Page 36 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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th passenger certificates were granted between the 1st January, 1911, and the 30 April, 1912. A glance at this table shows that the blame imputed to the White Star is blame that would be imputed to all other Companies engaged in such traffic. Then I would invite your Lordship’s attention to another table, which appears in the Shorthand Notes at page 538, with regard to two big German vessels; two vessels built by Harland and Wolff for a German company, the “President Lincoln” and the “President Grant.” The “President Lincoln” had lifeboats for 1,465 persons. Then, as against the 1,465 persons for whom lifeboat accommodation is provided, the total number of souls on board is 4,108. “Total number of souls on board” means all that could be on board. That works out at 35.5. The “President Grant” had boat accommodation for 1,516 persons; total number of souls on board, 3,991; 37.9 percent. There is also a table which has been handed in with reference to German vessels headed: “Boat accommodation on German passenger steamers,” other than the two, the “President Lincoln” and the “President Grant,” which I have given. The Commissioner: Where shall I find that? Sir Robert Finlay: I do not think it is printed in the Notes. The Attorney-General: No, it is a loose table. I commented upon it, and called your Lordship’s attention to the accommodation. Sir Robert Finlay: Here is the list giving the percentage. The maximum number of passengers allowed is in the second column, varying from 2,857 in the case of the “Amerika,” down to 1,412 in the case of the “Kron Prinzesse Cecilie”; then the crew carried, and then the total number of persons on board is the sum of those two; that is to say, it is not the persons actually carried, of course - that would vary on every voyage - it is the number that might be carried. Then in the next division, headed “31st March, 1912,” you find the percentages. I will take only the percentages without stopping to read the numbers in cubic feet: 74, 65, 55, 48, 74, and 72. The Commissioner: All of those are in excess. Sir Robert Finlay: Yes, they are considerably in excess of the “President Lincoln” and the “President Grant,” and they are in excess, of course, of English vessels, but they do not, of course, come up to the standard of providing for all that could be carried. The Commissioner: Oh, no. Sir Robert Finlay: And nothing like it. The Commissioner: They vary between 48 and 74 percent. Sir Robert Finlay: I do not desire in the slightest degree to enter into the question of what recommendation should be made, but I think your Lordship has expressed an opinion that there are a great many conflicting considerations that have to be taken into account, and it is a matter requiring the most serious consideration what increase should be made. Pushing it to its logical conclusion on the lines adopted by Mr. Scanlan it would come to this, that no vessel is to take the sea unless she has got boats adequate to carry every soul on board; and further it would require, as your Lordship pointed out, owing to the difficulty when a disaster occurs of getting everyone into them, that there should be a considerable excess of boats over what would hold that number when tightly packed. After all, business considerations must to some extent govern, because ships will not be sent to sea unless they are properly workable, and perfect safety is really only to be attained by stopping on shore. Mr. Scanlan said, if I rightly followed him, that shipowners had done their best to realise the vision of the “oarless sea” by reducing the number of boats to a minimum. They have done nothing of the kind. They have acted in excess of the Board of Trade requirements and they are ready to go to any extent in the way of boat accommodation that may be indicated as being right and prudent in view of the various conflicting considerations which have to be taken into account. A good deal was said by Mr. Scanlan at one part of the case with regard to Mr. Carlisle’s
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