Page 157 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
P. 157
will be the difference between that fraction under 11 feet and 11 feet 1 inch deficiency in freeboard. The Commissioner: It is a deficiency of 1 inch and how much? Mr. Edwards: It is a deficiency of 1 inch on 11 feet, my Lord. The Commissioner: No, it is a deficiency of 1 inch and a fraction of an inch. Mr. Edwards: Yes, my Lord. The Commissioner: Well, how much is it? Is it 1 3/4 inches, or 1 7/8 inches, or what? Mr. Edwards: It is .6 or .06 of an inch. The Commissioner: .06 is very different from .6. Mr. Edwards: The reason, my Lord, is this. If you take the coefficient as contended by the Board of Trade as .74, then it is a deficiency of about 2 inches. If you take the coefficient of .72 as urged by Harland and Wolff, then it is a deficiency of 1.06 inches. The Commissioner: 1.06 inches. Mr. Edwards: That is so, my Lord. Perhaps your Lordship would ask, so as to enable Prof. Biles or one of your technical advisers to get the thing worked out, for the necessary materials from Messrs. Harland and Wolff - or perhaps the Board of Trade have them - upon which to determine whether the coefficient should be .72 or whether it should be .74. The Commissioner: Does it make any difference for the purpose of your point whether it is .72 or .74? In either case, according to you, there was a mistake. Mr. Edwards: In either case there was. The Commissioner: Does it matter whether you take .72 or .74? Mr. Edwards: Except that it becomes a little more - The Commissioner: You aggravate it a little? Mr. Edwards: Yes, I do not object to that word, my Lord. So much, my Lord, for that point. Now I am going to direct your Lordship's attention to the correspondence. This correspondence is not, as I told your Lordship, quite in consecutive order, and there are four letters here which your Lordship has not got. What I am going to do, my Lord, is to give you broadly the contents of the letters, and then ask your Lordship to direct that the letters be put in the proper order, so that your Lordship can look at them. I shall not take up the time of the Court in reading them. In these letters which are printed your Lordship will find that in the first place the Board of Trade surveyors did ask Messrs. Harland and Wolff to do a number of things. They asked that they should take the collision bulkhead fair up to the deck. The Commissioner: To what deck? Mr. Edwards: To the saloon deck, my Lord. The Commissioner: What is it called - what letter? Mr. Laing: D. The Commissioner: Did not they take it up to D? Mr. Edwards: Not fair, my Lord. The Commissioner: What do you mean by "fair"? Mr. Edwards: Instead of going straight up they stepped it 12 feet forward. The Commissioner: Is there any reason why they should not? Mr. Edwards: Except the view which, I think, you will find held by experts, that a bulkhead which is stepped has not the same resisting strength as a bulkhead that goes fair up. That is the first point. Then, my Lord, I would call your Lordship's attention to two letters. On page 6 of the Collision Bulkhead correspondence there is a letter of the 20th July from Mr. Carruthers, the surveyor, to Messrs. Harland and Wolff: "With reference to my conversation with your Mr. Andrews regarding the collision bulkhead of this vessel, as you still object to extend the bulkhead on frame 134 up to the saloon deck, I have to suggest as an alternative that a bulkhead should be
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