Page 35 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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requirements were exceeded. That has been so often pointed out that I need not go through the evidence. The question whether in the future more boats should be carried is, as I think your Lordship has indicated in the course of the case more than once, one of some difficulty. It involves many considerations, and, like many other questions, involves the balancing of considerations more or less conflicting, namely the efficient conduct of the vessel with a certain number of boats on board and the desirability of making, as far as reasonably can be done, provision in the case of disaster. But where the question is of that nature it cannot possibly be charged as negligence against the White Star Company that all that they did was very considerably to exceed the requirements of the Board of Trade. The “Titanic,” in fact, had boats for 53 percent, of the persons who were actually carried, and this is in excess of any recommendation that had ever been made to the Board of Trade by any of its advisers. I need not go through the evidence with regard to that; your Lordship is familiar with it. Then your Lordship has the Departmental Paper No. 249, giving a list of passenger steamships, with the tonnage, the capacity for passengers, and the boat equipment. It is a printed paper. The Commissioner: Yes, I have it. Sir Robert Finlay: One need not go through the whole of it; take a few cases. The “Baltic,” I see, is one of them. The number of passengers and crew for which a passenger certificate is granted in the case of the “Baltic” is 2,041 passengers, 370 crew; total, 2,411; the boat equipment would accommodate 1,054 persons. That is one of the White Star Line vessels. That would be 43 percent of the carrying capacity. Then go down a few lines and you come to the “Carmania,” one of the Cunard vessels. The carrying capacity by way of passengers and crew of the “Carmania” is 3,520. The boat equipment was for 1,034 persons; that is 29.3 percent. The “Caronia,” another of the Cunard vessels, carrying capacity, passengers and crew, 3,483 persons; the persons who could be accommodated in the boats, 1,388. The Attorney-General: Has your Lordship that paper? The Commissioner: Yes. The Attorney-General: It is printed by the Board of Trade. The Commissioner: This was prepared for this case, was it not? The Attorney-General: Yes. Sir Robert Finlay: Yes; the heading explains what it is. The “Caronia” had 39 percent of the carrying capacity. Of course the 53 percent I gave in the case of the “Titanic” was of the persons actually carried. The figure for the “Titanic,” if you take it, as it is taken in this table, with regard to the carrying capacity of passengers and crew, would be 33 percent, and a fraction. So that while it is 53 percent of the passengers on board, it was 33 percent of the carrying capacity of the “Titanic.” Then the “Carpathia” could carry 2,864 passengers and crew and had boats for 1,072. That is equal to 37 percent of the carrying capacity. Then the “Franconia,” a Cunarder, carrying capacity, passengers and crew, 3,145; boat accommodation, 960; that is, 30.8 percent, as against the 33 percent of the “Titanic.” Then the “Ivernia” is a little higher; 2,589 passengers and crew carrying capacity; 1,018 persons boat accommodation; that would make it 39 percent. On the “Laconia,” another Cunarder, 3,109 passengers and crew could be carried; boat equipment for 960 persons; that would be 30 percent. The “Lusitania,” 2,889 carrying capacity passengers and crew; boat accommodation, 978 persons; that is 34 percent - a fraction over the percentage in the case of the “Titanic.” The “Mauretania,” carrying capacity 2,972; accommodation for 976 persons in the boats; 32.8 percent, which is a fraction less than the accommodation on board the “Titanic” was. I submit that a glance at those instances which I have taken from this table which, as it is expressed in the title, is a list of all passenger steamships of 10,000 tons and upwards for which
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