Page 128 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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on page 691. I am addressing the Attorney-General: “The gentlemen who advise me on this matter seem to think that the Committee which is to take into consideration these matters should among other things consider the desirability of having watertight decks either above or below the waterline.” That comes immediately after you had been putting questions to Mr. Archer as to the advisability of having a watertight deck in the “Titanic.” Mr. Edwards: Well, my Lord, if your Lordship will kindly look you will find that after I had put my specific question to which Mr. Archer gave me an answer he went on then to speak of certain theoretical objections and I was taking him upon those theoretical objections and, of course, beginning to discuss the whole question, when your Lordship intervened and suggested that this was a matter of such importance that it ought to be dealt with by the Committee. But I say that I had no intention at all of leaving to a Bulkhead Committee, which is not entirely out of the wood over this question themselves, the question of whether there ought or ought not to have been in the “Titanic” a watertight deck. The Commissioner: I do not see what the Bulkhead Committee have got to do with the matter. What do you mean by saying they are not out of the wood. Mr. Edwards: They are the people that you have suggested should consider this question. The Commissioner: They are. The Attorney-General: They have been just appointed. The Commissioner: They are, but I do not know they are in anyway pledged to any particular view. The Attorney-General: They have only just been appointed for this purpose. Mr. Edwards: I misunderstood. It was not a continuing Committee, but a new Committee I understand? The Attorney-General: Yes. Mr. Edwards: I misunderstood. The Commissioner: Are you thinking of Sir Edward Harland’s Committee. Mr. Edwards: I was thinking of the Committee which did discuss this question of bulkheads last year. I mean Sir Norman Hill’s Committee. The Attorney-General: They had nothing to do with it; they only said it ought to be taken into account. Mr. Edwards: I at once say that what I said is withdrawn; it does not touch this point. But what I was satisfied should be dealt with by that Committee was the theoretical question of the advantage or otherwise of the watertight deck in ships. I did not intend nor do I intend being satisfied with leaving to the Committee the question whether in the “Titanic” there ought or ought not to have been a watertight deck. The Attorney-General: That is a position I really do not understand. I was going to read three or four questions which took place on it if your Lordship will look at what happened. My friend is drawing a distinction now between whether or not it is advisable to have watertight decks, and then agrees that that is to be left to the Bulkhead Committee. That arose upon Mr. Archer pointing out some balancing considerations, and its being obvious from what was taking place that it is not such an easy thing to say. You must have a watertight deck. And that does not end it, there are so many other considerations to take into account. Then your Lordship said this was one of those matters which ought to be left to the Bulkhead Committee, because, obviously it would take months to enquire into properly. If you read on, three or four observations that are made here, I cannot understand how we are to deal with this now. We never asked another question about it; it was left. Let me read what took place. Mr. Edwards: Do you mind reading the three questions before. The Attorney-General: I agree; I will with pleasure, because I think it makes it so plain. Do you mean 24429.
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