Page 9 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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States and this country, to which reference has been made, the United States is satisfied with the compliance of British vessels with the requirements of the Board of Trade, and we do the same with regard to the United States in this country. Those are reciprocal agreements. The Commissioner: And those agreements, I should think could only be altered by a treaty. Sir Robert Finlay: The reciprocal treaty is still in force. The Attorney-General: This Executive Committee cannot alter the reciprocal agreement between the United States and this country. The Commissioner: I think it is cleared up. I do not think we need discuss it any further. Mr. Scanlan: I may say, with reference to the American Report, this matter is referred to at page 18: By statute the United States accepts reciprocally the inspection certificates of foreign countries having inspection laws approximating those of the United States. Unless there is early revision of inspection laws of foreign countries along the lines laid down hereinafter, the Committee deems it proper that such reciprocal arrangements be terminated, and that no vessel shall be licensed to carry passengers from ports of the United States until all regulations and requirements of the laws of the United States have been fully complied with.” Sir Robert Finlay: That makes it clear that it is as your Lordship said; it is a recommendation for a modification. The Commissioner: And now, Sir Robert, you have made an observation with regard to this Table put in this morning, that it does not distinguish between boats carried under davits and collapsible boats. Sir Robert Finlay: It does not; and I take it it would be impossible, at all events at present, to get the information. The Attorney-General: Yes. The Commissioner: There is another matter to which I am very anxious your attention should be directed. I mentioned it some days ago. I should like to know what liners were traversing this region on or about the date of the 14th April, and I should like to know at what speeds they were traversing the region. I mentioned it some time ago, and my reason is this: I shall have to consider at the proper time whether Captain Smith was guilty of negligence or merely guilty of an error of judgment, and I think my opinion on that matter will be greatly influenced by the conduct of others, other experienced navigators traversing the same district at the same time. The Attorney-General: Of course, you must add something to that, my Lord, must you not, to make the comparison - and receiving ice reports of a similar character? The Commissioner: Oh, of course. I assume - I do not know it - that liners traversing this region on or about that day would receive similar advices to those that were received by the “Titanic.” The Attorney-General: Yes, enquiries have been made. I was just going to refer to it when your Lordship mentioned it. I have the document in my hand which enabled us to make some answer to it, but I am afraid it is by no means complete. Several lines have not answered at all. The Commissioner: I daresay they would not. The Attorney-General: I think there is some objection, or, at any rate, I can quite conceive there is some objection, to giving their sailing instructions and stating what happened. But I have it from some. The lines from which I have answers I am going to call your Lordship’s attention to now. The Commissioner: Have you any German boats? The Attorney-General: No; we wrote to them, but we have had no reply to both the Hamburg- Amerika and the Norddeutscher. The Commissioner: I should like to have copies of the letters, because the absence of an answer to the letters would have a significance in my mind. The Attorney-General: I will read your Lordship the letter that was sent round to all the
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