Page 62 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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put in cross-examination at all. This matter has been evolved at a very late period. 10 feet 11 1/2 inches is what Table C requires. The Commissioner: No witness was examined on this subject at all. Mr. Pringle: May I explain, on behalf of Mr. Edwards, that this correspondence was only produced when the Board of Trade Surveyor was in the box, and it was only possible to cross- examine after that. The Commissioner: I am quite aware of that; it was either a great point, or, as Mr. Laing says, a mare’s nest, which you discovered at the last moment. Mr. Pringle: Mr. Laing says he has a difficulty in discovering where the figures were got. The figures are in the correspondence. Mr. Laing: I will show your Lordship the correspondence. The Commissioner: The first thing I want to find out is where the freeboard which this vessel ought to have had is indicated in Table C. Mr. Laing: I will show your Lordship the figures. They have never been given in evidence, but the actual measurements exist, and I have no doubt the Board of Trade have them. In fact, we have had them supplied. If I may just complete, just to show the fallacy of this argument, Table C requires a freeboard of 10 feet 11 1/2 inches. The Commissioner: Where do you get that from? Mr. Laing: I will show you the figures; it is a most elaborate calculation. The actual freeboard assigned to this vessel was 11 feet 2 1/2 inches; therefore, instead of being l 1/2 inches short of the requirements of Table C, she is 3 inches in excess of the requirements of Table C. The Commissioner: According to you, she was better instead of worse. Mr. Laing: Certainly; and the result is, if she is 3 inches better than Table C, then undoubtedly these decks were rightly taken up to E, and not to D, and the whole thing comes to an end. Mr. Pringle: It may save a little time if I say a word or two. The Commissioner: I will tell you why I think you may not at present. Mr. Laing is putting something to me at present which I do not understand, and if you get up to explain it I am afraid you will make me understand it less. You may interrupt afterwards, after Mr. Laing has made me understand what he is saying. Mr. Laing: My point is that on the figures - and I will show you how they are arrived at - this ship was 3 inches in excess of the requirements of Table C, and I think Mr. Edwards would agree, if he were here, that if that were so these bulkheads were properly carried up to E and not to D. The Commissioner: I am not sure about that. Perhaps he ought to agree, but I am not at all sure that he would. Mr. Laing: So far as the evidence goes, if your Lordship will look at page 672, Question 23945, Mr. Carruthers says that in fact this vessel was 3 inches in excess of the requirements of Table C. The Commissioner: Is that where he says, “I think the margin was 3 inches; at all events it was almost 3 inches”? Mr. Laing: Yes, it is Question 23945. The Commissioner: “And when it is placed as low as is required by Table C of the freeboard tables for awning deck vessels the remaining bulkheads may terminate at the deck next below the upper deck.” Is that what you are referring to? Mr. Laing: Yes, that is E deck; that is where they did in fact terminate. Now, keeping away from the figures for a moment, because they are terribly complicated, there is evidence to show that in the opinion of Mr. Carruthers, the gentleman in charge of these operations, the vessel did in fact exceed the requirements of Table C by 3 inches. Let me see if I can carry that a little further. The load draught at that freeboard is 34 feet 7
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