Page 180 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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The Commissioner: We get then to the 4th July when the Advisory Committee forward to Sir Walter Howell this report of the Sub-Committee and stated that they approved of it. The Attorney-General: Yes. Now one fact I think we must bear in mind in connection with the Committee that the division of opinion and the differences of opinion that had taken place between the various gentlemen, who had been asked to report in answer to a circular letter which was sent out by the Board of Trade, and of which you have the details, was not stated to the Committee. There was a suggestion that it was, but it clearly was not. The Commissioner: It was thought better not. The Attorney-General: Yes. I submit that was the right course for them to take. The Advisory Committee were going to deal with this matter quite apart from any view which the Board of Trade officials might take, and of course the Board of Trade would then have to consider it after they got the report of the Advisory Committee. Then after that came back, a series of experiments were made, the view taken about this matter by the Board of Trade being that before they could prescribe a scale which was to take effect, and which could take effect as regards all ships in this country, they had to make quite sure not only of the scale which they intended to recommend, but also issue at the same time such new Rules as they intended to make with regard to the construction of boats. The Commissioner: Of boats? The Attorney-General: Yes. The Commissioner: You mean lifeboats? The Attorney-General: Yes. That had formed the subject of a good deal of discussion, as your Lordship has seen from the report of the Committee. It formed the subject of much discussion, and also some experiments, and it was one of the matters which led up to the sending the question of boating accommodation to the Committee in April, 1911. It is one of the matters dealt with, and one of the matters reported upon. Captain Young deals with this at page 643. Sir Walter Howell dealt with it, but I am not going to call your Lordship’s attention to his evidence, because it really does not assist very much. So far as he was concerned, what he did was to state what was done by Captain Young, and what was done by the Board of Trade, but Captain Young himself has been called, and has told you what he was doing, and, therefore, it is best to go direct to his evidence. At page 643, Question 23290, he goes into detail as to what was done. His explanation of what happened is worth referring to before we deal with the documents upon which his statement is based, so that your Lordship may see what his explanation is. At Question 23290, Mr. Scanlan says: “When did you come to this conclusion with reference to these big boats.” That is, of course, dealing with increased accommodation. - (A.) “Some months back -” The Commissioner: With reference to these big boats like the “Titanic” you mean? The Attorney-General: Yes. When he mentions about big boats, my friend is speaking of big vessels like the ‘Titanic.” The Commissioner: I do not find here the expression “big boats” at all in the question which you are reading. The Attorney-General: It is there, I think. The Commissioner: “When did you come to this conclusion with reference to the boatage for the ‘Titanic’? - (A.) I did not specially consider the ‘Titanic’ before the disaster.” The Attorney-General: Will your Lordship read your question which follows it? The Commissioner: Yes, I beg your pardon. The Attorney-General: “(The Commissioner.) You do not follow what Mr. Scanlan means. When did you come to this conclusion with reference to these big boats? - (A.) Some months back, my Lord; in fact, when the Report of the Advisory Committee was presented, and I went into the matter, I had this in my mind, but it was complicated by a matter which was of a very
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