Page 184 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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matter again to the Advisory Committee. Memoranda on other subjects were at the same time being prepared, and eventually the whole of the subjects that had been under consideration were, on the decision of Sir Walter Howell (4th April) embodied in one letter, which was addressed to the Committee on 16th April.” Now, my Lord, the effect of that is to show that the reason of the delay in a Rule being formulated is that they were waiting, first of all, for experiments to be made which had been delayed, certainly partly, in Liverpool, for the reason given there, owing to labour trouble, and then eventually all these matters had to be considered by the Principal Ship Surveyor, and the draft Rules are formulated on 1st February, 1912. The Commissioner: There is this memorandum at page 28. The Attorney-General: Yes, that is right, my Lord. Those are the draft Rules. The Commissioner: Then, on the 4th April, what happened? The Attorney-General: On the 4th April, after consideration of the various matters pointed out to Captain Young, the order is given that the letter shall be written, and, of course, it is an unfortunate thing that that letter was not written immediately, but your Lordship has had all the evidence before you about that, and it is not open to any doubt, that the order was given on the 4th April, although, in fact, the letter was not sent out until the 16th. The Commissioner: I am quite satisfied with the explanation given about it. The Attorney-General: Yes, it is quite clear. Your Lordship saw the original documents which were produced, and, fortunately, one is able to remove any misapprehension with regard to that, because quite naturally it might have been thought that that was only sent out in consequence of what had happened. The Easter holiday had intervened, and apparently the letter was not sent immediately. Now, my Lord, that brought us to the 16th April, when the letter was sent, to which attention has been called, and which undoubtedly is an important letter. The Commissioner: Yes, but you have now got to a date after the “Titanic” disaster. The Attorney-General: Yes. The Commissioner: Has anything been done up to now? The Attorney-General: No. It is quite right to say nothing has been done; I mean no Rule has been made at present. The Commissioner: Are you going to wait for the Report of the other Committee? The Attorney-General: I am going to tell your Lordship what happened with regard to it. The vessels first of all have agreed and the passenger-carrying vessels of 15,000 tons and upwards have agreed now, as was stated by the President and also was stated in evidence here, to place a sufficient number of boats on board to carry the number of passengers on the vessel. That is the position. Your Lordship heard what happened with regard to the “Olympic.” I do not know whether your Lordship saw it when you were there, but we did certainly and a great number of boats were on the deck, principally Berthon boats that had been provided in order to meet what was the very natural anxiety of the public at the time, after the “Titanic” disaster. The Commissioner: What I asked was this. Are you going to wait for the Report of the other Committee? The Attorney-General: That must depend, my Lord. Of course, the Board of Trade has not known up to now whether your Lordship is going to report or not upon it. I mean to say whether, as a result of this Report they may be going to alter the Rules. I do not know, and it is not for me to say, but I should very much doubt whether those Rules would be sufficient now. The Commissioner: Have you read them? The Attorney-General: Yes, I have. The Commissioner: I have not. I know nothing about them. The Attorney-General: I have read them, and I have read the scale. The Commissioner: I do not know what it is that you expect me to report which would affect
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