Page 60 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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Carruthers that she in fact fulfilled every requirement and regulation of the Board of Trade. He says so in specific terms and I should have been content to leave it there had it not been for the points suggested over and over again by Mr. Edwards and repeated in his speech to your Lordship on the close of this case. On that account I feel that I must touch, by simply giving your Lordship the references on the several points which he raised and which were answered in the evidence which was given. The first point that he raised was that there was no testing of the bulkheads, no actual testing by water test of the bulkheads, of this vessel, with the exception of the forepeak, and, I think, the tanks, while the vessel was under construction. The answer to that was given that it never is done, and that neither Lloyd’s nor the Board of Trade require any testing by water pressure of bulkheads, and that the practice is not to do so. I will not trouble to read the evidence, but I will give your Lordship the reference, because your Lordship might like to have it. It is page 525, Questions 20597 to 20600. The Commissioner: I am told it is done in the Navy. Mr. Laing: Yes. I was dealing entirely with the Merchant Service. I know it was said it was done in the Navy. The next point Mr. Edwards made was this. His cross-examination was directed to show that the bulkhead plating of this vessel was insufficient in strength according to Lloyd’s Standard, and your Lordship remembers that putting the questions to Mr. Wilding, Mr. Edwards reached a conclusion which he did not expect, that instead of demonstrating that they were short of Lloyd’s requirements, he demonstrated that they exceeded Lloyd’s requirements. The Commissioner: I think Mr. Edwards was a little confused with the arithmetic. Mr. Laing: My Lord, I think he was. At all events he escaped with great agility from the situation. But the fact remains that what he did establish was that the bulkhead plating was in excess of Lloyd’s requirements, and not below them; and the passage in the evidence which refers to that is at page 528, Question 20661. Again, a point which he made and which he also escaped from, was that the stiffeners in this vessel were not sufficiently spaced or properly spaced according to the requirements of Lloyd’s Rules. There, again, he demonstrated in the course of his cross-examination, that, so far from being short of the requirements, they exceeded the requirements; and the passage which refers to that is at page 527, Question 20640. My Lord, in fact, it was proved on these two heads that the ship, as built, was 50 percent over the requirements of Lloyd’s, and in excess of the Board of Trade requirements, and the passages which show that are page 539, Questions 20907-8. The next point that Mr. Edwards made was this. He suggested not once, but certainly more than once, that the bulkhead between No. 5 and 6 boiler sections broke down and gave way, and more than once during the course of this Enquiry the evidence as to that has been summarised and the conclusion arrived at was that it had not broken down. But Mr. Edwards reiterated the charge in his address to your Lordship, and my submission upon it is that there is absolutely no evidence at all that the bulkhead broke down, but that the evidence is the other way, that it did not break down. The evidence about it is all summarised on page 527, where the matter was gone into at some little length, and also at page 673. The Commissioner: Will you give me the numbers? Mr. Laing: I do not think there are any numbers; it is a discussion I think below 26625. It starts after that and the matter is threshed out again. The Commissioner: It starts on page 526, does it? Mr. Laing: Yes, my Lord. The Commissioner: How far does it extend? Mr. Laing: It extends right up to page 527, Question 26629. The Commissioner: And there it stops, does it? Mr. Laing: And there it stops. It breaks out again at page 673.
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