Page 81 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
P. 81
The Commissioner: Well, you say that, but surely you do not suggest that the Board of Trade ought not to take skilled advice on the subject? Mr. Scanlan: No, my Lord; I wanted to guard myself against getting into such a position. But your Lordship warned me that if I enquired into the composition of the Board of Trade, I was in some danger of stumbling on an old joke. That may be, but still the composition of the Board of Trade is a matter which should be above joking, and, I think if your Lordship looks to the failure of the Board of Trade in making efficient regulations under this Section 427, it suggests that there is great need for reform at the Board of Trade. What are the life-saving appliances at the present time? They are according to the Rules which came into force in 1890. We have had the history of those Rules as to life-saving appliances in very great detail, but I think it very easy to analyse this history and to pick out the salient points. In 1890 there was provision for ships of 9,000 tons and upwards, and here is the fact which stares one in the face in reviewing the conduct of the Board of Trade since 1890, that the only additional provision for lifeboats and life-saving appliances made since 1890 is the amendment made in 1894. Now see the importance of it. The Commissioner: That is about 10,000 ton ships? Mr. Scanlan: Yes. What is that difference? In 1890 the maximum provision for lifeboat accommodation was 5,250 cubic feet; that was, of course, with the three-fourths addition. But that need not disturb the very slight calculation which I am going to make here. Under the new provision, the provision in 1894, they provided for 250 additional cubic feet. Now, what does that mean? It means accommodation for 25 people, or accommodation, if you take the three- fourths additional for, I think, 41. The Commissioner: Where do you get the three-fourths additional? Mr. Scanlan: The addition of 250, three-fourths. The Commissioner: Yes, but what is the Rule or provision with regard to three-fourths’ addition? Mr. Scanlan: The Rule is contained on page 6 under D. With the three-fourths additional, the Board of Trade provided in the biggest ship for only forty-three people. It comes to this, therefore, that since 1890 although the tonnage of ships has gone up from 9,000 to over 46,000 gross tonnage - The Commissioner: Have you taken the trouble to look at the list of boats exceeding 10,000 tons built since 1894? Mr. Scanlan: I have gone into that question, my Lord, to some extent. The Commissioner: If you look, you will probably be astonished to see how few they are. Mr. Scanlan: I see about 1894 you had the “Lucania.” The Commissioner: Oh, you can find some, and you can find them, I think, going up to 26,000 tons, but I do not think you get them above that. Mr. Scanlan: In 1901 there were additions, 20,000 tons, and the “Baltic” in 1904. Then you had the “Lusitania” and the “Mauretania,” getting up to 30,000 tons, and during the last couple of years you have had ships like the “Olympic.” The Commissioner: I think for a considerable time after the Rules of 1894 were promulgated by the Board of Trade, there were not any large number of vessels above 10,000 tons. Mr. Scanlan: They had at all events in 1894 the “Lucania,” which was built then, that is practically 13,000 tons - 12,952. There has been no addition from 1890 down to the present day. The Commissioner: Except the one. Mr. Scanlan: Except this one, which is only a provision for 43 people, that is, the biggest ship now has only to provide by the Board of Trade Rules for 43 more people than the biggest ship, which was a comparatively small ship, was required to provide in 1894. The Commissioner: Of course it does not follow from that fact that any great mischief has
   76   77   78   79   80   81   82   83   84   85   86