Page 177 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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agreed that it would be necessary and desirable from their point of view to have a scale above the 10,000 tons and upwards; and that is the position. They thought there ought to be a scale above, but undoubtedly they differed very materially as to what the cubic capacity was that was to be provided for, as to the number of boats, and on various points. Those reports were then sent in and the Board of Trade in consequence of that and seeing the difference of opinion there was between their advisers, referred it to the Committee by the letter of the 4th April, 1911. I will call your Lordship’s attention a little more in detail to it in a minute; I just wanted to go through the dates so as to bring quite clearly before your Lordship how the matter stands. That was reported upon on the 4th July, 1911, by the Committee, and the Committee did make a report which provided for an increased scale, but a scale very far short of sufficiency to provide for all the persons who were carried on a vessel like the “Titanic.” Their report in substance came to this, that there should be a cubic capacity of boatage accommodation of 8,300 feet and that there should be a total exemption given from the necessity for providing additional craft if there was an efficient system of watertight bulkheads. This was the matter upon which your Lordship will remember Mr. Carlisle was examined, and explained what he meant by saying “it is quite true they provided for additional boat accommodation, but took it away again by the next paragraph.” What he meant by that was that they provided the exemption. Now, if your Lordship will look at the reference of the 4th of April before you get to the Committee stage, on page 22 of the report, your Lordship will see what they said to the Advisory Committee: “I am directed by the Board of Trade to enclose herewith, for the information of the Merchant Shipping Advisory Committee, a copy of a question asked in the House of Commons on the 15th of February and of the answer given by the President of the Board of Trade with reference to the Life-Saving Appliances Rules made under Section 427 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894. The Board are of opinion that the Table in the Appendix to the Rules should be extended upwards in the form indicated in the accompanying scale, so as to provide for vessels of tonnage up to 50,000 tons gross and upwards. 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. The attention of the Merchant Shipping Advisory Committee is invited to the Rule of the 19th April, 1910, as to the stowage of boats” - I do not think I need read that. Then “I am to state that the Board would be obliged if the Merchant Shipping Advisory Committee would be so good as to suggest in what manner the scale (see accompanying copy) should be continued upwards, having due regard to the considerations indicated above. I am further to state that the Board would be glad to learn whether the Advisory Committee are of opinion that Rule 12 should or should not be revised so as to exempt altogether from the requirement of additional boats and/or rafts those vessels which are divided into efficient watertight compartments to the satisfaction of the Board of Trade. I am to add that in considering the questions dealt with in this letter, the constitution of the Merchant Shipping Advisory Committee should be identical with that of the Committee as recently constituted for the purpose of considering an amendment of the Life-saving Appliance Rules in connection with the Englehardt collapsible lifeboat.” That led to the Report which I will call attention to at once at page 24. The Commissioner: What is the date of this? The Attorney-General: 4th of July, 1911. The Commissioner: I do not see any date on it. The Attorney-General: I do not see it, but I think I am right. The Commissioner: I see the date is on the covering letter. The Attorney-General: Yes, that is the 4th July. “In accordance with the decision of the
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