Page 158 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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fitted between the upper and saloon decks at the after-end of the crew space - say, on frame No. 111, this bulkhead and also the upper deck between frames No. 111 and 134 being made practically watertight. The stairways leading to the lower crew space would require to be trunked up to the saloon deck and fitted with steel doors practically watertight, and any other openings in the upper deck, between frames No. 111 and No. 134 similarly trunked up." To which on the 21st July, 1910, Messrs. Harland and Wolff replied: "We are in receipt of your letter of 20th inst., for which we are obliged, and if it will finally satisfy the Board regarding this matter we see no objection, as you suggest, to making the present steel bulkhead, at the after-end of the crew space between the upper and saloon decks, on frame No. 111, watertight, which will serve the same purpose as if the collision bulkhead No. 134 had been carried straight up to the saloon deck instead of being cranked forward about 12 feet on to frame No. 140 as at present. We cannot, however, consider or see what material advantage could possibly be gained by trunking up between the upper and saloon decks the stairways, hatch, and other openings, and making the upper deck watertight forward of frame 112, as if the vessel were damaged forward of this watertight bulkhead, only No. 1 hold and the firemen's passage could become flooded, while the sketch we submitted to you some time ago shows that especially the forward bulkheads of these vessels, so arranged that there is a large margin of safety with any two compartments flooded." Then, apparently, the Board took the view of Messrs. Harland and Wolff up to a certain point, because you see a Minute of the Board appended: "The builders might be informed that the Board are pleased to note that a bulkhead will be fitted on frame 111 between the upper and saloon decks, but they still consider it desirable for the hatchway and spiral stairways to be trunked up to the saloon decks and made practically watertight. If, however, the builders are still unwilling to do this, they should submit a copy of their calculation of the trim of the vessel when the fore compartment is open to the sea, and the No. 1 compartment and firemen's passage are full of water up to the waterline." Now, my Lord, there is only one other letter to which I want to refer. Mr. Laing: They did supply the figures, you know, and the Board of Trade approved of them. You will find at the bottom of page 8 they approved of them. Mr. Edwards: I was going to say that generally. It is only fair to the builders to say, if your Lordship will look at page 9 of the correspondence, that this appears: "Noted. This vessel is now completed and all the requirements of the Board contained in this Minute have been satisfactorily carried out." Mr. Laing: I would rather you read the one at the bottom of page 8. Mr. Edwards: "With reference to yours of the 10th August enclosing calculation of trim of vessel with No. 1 hold, firemen's passage and forepeak flooded, I have to inform you that this is considered satisfactory, and that the openings in the upper deck leading to the firemen's passage and to No. 1 hold will not now be required to be trunked up watertight to the saloon deck." You remember, perhaps, my Lord, that Mr. Archer, who had made this recommendation, gave certain evidence, and he stated in reply to a question of mine that he thought, in the light of the "Titanic" disaster, it would have been very much better if these requirements at that time had been insisted upon. This is not against the builders at all. Mr. Laing: I think that is a misconception, if I may say so. Mr. Edwards: I do not know that I need call special attention to it. All these letters go to the one point, that in the first place the Board of Trade surveyors do appear to have anticipated the thing, and do appear to have made certain recommendations which, after a discussion with London, and after a discussion with the builders, one by one, they appear to have abandoned. What I was just going to allude to was this, and it comes to the final point as to the rules and regulations of the Board of Trade. I desire to reiterate what I put in reply to your Lordship's question that the view - I think the right view - is that there should be by the Board of Trade rules
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