Page 88 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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will see that they provide 24,345 cubic feet. That is in the last column. That is what the United States had provided before; and you see how logical is the arrangement in that Table. There is a graduated increase in proportion to tonnage, and, of course, if tonnage is to be recognised as the basis for providing lifeboats, then the number of lifeboats and their extent would go on progressively with the tonnage, and that is what they have been doing in the United States. Then the German requirements show 42,656 cubic feet. The Commissioner: I have forgotten the exact tonnage of the “Titanic”: was it more than 46,500 or less? Mr. Scanlan: It was 46,328. The Commissioner: It is under 46,500, so we must take from 45,000 to 46,500. Mr. Scanlan: Yes. The Commissioner: 45,942 to 49,476 tons, the quantity to be provided is 21,328 cubic feet; is not that right? Mr. Scanlan: I think that is part of it. You also have another 21,328. I think that refers to boats of another description, and then you get the sum of the two, namely, 42,636. The Commissioner: The total number of passengers and crew provided for would be 4,265; is that right? Mr. Scanlan: Yes. The Commissioner: Then in Germany there is an exemption for efficient bulkheads. Mr. Scanlan: Yes. The Commissioner: They seem to recognise the same principle that the Board of Trade recognise by Rule 12. Mr. Scanlan: I do not know that we are in a position with the evidence given here to say exactly what they do. The Commissioner: No, not exactly. Mr. Scanlan: What is important on this is this consideration; the shipping of this country is greater than that of those other countries and so far as lifeboat accommodation is concerned, we have been lamentably behind, and therefore I say, even on a comparison with other countries, the Board of Trade stands condemned for negligence in exercising its duty under the Merchant Shipping Acts. And now additional provisions are being made, and will be made, and I submit that what should be asked and insisted on is adequate lifeboat accommodation, whether in boats or rafts, and life-saving apparatus for every person carried. I say it is possible to do it, and from the evidence of the Board of Trade, we may take it that shipowners have themselves since the loss of the “Titanic,” recognised this, because they have offered to the Board of Trade to provide their ships with lifeboats for all on board. The Commissioner: Have you contemplated this, that if the number taken away from the “Titanic” in the lifeboats is to be taken, if the amount of the lifeboat capacity utilised, is to be taken, as what can be utilised in circumstances such as happened on board the “Titanic,” you would require a very much larger lifeboat accommodation than would accommodate the number of persons on board. Do you follow what I mean? Mr. Scanlan: I follow it, my Lord. I do not see that it can be any justification for the disparity between the boat capacity which the “Titanic” had and the number of people actually saved. I am afraid that is to be attributed to lack of discipline. The Commissioner: If it is not to be attributed to lack of discipline, if in the hurry of two or three hours you cannot fill your lifeboats, if you cannot do that, then I do not know what you are to do. If they did their best to fill the boats, then the “Titanic” had more boat accommodation than she needed. Mr. Scanlan: I fail to see how she can be said to have had more boat accommodation than she
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