Page 67 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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The Commissioner: Let us assume for a moment that it was not. Mr. Pringle: If it were not sufficient, then these bulkheads should have been carried to deck D instead of to deck E, and it was with a view to testing that that this matter was gone into, and I think it was perfectly fair. The Commissioner: I am not complaining of that at all. I only wanted to know about the accuracy now of the contention having regard to the corrected figures. Mr. Pringle: At the time we tested the calculation we had not the loadline forms in our possession. The Commissioner: But now you have them. Mr. Pringle: I have seen the loadline forms. The Commissioner: Having procured them, are you now satisfied that the requirements only necessitated carrying the bulkhead up to deck E? Mr. Pringle: Yes, my Lord. The Commissioner: Then that disposes of that point. Mr. Pringle: Yes, I think it does. The Commissioner: Then you need not trouble any more about that, Mr. Laing. Mr. Laing: If your Lordship pleases. Then I pass on to the next point that was made by Mr. Edwards, which was this. He says the correspondence shows that the Board of Trade objected to the cranking forward, I think it has been called, of the collision bulkhead. They said that the cranking forward between the D and the E decks infringed one of their Rules about the length it ought to be abaft the stem. There was considerable discussion over this matter, and finally the builders, Messrs. Harland and Wolff, said: To get rid of all these troubles we will carry up the next bulkhead abaft it to D deck, instead of stopping it at E deck. The Board of Trade thought that was a reasonable and proper suggestion, and they finally confirmed it and accepted it, and stepped it aft; and arranged it as it is now arranged. There can be no complaint about that. The Commissioner: I am advised that that was quite a reasonable and proper thing to do. Mr. Laing: If your Lordship pleases. Then I pass away from that. The next point was, that having raised this second bulkhead abaft the stem up to D deck the Board of Trade raised difficulties, or rather suggested difficulties, that the spiral stairway in the No. 1 hatchway ought to be trunked up. There was some considerable correspondence and discussion about that, and finally Messrs. Harland and Wolff said to the Board of Trade: We will send you a calculation which will satisfy you that if these two matters are not done which you are pressing for and which will inconvenience us - we will satisfy you that the ship cannot possibly hurt in consequence; in other words, that the result will be negligible. They sent their calculations; the Board of Trade considered them and accepted them; and said: “We are satisfied that our previous point was negligible and we abandon our objection.” In consequence, the firemen’s stairway was not trunked up and the hatch was not trunked up with the full approval of the Board of Trade. How does the matter stand with regard to this? Mr. Edwards pressed Mr. Archer with a view of establishing that if his suggestions to trunk up these two places had been carried out the ship would never have sunk. The evidence about that is absolutely conclusive. Mr. Archer, at page 693, Question 24452, said the non-trunking had absolutely no effect at all upon the loss of this vessel, and he said the same thing at 24454, two questions lower down. Mr. Wilding’s evidence at page 518, Question 20384, is to the same effect. At page 806 of Mr. Edwards’ argument he says that Mr. Archer, in answer to him, had said that if this trunkway had been fitted it would have had a very different effect, the suggestion being that the sinking of this vessel might have been saved. You will find that about the middle of the right-hand column on page 806: “You remember, perhaps, my Lord, that Mr. Archer, who had made this recommendation, gave certain evidence, and he stated in reply to a question of mine, that he thought, in the light of the ‘Titanic’ disaster, it would have
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