Page 200 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
P. 200
according to that Committee’s Report of July, 1911. All I wanted to say was that was the view of that Committee in July, 1911, an Advisory Committee constituted, as this Committee was, of representatives of all those who really had the means of bringing expert knowledge to bear upon the subject, and all of the different interests, also, in the shipping world. The result nevertheless, was that in July, 1911, the full extent of the boat accommodation required by that Committee in a vessel which was fitted with efficient watertight compartments was 8,300 cubic feet. So that in July, 1911, according to that Committee’s requirement, the boat accommodation for the “Titanic” would have been less than under the Regulations which had hitherto existed. I will tell your Lordship why I say that. The Commissioner: That is not quite accurate. The Attorney-General: I will tell you why I say it. 8,300 feet compares with 5,500 feet in the Table of 1894. The Commissioner: Well? The Attorney-General: But under the Regulations for 1894 they would have had to find three- fourths additional unless they complied with Rule 12, which brought it up to the 9,625 feet. Under this scale, which was recommended by this Committee, if you had efficient watertight compartments it was not a question of being relieved of a portion only of the additional boat accommodation required, but you were to be relieved of it altogether. Under the old Rule you were only relieved of one-half of the additional boat accommodation; under this Report you were to be relieved of it all. So that under this Committee’s Report, assuming that the “Titanic” was fitted with efficient watertight compartments, which I should have thought no one would doubt, having regard to the knowledge at that time, then all that she would have required to find would have been 8,300 cubic feet - boat accommodation for 8,300 feet, which would have given 830 persons. The Commissioner: What I must have had in mind in what I said just now was that, under the Regulations of the Sub-Committee, which were adopted by the Advisory Committee, if the “Titanic” had been provided with lifeboat accommodation according to their recommendations, she would not have had as much lifeboat accommodation as she in fact had. The Attorney-General: That is so. The Commissioner: That is true, is it not? The Attorney-General: That is true. That is upon the assumption which I made as I stated just now for this purpose, that she was fitted with efficient watertight compartments and applied for the exemption. The Commissioner: Now, what is the definition of “efficient watertight compartments”? Is there any? The Attorney-General: No, there is not. The Commissioner: It is left entirely to the Surveyor. The Attorney-General: There is not a definition, and that is just what I meant by the observation I made just with reference to watertight compartments. That is left undoubtedly, at present absolutely, to the Surveyor. I said, and I think I am justified in saying, that having regard to the state of knowledge at that time no Surveyor would have said, the Board of Trade Surveyor or otherwise, that the watertight compartments of the “Titanic” were not an efficient provision. The Commissioner: Then can you tell me why the White Star Line, the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, did not apply under Rule 12? The Attorney-General: Oh yes, for the simple reason that they meant to carry more boats than were required by the Board of Trade Rules, as, in fact, they did. They carried 11,325 cubic feet capacity as against 9,625, the maximum which could be required under the Board of Trade regulation. I have no doubt that what affected them was that it was desirable in order to attract persons to travel by their lines that they should carry more boats. I should imagine that that was
   195   196   197   198   199   200   201   202   203   204   205