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from the Bulkheads Committee, that no doubt ought to be carried out and would have to be carried out by Act of Parliament. There would be no power as the law stands at present - that is certainly my view of the Board of Trade - to insist on that. Supposing the vessel is properly equipped as a passenger vessel I do not see that the Board of Trade would have the power to say, under the law as it stands at present, “This is the best means of construction that can be adopted; to have a watertight deck of this character, and you have not got it and, therefore, we will not give you a certificate.” The Commissioner: Knowledge is always increasing, and if you had statutory provisions of that kind it appears to me they might require alteration every twelve months, or every six months. For my own part I do not like statutory provisions hampering trade at all, and I should very much like to know whether in Germany, for instance, there are laws which compel ships to be constructed in this way, or in that way, or whether it is left to the discretion of qualified people who examine the ship. The Attorney-General: Yes, I agree. That is one of the matters which no doubt would have to be considered by the Committee before it comes to a conclusion, what the course is that is adopted there and what actually are the requirements. I have two letters which we have received since the evidence was closed from the German companies which, if your Lordship thought right, could be put upon the Note; I have not troubled you with them because in view of what your Lordship’s decision has been upon this question of bulkheads, it seemed unnecessary to go into detail with regard to what they do in Germany, how their vessels of the particular lines there are constructed. What I do propose to do with them is that those letters should be handed to the Committee which is going to enquire into this matter. The Commissioner: That is the best thing to do. I do not want the Note encumbered with them. The Attorney-General: No, my Lord; that is what I thought. But it is important that those who will have to deal with this should have it before them, and as we have acquired the information during the course of this investigation, I propose to have those letters sent to that Committee to consider. What I meant was not that you should have stereotyped in an Act of Parliament - a particular form of construction. I agree, if I may say so, that that would be most undesirable, because as you say, knowledge progresses week by week. I did not mean that at all. What I did mean was that it may be necessary that some further powers should be given as to requirements of the Board of Trade with reference to bulkheads and watertight compartments. I need not go into that, because the time has not come for dealing with that. It must depend upon the Report of the Committee. I think the opinion which was formed by the Board of Trade after the receipt of this Committee’s report of July, 1911, and after the investigations and the experiments which had been made for the purpose of enabling them to frame the draft Rules, is dealt with in the letter of the 16th April, the letter which was ordered on the 4th April, which sets out exactly what the Board of Trade’s opinion was before the “Titanic” disaster. One may summarise it in this way, I think, that they had come to the conclusion that it was necessary to have a revision of the Tables, and they transmitted a copy of the memorandum and tables which they were proposing to adopt to the Committee, for the Committee’s approval before they were published, and before they were laid on the table. That was the position. The Commissioner: Was the Board of Trade put in motion by anything that took place in the House of Commons; I mean, put in motion in reference to the matters they dealt with in 1911? The Attorney-General: Yes, certainly, a question was asked in February, 1911. The Commissioner: It seems to me I have seen it somewhere. The Attorney-General: It is quite right. The Commissioner: In February, 1911, some question was asked in the House of Commons. The Attorney-General: Yes.
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