 82 persons. The test showed that even if such a number could have been put into the boat it would have been unsafe.” The Commissioner: Who is it making that report? Mr. Holmes: Captain Clarke. The Commissioner: It is not Captain Clarke who signs the letter. Mr. Holmes: I think Captain Young was reading from a document when he gave his evidence. The Commissioner: I want to know whose letter it was he was reading from. Is not it Captain Young’s own letter? The Attorney-General: I have not the passage here, but my impression is this was what was referred to as the memorandum of the report of Captain Young, which was made before the letter of the 3rd of April appointing the reference. Mr. Holmes: I am obliged. The Commissioner: And Captain Young is the gentleman who thinks the form of the lifeboats is not at present satisfactory? The Attorney-General: Yes, I said “appointing the reference,” but I did not mean that I was speaking of the letter of 1912, not of the letter of 1911 - directed on the 4th April and written on the 16th April. The Commissioner: Am I not right in saying that it is Captain Young who thought the form of the lifeboats was a matter that ought to be enquired into? The Attorney-General: Certainly, my Lord. The Commissioner: And he is practically saying the same thing in his letter. Mr. Holmes: This is the result of practical tests which he has made for the Board of Trade. The Commissioner: Yes, he says, “I have had one of the boats tested. I find that it is very crowded with sixty” - or whatever the number is - “and that it is tender.” Mr. Holmes: Then we had Captain Clarke, who gave evidence himself, and on page 640 he referred to this matter in answer to questions which I put to him, and also in answer to your Lordship. Your Lordship will recollect he was a little reluctant to say that the present Board of Trade Regulations and the present system was not quite as it should be, but when your Lordship pressed him he said this. Your Lordship asked: “Do you think the method employed at present is right?” and he said, “No.” The Commissioner: Who was it said they were right notwithstanding this experience? Mr. Holmes: Sir Alfred Chalmers suggested that everything was correct. The Commissioner: He has retired, I think? Mr. Holmes: Yes, my Lord. Then at Question 24147 Captain Clarke is asked: “Is it your idea that the divisor should be 12? - (A.) Instead of 10, yes. (Q.) And that, you say, is the idea which the Board of Trade are considering adopting? - (A.) Yes, I based that on this, that the Board have given very much attention to the question of these lifeboats long before the ‘Titanic’ disaster, and I formed that opinion. (Q.) That is why I ask you. - (A.) The Board have gone into this question very fully - long before the ‘Titanic’ disaster. (Q.) And worked out upon that computation, the boats would be considered fit to hold less people than now? - (A.)
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