Page 59 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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entitled to say to himself, “All the ice that I have warnings of are these three and the ‘Norddam,’ which is utterly beyond my range,” and the fact that there is no warning of anything between the “Norddam” and the “Caronia” which might complicate the situation is - The Commissioner: I think I appreciate what you say upon that. Have you finished? Sir Robert Finlay: Yes. The Commissioner: Thank you very much for your assistance. It has been of great use to me - very great use. Sir Robert Finlay: I feel any assistance I have been able to render is almost entirely due to my friends, Mr. Laing, Mr. Maurice Hill and Mr. Raeburn, who have been good enough to help me. The Commissioner: I know their industry from experience. Sir Robert Finlay: And their ability. The Commissioner: Now, Mr. Attorney, I am thinking about how we are to go on with this work. I know you are engaged in many things, and some of them are engagements that cannot be neglected. I have some reason to believe that you must be away on Tuesday. The Attorney-General: Yes. The Commissioner: And possibly for further days. The Attorney-General: Yes, my Lord, quite so. The Commissioner: It is very undesirable that this case should be adjourned at all. The Attorney-General: Quite. The Commissioner: I remember what you said a few days ago, that you proposed to wait until the end of all the speeches before you addressed the Court. If that course is pursued it may land us in the difficulty of having to adjourn for a considerable period. The Attorney-General: I have been considering it, and I am much obliged to your Lordship for the suggestion. I do not think there is any danger of it. Your Lordship now has to hear my friend, Mr. Laing, who I know will be very short, and then there is only Mr. Dunlop, and I shall certainly be able to compress my observations within the limits of tomorrow and Monday, if your Lordship will sit tomorrow. The Commissioner: Yes, certainly I will. Mr. Laing: I do not wish to add anything to the words of Sir Robert Finlay on the description of this vessel, as built for her owners, the White Star Line. I only want to deal with a few technical matters that have been raised in this case by the cross-examination of Mr. Edwards, and to answer a question which your Lordship put to me a day or two ago. The design of this vessel was that she was to be built and so spaced as to float with any two compartments open to the sea. That was the design that the builders had before them and it is the highest standard of any shipbuilding firm, certainly in this country, and also in Germany, as the evidence shows. The two other great vessels which one naturally thinks of in this connection, the “Lusitania” and the “Mauretania,” are built on the same plan, too. Mr. Peskett, when he was in the box, said she was designed and built to float with two compartments open to the sea, and he thought that she could float with three. So with the “Titanic” - Mr. Wilding has proved that she undoubtedly could have floated with any two compartments open to the sea, and that on his flooding plans she certainly would have floated with three, provided they were forward ones, as they were in this case. Not only could she float, on her design, so flooded, but so flooded she would float with the tops of her bulkheads above the waterline by double the amount of the margin required by the Board of Trade. I think their margin is something like 18 inches and she would float from 2 feet 6 inches, I think, is the figure, to 3 feet. So she very fully complied certainly with the design which the builders set themselves to carry out when they started to build this vessel. I should have been almost content to read one answer from Mr. Carruthers as to the supervision by the Board of Trade of the building of this vessel and the assurance from Mr.
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