Page 117 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
P. 117
Mr. Clement Edwards: I do not know what there is for me to say after that, my Lord. The Commissioner: I think your speech is being quite spoilt. Mr. Harbinson: And although it gets information from all sides it does not seem to be able to digest it, to assimilate it, or to apply it; and if, as the result of this awful tragedy the Board of Trade could be modernised, and made, as it were, the reflex of the living, throbbing and palpitating life of this country, then I should think, at all events, appalling, world-wide as this calamity has been, my Lord, it will have borne some fruit. (After a short adjournment.) The Commissioner: Mr. Laing, you appear, I believe, for Messrs. Harland and Wolff. Mr. Laing: Yes, my Lord. The Commissioner: I want to tell you that we should like to hear you upon the question of the bulkhead between No. 5 and No. 4 boiler rooms. Mr. Laing: If your Lordship pleases. The Commissioner: It is suggested that if that bulkhead had been carried up to C deck, even if the water got into No. 4 boiler room, over the top of the bulkhead between 4 and 5, the ship would have been afloat much longer. Supposing you were to have a bulkhead going up to C deck, then the vessel would have been much longer afloat, unless it be true that No. 4 boiler room was holed to such an extent that the water came in in quantities which the pumps could not cope with. Do I make myself clear? Mr. Laing: Yes, my Lord, I think I understand what your Lordship means. The Commissioner: It is suggested, you know, that if the bulkhead between 4 and 5 had been carried up to C deck, and it be true to say that No. 4 boiler room was not holed to such an extent that the pumps could not cope with the water which came in, then the boat would have floated for a considerably longer time. Mr. Laing: I follow that, and I will look up the evidence with regard to that. The Commissioner: Now, Mr. Edwards. Mr. Clement Edwards: May it please your Lordship: What I am going to say in the main will be said not only on behalf of my own clients, but, accepting your Lordship’s suggestion, also on behalf of the Seafarers’ Union, represented by Mr. Lewis; the Stewards’ Union, represented by Mr. Cotter; and the Shipwrights’ Society, represented by Mr. Pringle. I am instructed to say on behalf of these and also on behalf of my clients that we join with those who have expressed their appreciation of the sympathy which His Majesty’s Government has tendered to the sufferers in this terrible catastrophe, and also the sympathy which has been extended by the owners of the “Titanic”; and also - particularly those of us who are appearing here - desire to express to your Lordship (whatever ultimately may be your Lordship’s views does not for this purpose matter) our very highest appreciation of the very great and profound patience which you have manifested in a very difficult Enquiry, very laborious, and presenting many trying circumstances. Now, I should like in the next place to remove any possible alarm that might have been conveyed to your Lordship’s mind by the perfectly unauthorised programme of my intentions tendered to your Lordship by my friend Mr. Harbinson. I have no sort of intention to travel over a single inch of the ground which I think can possibly be avoided, and your Lordship has by certain intimations already enabled me very much to cut short anything that I should have had to say; that is to say, a good deal of my cross-examination was directed to the construction and efficacy of bulkheads of different kinds, transverse and longitudinal, and also to the question of the advantages or otherwise of watertight decks, and also to what I may call the interrelation between boat accommodation and the sinkability of the ship as affected by the question of bulkheads. Your Lordship on all these three points has already indicated a certain line which is
   112   113   114   115   116   117   118   119   120   121   122