Page 105 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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Mr. Roche: At the same time it is fair to tell your Lordship that my Society takes an entirely different view to my learned friends, not unnaturally. The Commissioner: I am quite sure you do, and I can imagine other people taking that view also. I do not think, Mr. Holmes, we ought to enter into these matters. Mr. Holmes: Very well, my Lord. Then a point upon which Mr. Roche has touched slightly this morning, and which I think your Lordship will have to take into consideration very carefully, if there is not to be a recommendation for boats for all, is the question of fire on board ship, and the regulations which are at present in existence upon that point. The Commissioner: I have had very little evidence about fire. I do not know what your suggestions amount to or why we should do anything. There was that fire, for instance, that Mr. Edwards took so much interest in. Mr. Holmes: Nothing to do with that, my Lord, but if you are not to recommend that there shall be sufficient boat accommodation on every ship for all persons, then the regulations for fire appliances should be more stringent, more carefully carried out and surveyed. The Commissioner: I really have heard no evidence as to fire appliances. I know nothing about them. Mr. Holmes: With all respect, my Lord, I asked Mr. Archer all about the provisions. The Commissioner: Do you think you have brought the subject of fire appliances on board these big ships to our notice with such particularity that we are able to deal with it? As far as I am concerned, I am not. Mr. Holmes: I took him through all the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act and the Instructions to the Surveyors. It may have escaped your Lordship’s memory. The Commissioner: Do you, Mr. Attorney, expect us to deal with the fire appliances? The Attorney-General: No, my Lord, not with fire appliances, but I understood my friend’s questions to be directed to this, that the circumstance of the possibility of a fire would be taken into your Lordship’s consideration as one of the elements in determining the boat accommodation that should be provided. The Commissioner: That I can understand. Mr. Holmes: That is my point. The Commissioner: I rather understood we were really invited to enquire into the sufficiency of the appliances for a steamship fire. The Attorney-General: We could not do that; we have not the evidence. Mr. Holmes: No, but I do suggest that you should recommend that there should be further and more stringent provision made for the supply of fire extinguishing appliances to ships unless they have - The Commissioner: I cannot do that; I have not heard sufficient evidence. The Attorney-General: No. The Commissioner: Nor until this morning have I realised that we were expected to deal with the supply of appliances for extinguishing fires. Sir Robert Finlay: I think, my Lord, there has been no suggestion that everything that was wanted was not there on board the “Titanic.” Mr. Holmes: I am not suggesting for one moment that there was anything wrong with the fire appliances on the “Titanic.” The Commissioner: Then, if you are not, you are travelling outside matters which have anything to do with this casualty. I think you must leave the fire appliances. Mr. Holmes: Then, my Lord, the last point which I wish to mention - I think this is one your Lordship will allow me to proceed upon quite shortly - is the provision in these life-saving appliances Rules that only four of the boats supplied to a ship should be properly equipped with the various equipments. No one was able to explain it properly, except that Mr. Archer said he
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