Page 8 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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vessel entering a United States port unless it complied with those Rules. The Attorney-General: There is the question of reciprocity. Mr. Scanlan: I asked a question with regard to this. The Commissioner: I think it was you who drew my attention to it. Mr. Scanlan: I asked a question on the Rules of the Department of Commerce and Labour of America, and I would like your Lordship to look at this. These are Rules actually in force, I am given to understand. This was issued on the 27th April, 1912. The Commissioner: That is what I was referring to; it is something later. Mr. Scanlan: Yes, it is later - the 27th April. The Commissioner: When was the date of the American Report? It was last month? The Attorney-General: I should like to see that document which Mr. Scanlan has. The Commissioner: What is that pamphlet you have in your hand, Mr. Scanlan? Mr. Scanlan: It is the official American Regulations, my Lord. (The same were handed to the Attorney-General.) The Attorney-General: I see this is “General Rules and Regulations prescribed by the Board of Supervising Inspectors as amended January, 1912, and as further amended by action of the Executive Committee of the Board of Supervising Inspectors, April 26th, 1912.” They are the requirements as amended. The Commissioner: What date is that last? The Attorney-General: April 26. The Commissioner: That is the document Mr. Scanlan referred to. I understood from what I read in a newspaper - perhaps I ought not to refer to newspapers - that it had recently been made a law in the United States. I do not know how they make these things laws, whether they are laws by being regulations, or whether there has to be some legislation about them. The Attorney-General: I should gather from this that the Executive Committee has the power of amending the Rules. The Commissioner: I fancy so. The Attorney-General: And from this it must be so. Mr. Scanlan: It corresponds somewhat to the Board of Trade. The Attorney-General: I think so. Mr. Scanlan: It is the same as the Board of Trade here. The Commissioner: That is to say, they can make Rules which have the effect of laws. Mr. Scanlan: Yes, my Lord. Your Lordship asked for the date of the American Report, and it is the 28th of May of this year. The Commissioner: I think there was something that took place after that date. Mr. Scanlan: I am not in possession of any information as to that. The Commissioner: Have you heard of any, Sir Robert? Sir Robert Finlay: I take it that the regulation of the 27th of April would not apply to vessels flying the British flag. The Commissioner: That is what I want to know. The Attorney-General: I am not so sure about that. The Commissioner: Are they regulations which apply merely to American ships. Sir Robert Finlay: It would seem very remarkable if any Executive Committee had any authority to make regulations which would affect foreign vessels. The Commissioner: What occurred to me was this: it might make a regulation that no ship which did not meet their requirements should enter their ports. Sir Robert Finlay: No doubt it might, but my observation is that it is very remarkable if such a power as that were given to an Executive Committee. The Attorney-General: We know how it is. Under a reciprocal agreement between the United
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