Page 156 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31

P. 156

Mr. Edwards: Yes my Lord. If you will look at the letter you will see it says: "With reference to your letter of the 14th instant, as mentioned in our letter of the 3rd instant, we have been considering the question of the load draught of the above vessel, and as it seems probable that several difficulties may be overcome by our doing so, we are prepared to accept a freeboard slightly greater than Table C, say, about 1 inch greater, which will, we estimate, make the load draught about 34 feet 6 inches. The displacement corresponding to this is about 52,000 tons, and the tons per inch 143," and so on. Your Lordship probably has not the letter - it is one of the typewritten letters - but there is a letter dated the 17th May, 1911, of which the Board of Trade have handed me a copy. I can refer you to the same point in Mr. Archer's evidence, where he says that finally they were allowed a load draught of 34 feet 7 inches. Here you will see in the Board of Trade letter which I have read they give a load draught of 34 feet 9 inches. Harland and Wolff suggest an amendment which will give a load draught of 34 feet 6 inches, and finally they were given 34 feet 7 inches. If 34 feet 9 inches load draught gives a deficient freeboard, as is shown in the letter of the 30th April, of 5 inches, then a load draught of 34 feet 7 inches will give a deficiency of freeboard of 3 inches. But there was some mistake in the measurements. Now what I have to take your Lordship to is this. I have got to take your Lordship to Table C and show what in fact for this vessel ought to be the freeboard allowed. Has your Lordship Table C before you? The Commissioner: I have it before me. Can you tell me, Mr. Edwards, for my guidance, what a coefficient of fineness is? Mr. Edwards: If your Lordship will turn to - The Commissioner: I want to know can you tell me? Mr. Edwards: It is a certain allowance made for the ascertained buoyancy of the ship. That was the factor to which I was alluding. Messrs. Harland and Wolff contended in this case that it ought to have been a coefficient of fineness of .72, and the Board of Trade contended, as you will see by the letter, that there ought to have been a coefficient of fineness allowed of .74. Apparently there are not in this correspondence the figures which would determine what that coefficient of fineness should be - .72 or .74; and that was the point that I was rather putting would have to be worked out, if I may say so with respect, by one of your technical advisers. The difference on the total is not sufficient to upset what I am contending as to the deficiency of the loadline requirements. Now, my Lord, if you will look at page 75 of this Table C you will find certain measurements given there giving what should be the height of freeboard amidships, that is to say, "measured from top of main deck at side," varying according to the moulded depth, and the total length given in that table, if your Lordship will look at the fifth column, is, total length 408 feet, and total moulded depth 34 feet. If you will look at the last column your Lordship will see that for steamers above 34 feet moulded depth you have to deduct the following amount from the freeboards given in Table A to obtain the freeboard for Table C. Now your Lordship has to turn back, if you will, to Table A, on page 59; and if your Lordship will look at the sixth column it there gives the moulded depth of 45 feet. We know that the moulded depth of the "Titanic" was 45 feet, so that you have to take the freeboard in that column, if the allowance for the coefficient of fineness be .72, of 12 feet 10 inches, less the deduction found on page 75 of Table C; and if .74, then 13 feet, less the deduction provided on page 75. Having done that, you then have to turn back to Table C, and you will there find, fairly well down the page in the first column, a correction in inches which has to be made for a change of 10 feet in the length. You will therefore have to multiply by a figure which is given in the following column of .8. If you multiply the difference between the figure of 540 feet on page 59 and the total length of the "Titanic" by .8, you get at certain figures. I submit, my Lord, that if those figures are taken they will show that for this ship the required freeboard to the upper deck was 11 feet 1 inch; and that if you take the actual freeboard allowed in this ship it is a fraction under 11 feet. So that there