Page 157 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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The Attorney-General: My Lord, we have gone off the track a little. I was only going to say that I should hesitate a little to say that it is only the seamen who ought to take part in the boat drill. I should certainly hesitate to say that it is only seamen who ought to take part in the boat drill, but after all those are the men who least require the drill. The Commissioner: Is it not the usual thing for those men to go through a course of boat drill? The Attorney-General: No The Commissioner: Does the Captain of the vessel ever go through boat drill? The Attorney-General: I should imagine not, I do not suppose that he requires it. The Commissioner: Does the head steward go through it? The Attorney-General: I do not see why not, my Lord; I do not see why his degree of head steward should prevent him. The Commissioner: But does he? The Attorney-General: That I cannot say. Mr. Cotter: Yes, he does, my Lord. The Commissioner: I am told he does. The Attorney-General: Well, that satisfactorily answers the question. The Commissioner: I will tell you what I am advised about this, and that is, that in long voyages to the East, where you are at sea for several weeks, it can be done, but you cannot get through the whole of the crew, through the stewards and firemen and A. B.’s. you cannot get through them all; but when you are out on an Atlantic voyage which lasts only five days, is it practically impossible, and that you would have to do nothing else but working at the boats You could scarcely do it in five days, and you would have the people doing other work besides working at the boats. The Attorney-General: I suppose what it means is that you would have to do it the day before if you do it at all? The Commissioner: Then you would want more officers and men? The Attorney-General: That is the difficulty that has been pointed out to me. The Commissioner: It is quite obvious it is desirable that there should be some sort of drill, and in this case, as far as I can make out, it is admitted there was none. The Attorney-General: Yes. The Commissioner: There was this inspection of the two boats. The Attorney-General: Yes, there was the inspection of the two boats in Southampton. Well, my Lord, that really was the object of the criticism that I was going to direct to the time taken up. The Commissioner: Are you going to say anything to me as to the value of the boats? The Attorney-General: Yes, my Lord. The Commissioner: They were very valuable on this occasion? The Attorney-General: Yes, I am going to say that, but, of course, that comes to the other question which is involved, about the boat accommodation. The Commissioner: But my own impression at present is that the collision happened in such a way that boats were not wanted. The Attorney-General: I agree; and when I deal with that part of the case I shall say that has been the policy, not only of the Board of Trade, but of the Advisory Committee which has been sitting under the Merchant Shipping Act and giving expert advice to the Board of Trade, but I will come to that in the proper order when I come to deal with the boat accommodation required by the Board of Trade. Now, my Lord, the point that I was upon just now about the clearing of the boats from the ship, and the time that was taken, proves this, that altogether (I do not think you can be precise) from about a quarter to one to half-past two o’clock was occupied in lowering the boats. There is this submission to be made in connection with that, that according, certainly, to Mr. Lowe’s
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