Page 84 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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head of the Board of Trade would say that his deliberate conviction, even after the “Titanic” was lost, is that the boat scale of 1894 is still to be regarded as sufficient. The Commissioner: You must not dwell too much upon the “Titanic,” because do not forget that she only utilised two-thirds of her boat accommodation. Mr. Scanlan: I have given you the best explanation I can. The Commissioner: Yes, and it is not quite an explanation that I understand so far. I do not want you to go back on it. Mr. Scanlan: Your Lordship will at all events be spared that. Still, after the “Titanic” disaster great preparations are being made at the present time, and naturally what has affected other countries must affect even more intimately this country, to which the “Titanic” belonged. I do not say that it is any reflection that it is only now that great exertions are being made. But if this was the disposition of the principal man in the Board of Trade, I think it becomes easy to understand how it is that we have not had drastic alterations in the provision for life-saving appliances. I must say that the successor to Sir Alfred Chalmers, Captain Young, appears to me, if I may respectfully say so - The Commissioner: My recollection is that he did not agree with all that Sir Alfred Chalmers did. Mr. Scanlan: No, my Lord; it occurred to me that his views were not so conservative, and that he was inclined to advance. The Commissioner: And, therefore, you are entitled to be a little more hopeful now. Mr. Scanlan: Yes, because he is a bit more liberal. But if your Lordship reads the references of the Board of Trade to their principal Surveyors, when they were asking for information, you will find this conservative instinct shown. At page 18 and page 22 of this paper which your Lordship has seen, which was given to us at the last sitting, you will see them. The Commissioner: What is it called? Mr. Scanlan: It is “Memorandum on the Statutory Requirements as to Life-Saving Appliances.” It has a history, my Lord. At page 18 the Board of Trade are writing a confidential letter to their principal officers in London, Liverpool, and Glasgow for advice and guidance as to life-saving appliances, and here I find them saying: “It is not intended that the boat capacity on vessels included in the extension should necessarily increase in a regular proportion according to the increase in tonnage.” The Commissioner: You will observe that the word “necessarily” is in italics. Mr. Scanlan: Yes, my Lord, I do not think the Board of Trade should be blamed less or more on that account. The Commissioner: No, but it gives a meaning to the sentence. Mr. Scanlan: At page 22, in the reference to the Advisory Committee they say, “It appears to the Board that the number of boats and the boat capacity need not necessarily increase in a regular proportion according to the increase in tonnage, and that due regard should be paid to what is reasonable and practicable in passenger steamers exceeding 10,000 tons.” They evidently did not expect any alarming increase in the boatage provisions. The Commissioner: You do not want an alarming increase, do you? Mr. Scanlan: No, I want a considerable increase. The Commissioner: Yes, but not alarming. Mr. Scanlan: No, that I agree, my Lord. Now I want to call your Lordship’s attention to this important fact. The Board of Trade asked advice, and they got it, but they did not act upon it. The Board of Trade asked the advice of their principal officers and each officer has given a scale. The first is Captain Young. I will only give one figure from each scale. Captain Young, at page 14, for a vessel of 45,000 to 50,000 tons would have provided for 19,075 cubic feet of
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