« EdellinenJatka »
of the year.
of the Naval Office, has for some years published able approximately to fix the place where the catas- Mr. monthly hydrographic charts of the Atlantic showing trophe, whatever it was, occurred. I have a chart T, H. Ismay. the position of all derelicts reported to be afloat. I showing the probable position marked on the com. produce and will, if so desired, leave with the Committee,
pany's track, and also showing the position of reported 8 June 1894. å pamphlet published by the Hydrographic Office of the derelicts, &c. It is out of the ice region at that season United States containing full and valuable information. 1604. (Chairman.) Those we have already got ?—Tt
1606 (Captain Wharton.) Have you got that ?—Yes deals first with wrecks and derelicts in the North
(handling in the same). Shall I proceed Atlantic Ocean from 1887 to 1893 inclusive. It deals with the number of reports received of wrecks and 1607. (Chairman.) If you please ?-I do not think it derelicts over a period of years, and shows that in the was a collision with another vessel being navigated. The year 1893 no less than 732 reports of derelicts in the loss of no such other vessel was reported. The reports North Atlantic were made; secondly, it shows that the
of other vessels did not show that there had been any region of the ocean where derelicts are most common rough weather in that part of the Atlantic at the time. is in the Gulf Stream off the United States to the north There are five large and powerful steamers, the of latitude, 300 north, and to the west of longitude, “ Apollo," the " Horn Head," the “De Rayter,” the 600 west ; thirdly, the average time a derelict is afloat “ Alvo," and the “ Naronic,” all missing on the North is found to be about 30 days, but in the case of the Atlantic Ocean in one year. No definite cause can be schooner“ Fannie E. Wolston” she was abandoned on stated for their loss. Such a thing has never occurred 15th October 1891 and was last seen on 20th February on any other ocean. It is, in my view, extremely 1894, go that she had been a derelict 850 days and desirable that steps should be taken to remove daring that time had drifted about 7,025 miles.
destroy the floating derelicts in the North Atlantic. I 1605. (Mr. Trevor.) This is a very exceptional case, is
produce cuttings from the “i Liverpool Journal of it not P-Yes. She is still supposed to be afloat. There
Commerce ” of the 3rd April, 1st May, and 2nd June, are other instances showing derelicts known to be afloat
stating the position of a number of derelict wrecks, 206, 536, 551, 310, 370, 347, 367 days and so on.
and I also produce a chart upon which I have had the Fourthly, it shows that from 1890 to 1893 inclusive
stated positions of these wrecks marked. Sereral of 316 unidentified derelicts were noticed floating bottom
these are on or near the recognised steam tracks agreed up, an average of 80 annually and equal to 30 per cent.
and adopted by nearly all the large mail and passenger of the 230 reported, but unidentified, derelicts annually
steamship companies, both foreign and British, to or afloat in that period of four years ; a number sufficiently
from North America. The position of these courses is large to prove the dangerous number of derelict vessels
shown on the Hydrographic Chart printed in the and to call for their prompt removal. I also refer to
pamphlet I have produced. The so-called tramp pages 15 and 25 of the reports of collisions of various
steamers I understand also follow these courses to a vessels with derelicts, showing that from February 1887
large extent. These courses are spread over a come to May 1893, 10 vessels were known to have been totally
paratively small part of the ocean, and it is in this area lost and 51 more or less injured. I also refer to the
that floating derelicts are likely to be most dangerous, account given on pages 17 and 18 of what has been
and it is most important to have them removed or accomplished by the United States Government in
destroyed. It is no doubt impossible entirely to remove destroying derelicts. During 1887 to 1893 inclusive,
or destroy these wrecks, but it may, I think, be 73 were destroyed, of which 72 were by fire and one by
accomplished to considerable extent, at any rate in torpedoes or ramming. I also refer to pages 16 and 17
those parts of the Atlantic Ocean where they are most showing the number of derelicts towed into port, 26 in
frequent, and which are the parts most used for traffic. the year 1893. The commanders in our service regard
The number of passenger, mail, and cargo steamerg derelict wrecks as a serious source of danger to the
from ports in the United Kingdom and from European Mercantile Marine and the travelling public, and the
ports by way of the English Channel to the northern data given in the pamphlet bears this out. We
ports of the United States is very great, and the endeavour to reduce the danger from this source as far
number of lives and value of cargo enormous. The as possible. All the commanders of our steamers are
number of passengers carried across the North Atlantic regularly supplied with the charts of the Atlantic
Ocean is far in excess of that in any other part of the issued by the Hydrographic Department of the United
world. This is by far the most frequented portion of States Service showing the position of derelicts. In
the Atlantic Ocean, or of any ocean of the world, and addition we cable the positions of any derelicts reported
calls for special treatment. An immense number of in or near the track, and not shown on the charts, of
timber-iaden vessels cross it, and these are to a large which we think our commanders may not be aware,
extent old wooden vessels under foreign flags. They and also advise the other mail and passenger lines. I
provide a large proportion of the derelicts which are of consider a floating derelict carrying no lights and
the most dangerous class being likely to keep afloat giving no warning of her presence is a most serious
longer than iron vessels or other cargoes. With the danger. This is especially the case if the wreck is
aid of the Hydrographic Charts, and the reports which awash or almost awash. In darkness you can have
are made of Aoating derelicts having been seen, I conabsolutely no warning of its presence. The twin screw
sider it is feasible for one of Her Majesty's vessels, steamship “ Naronie" belonged to the White Star Line
periodically told off for the purpose, to find, at any rate, of live stock and cargo steamers between Liverpool and
à considerable portion of the derelicts, and either to New York. She was built at Belfast by Messrs. Har
remove or destroy them. For this purpose a vessel land and Wolff in the year 1892, and was in my opinion auxiliary steam power would be able to remain at sea
carrying a considerable amount of sail as well as one of the finest and safest steamships ever built. She was a twin screw steamer of 4,222 tons register,
very much longer, and at very much less expense, than divided into 10 watertight compartments separated by
a steamer. The wreckage of a broken-op derelict strong balkheads going up to the main deck and con
vessel would not, in my opinion, be so great a danger, structed according to the recommendations of the
as a passing steamship would almost invariably throw Bulkheads Committee. She was built in excess of
it off without injury ; but a case came under my knowLloyd's requirements. Her cargo was a perfectly safe
ledge a short time ago where a steamer həd sustained one, and stowed in the most satisfaciory manner under
some damage owing to floating wreckage which broke our own supervision and by experienced men regularly
a port covered by an iron dummy, damaging to a
considerable extent mails and passengers' baggage. employed by us for loading these steamers, and who do nothing else. She left Liverpool in perfect condition 1608. (Mr. Trevor.) Is that the case mentioned by for New York, but was never heard of again, though Captain Parsell, of the “ Majestic,” who
evidence some of her lifeboats were seen and one picked up. here?-Yes. I feel so strongly about the desirability of Any two of her largest cargo compartments could be some action being taken that, speaking on behalf of the open to the sea, and it would not materially affect her White Star Line, they would be willing to contribute fioating power, or bring her down to the load line fixed a sum of money to this end. It may be mentioned that by the Board of Trade. Even with her engine and in the event of any derelict being towed in, considerable boiler compartments in addition open to the sea, she salvage would accrue to the Government. It may have would have a large surplus buoyancy. Her loss has been noticed that recently the " Fürst Bismarck," of been the subject of great consideration with me, and the Hamburg-American Steam Packet Company,collided without being able positively to say that she was lost with a French barque, and although the latter was through collision with a derelict which ripped open a perfectly seaworthy the crew abandoned her. The number of her compartments as it passed along her
commander of the “Fürst Bismarck” put a crew on side, I have little doubt that was the cause. From board himself to take her in, otherwise she would have the position in which one certainly, and it is believed been left a derelict of a very dangerous type. Some two, of her lifeboats were seen, we think we have been of our own steamers have come across vessels of a
similar nature, and in two cases bave taken same into the collision bulkhead Of course I am not a sailor, T. H. Ismay. port; in one case put a crew on board, and in another and I am merely speaking from a layman's point of
bet fire to the ship. In my opinion, merchant captains view, but with some experience of seafaring matters, 8 June 1894. are only justified in destroying abandoned ships which and my own opinion is in your direction. But then
cannot be salved, for if they destroyed any seaworthy comes the question, what has become of the “Naronic”?
1624. Is it perfectly certain that it was not ice Peven in a fog. That is practically the result of such
Yes, there was no ice at that time of the year-none experience as I have been able to gain. I should be
reported. I think I can answer that; if she struck ice, glad, as far as I am able, to answer any questions that being a steel ship, she would only crush her bows in. the Committee may think necessary to put to me.
1625. Yes, crush her bows in P--I should not be 1609. (Chairman.) As far as I can see, your proposal
afraid of going on board that ship steaming at the rate to get over the danger, or to modify the danger, is to
of 12 or 13 knots, because, if she struck an iceberg, have a vessel cruising in the supposed neighbourhood
being steel, she would simply crush back-it is not like where derelicts are most frequently found, for the
iron-it bends. purpose of destroying them P-Ÿes.
1626. But your argument would also hold good with 1610. You have no other suggestions for removing a derelict ?—Except that in the one case you are it P-Not beyond what I have said.
striking a substance solidly; the other you do not know 1611. You are for the destruction or dispersion of
what it might be-it might be a mast, or something
that might bump her, because we cannot get away the derelict ?—Or towing it into port where practicable.
from the fact that the ship has disappeared, and it A good deal would depend upon the position in which a derelict was seen.
is inexplicable to our minds why she disappeared. If it was convenient to tow it
What makes one still more uneasy is that it may into Halifax, or some of the ports close to there, that should be done.
happen to one of the passenger steamers if it happened
to her. 1612. Did you tell us where the derelict vessels most 1627. (Captain Wharton.) You say that there was no abound 2-Yes; I said that the region of the ocean ice reported, and I see that in the report that you bave where derelicts are most common was in the Gulf sent in here, which is a copy of the American Chart, Stream, off the United States, to the north of latitude
you have not shown a large mass of ice which is shown 30° N. and to the west of longitude 60° W.
on the American Chart as being there on the 20th 1613. Those are practically the home waters of the
February, a little north of the track followed by steam
vessels P-A little north-how far north? United States ?_Yes.
1628. About 150 miles |_We would never be there. 1614. But I think you stated that the United States
The ship could not possibly be in that position.
1629. If ice which covers, according to the reports, Yes.
150 miles north and south is marked upon the chart, is
it not extremely probable that there were stray bergs 16!5. So far your proposal is that we should also or even large masses further south P-I think that if work derelicts in that neighbourhood P-My view
they were they would have been reported. You must would be that important Governments, such as Great bear in mind that these vessels' tracks keep very close Britain and the United States, working in conjunction
together, so close that the “ Majestic ” and “ Paris with the Germans and French, for they have a large
were supposed to be racing. number of vessels trading also, ought to act in unison ;
1630. Would not the fact that the vessels keep as that if the United States take a certain portion of the ocean, there is no reason why Great Britain and the closely as they can to this track for their mutual safety others should not take other portions.
explain how a large iceberg drifting from north to
south (which they all do in that latitude) would very 1616. But you propose that operations should be likely escape notice, because it would cross that track confined to this part shown on the chart P- Yes, more more or less at right angles; if they kept close the particularly, unless a derelict was reported elsewhere. vessels might not see it in the eight or nine hours The more you can fix them, the more likely you are to of daylight, and it would not be reported; if the find them. Have you got a chart ?
vessels went as they used to do, spread all over the
Atlantic, I should agree that a stray berg would not 1617. We have got the American chart.-Yes, that is it.
escape notice ?—“The track taken from the 15th
of January to the 14th of July, both days inclusive, 1618. This chart seems to have created the present “ from the Fastnet is Great Circle Courre, but nothing attention to the subject of derelicts. Until this no
south, to cross the meridian of 49 degrees W. in attempt was made, and I do not think that people re- “ latitude 42 degrees, 30 north.” ferred to it, did they ?—Yes, long before that attempt
1631. This is the chart that you have copied, but you was made. We have been in the habit of cabling for
have left the ice out P-I do not know for what reason years.
they have left it out. 1619. Anything seen do you mean ?--Yes, anything
1632. I put a cross at the corner of it.
she had been there on the 20th P-Yes.
1633. There is the ice on the 20th to which my instructions were to report derelicts at once.
There is that We
questions refer (pointing to the map). exchanged with the Cunard and American line. Here
large mass of ice on the 20th 2-I do not think it can is one of our ordinary track charts, which one of the
possibly be. It is reported here on the 22nd of shore captains has made out, showing the tracks taken
February, and we are supposed to be here on the 20th by the steamers, and showing the derelicts, those wnich
of February (pointing). Of course I could not say that are bottom up, and those which are floating upright.
it is impossible for a berg not to have drifted, but it is
exceedingly improbable that even if we had struck a 1621. You have no case of ar.y of your officers striking berg that it would have been of a fatal cbaracter. derelicts actually, have you P-No, except the feeling
1634. Will you explain why it is improbable that a is very strong that the “ Naronic" must have struck
berg should be tbere. You do not imagine that those a sunken wreck.
little dots in that chart represent the exact shape or 1622. That is a matter of opinion P_Quite a matter size of the great ice floe. I am going upon the of opinion.
probabilities as a sailor. If you see a large mass of ice 1623. Giving my own opinion from a seaman's point
my experience is that there may be a great deal more of view, I cannot believe that a vessel so strongly
drifting P-I was crossing in the “ Oceanic" with built, that so good a ship as the “Naronic" could have
Sir Digby Murray (professional member of your Marine ever been totally destroyed by striking a derelict;
Department) in March 1871, and I think we saw conbecause if the derelict had been of sufficient size and
siderably over 50 bergs all clustered together, as it weight to have inflicted serious damage, such as caused
were ; but after we got rid of this cluster we did not the sinking of the “ Naronic,” she wouid I feel quite
come across any other ; and, as far as my memory sure have brought her up before penetrating into her;
serves me, there were not any reported. in most cases the penetration by the colliding ship 1635. You do not mean to say it is a universal rule has been to a very limited extent, and seldom beyond that they stick together for a thousand miles ?-No, I am
only speaking from watching them for a good many years. I think that it is exceeding improbable that a berg would be 120 miles from other bergs at that time of the year.
1636. I am not assuming that there was only one berg that managed to keep 120 miles in advance of the main pack, but that the fact of ice reported there shows that there is a great deal of ico in every direction ?Not south of this.
1637. Why not?-Because it is not reported. You must bear in mind that there are dozens and scores of ships traversing that circle.
1638. What do you imagine became of that ice mags marked there on the chart?
It is marked as seen on the 20th February. Do you take it from that that on the 21st it all disappeared P-I take it that it had gradually drifted southward.
1639. But that is not reported on the chart; its position further south is not mentioned P_The chart only represents one month. If you get the succeeding chart it might show it.
1610. Do you think that you are right in saying that there is no ice reported at that period of the year, when there is a great mass of ice shown ?-I believe I am strictly accurate, as far as one can be in a matter of supposition, in saying that there was no ice in that locality on that date.
1611. That is simply your opinion ?– That is all-I cannot go beyond it.
1642. And you attach no weight to a very large icefoe within 120 miles off ?—None at all as affecting the Naronic.”
1613. You would sooner assume a small derelicta speck in the ocean -of which you know nothing, and that a collision with that derelict was sufficient to destroy your specially carefully constructed ship, than that it might have been done by a very large berg, on which that ship would have gone at full speed, probably 12 to 13 knots, and so was lost ?—My own feeling is that the probabilities are that the sunken wreck was the more likely to cause fatal injury than a collision with an iceberg. I have come across ice in a fog at night; and knowing that when they come across it at a certair longitude they are fully alive to its probable presence and they keep a special look-out in every way; and ) think that the probabilities are distinctly more towards a sunken wreck than to ice, even supposing ice was reported.
1614. (Chairman.) Of course you admit the possibility of collision, or of some accident on board ; and I go further, and ask: Are you perfectly satisfied of the ship’s stability in bad weather with a heavy lurch ?— Perfectly.
1615. The lifeboats were seen P-Yes.
1616.—Can you tell me where they were stowed; were they hooked on the davits ?-Yes.
1647. It is curious that they should become disconnected P—The supposition is that the boats have been occupied.
1618. One was actually found 8-One was actually found, and the position of the gear was such as to indicate that it had been occupied. I forget exactly how it was now, but it indicated that it had been occupied.
1649. Of course you remember the case of the Oregon”?-Yes.
1650. That was a case of collision, and very little was known of the vessel that did it; she was never identified as far as I know.-I think it was supposed to be one of those coming up there with coal.
1651. It was a small vessel; the survivors reported that she hit her twice ?—The “Oregon
was in close proximity to New York. Where the “ Naronic's boats were found was a considerable distance oil, 800 or 900 miles.
1652. The object of my question is that it might have been a collision, and yet that there should be no confirmatory evidence forthcoming, that is one of the possibilities, is it not P-I may take too high a view of the structure of the “Naronic;" but as I said if you were to ask me for a sale vessel for someone who was nervous, I should say: “Go in one of those boats; they ** have no passengers; and in case of an accident you " have got to deal with sailor people, not like a large passenger ship where the people might get into a
panic." My three sons have all come over in the cattle boats, in fact the eldest was homeward bound in T. H. Ismay. one, and was in the position where she other ship was
8 June 1894. at any rate, bound; I hope to make voyage in one of the cattle boats myself.
1653. I do not think that anyone would question the excellence of the White Star vessels. A good deal of pressure has been brought to bear to increase the present mode of reporting what has been seen, and the complaint has been made, that on this side we do so much less than they do on the other side of the Atlantic, and that there they have got the United States Hydrographer's charts; presumably they think that something of the same sort should be done here. Do you advocate that ?-I think it would be almost doing the work twice over.
1654. What I want to bring out is this : do you attach much value to what appears in that chart P-Our commanders do attach value to them.
1655. I can quite understand it with regard to the ice because that is a slow moving body, and its course is pretty well explained ; but as far as regards derelicts this chart shows derelicts reported in the last three months, during which time they must have very largely moved from their position, and not only that, but by their own showing a great number of them must have gone down. Now, given that chart with these derelicts, do you think that it would influence the captains in any way. I am not calling in question that it may be a very good thing; but, as a practical man, I ask you whether you see any great value in it ?-Of course I am not a commander, and I can scarcely enter into the feelings of a commander. It is more for the commanders of those vessels to state; but we as owners certainly attach some importance to it, and take trouble and incur expense, and do all we know to inform them of it. How far it is of practical utility is a matter which it is difficult to find out.
1656. But it does not result, and you do not wish it to result, in any alteration of course, or tracks, because a vessel has been seen in a certain place on a certain day P-Of course, if a derelict is reported in a certain latitude and longitude on a certain day, the steamer or sailing ship, whatever it may be, must get to port, and that fact has to be cabled over; say she is going to America, and the steamer that is leaving here has to get over so that, practically before the time she gets there you must naturally conclude that the derelict has moved off, away from the track.
1657. You have stated in one place that you thought that the dispersed wreckage would do very much less harm than the derelict intact?-Yes.
1658. I think it is only right to say that that is a matter which is considerably questioned P-Quite.
1659. And so much so that as things stand at present with timber-laden vessels, we consider it best policy to leave them alone ?_Timber-laden vessels are very dangerous.
1660. They are dangerous so far as a derelict is capable of injuring P-They are chiefly under the foreign flag. An iron vessel, if she is laden with grain or the ordinary merchandise, very soon goes to destruction. It is those timber-laden ships that we dread most.
1661. (Sir Evan MacGregor.) I think you said you look upon the danger of derelicts as much greater than ice P_Yes.
1662. That is not in accordance with the evidence we have generally received from captains ?-1 can only give you my experience, and you must take it for what it is worth as against others. Of course that is a matter that is constantly in my mind ; though I am no longer a member of the firm I still take the greatest possible interest in it, But I certainly think there is less danger from ice than from derelicts. The "Arizona ” that struck an iceberg nearly broke in her bows, and generally there are two or three small compartments in the bows of a ship that act in the direction of safety.
1663. An officer of large experience was asked as to the relative danger, and he put it down that the ice was one thousand times more dangerous than the derelicts ?--Was he a seaman in the North Atlantic?
1664. Yes; of course it is a matter of opinion ?- Of course ; no darger to me is so serious as an unknown danger. Within a certain latitude and longitude at certain times of the year you may fairly assume that
there is ice. I know that later ice drifts to the T. H. Ismay. southward and becomes detached, and you might meet
a solitary berg drifting away ; but there is a chance of 8 June 1894. seeing that berg, it may be day light. Even at night,
either by moon or starlight you may have a chance; and then we are told I do not attach much importance to that—that the atmosphere indicates its presence.
1665. (Chairman.) That is rather a question -I do not attach much importance to it.
1666. (Captain Wharton.) But you said definitely in what you read that ice could be seen and felt, so that perhaps it would be well that it should go on the notes that you do not attach much importance to that statement P-I said tbat it could be seen.
1667. “ And felt.” You said, “ice can be felt and seen even in a fog.” That is a definite statement ? Yes, it may be seen in a fog and it can be felt by the change of temperature when you get sufficiently near. It is a question of degree I think.
1668. (Sir Evan MacGregor.) As a matter of fact there is a very great immunity from loss of life considering the number of vessels crossing the Atlantic, is there not P-Yes, but we still hope to reduce that.
1669. And you think that one cruising vessel that you suggest would have that effect 2-Well of course it is difficult to assess the value of it, but you have had some practical experience of it. I feel keenly the responsibilities of those large vessels going away with probably 1,500 souls on board; and we personally would willingly contribute towards a fund with that object.
1670. Do you think that the other companies would be disposed to do that P-Well, I cannot answer for them. We would. The bulk of the people insure their ships.
1671. (Sir George Nares.) Do you know what is done near our own coasts in the way of removing the wrecks and derelicts P-No, I do not. You must have been doing good by stealth, because I bave not heard very much about it.
1672. Have you ever heard of any derelict near our coasts for the last 20 years causing damage?- No I could not say, not to my recollection.
1673. Do you know that the Lighthouse Boards are telegraphed to immediately a wreck is reported, and that they search for it within 100 miles P- What machinery have the Lighthouse Boards for doing that? Excuse me for asking, but it is merely for information.
1674. By tenders. We have a return from the Trinity House for instance; they have gone as far as 150 miles off the coast; and occasionally men-of-war have been sent to search for a special ship at longer distances ?- That I am aware of.
1675. If Great Britain removes all these dangers within a certain distance of her own coasts, do you think if the United States also systematically went to work in the same direction and removed the derelicts within say 100 miles, that that would remove a great many of the derelicts which are floating about the Atlantic ?-Having regard to the extent of the mercantile marine of Great Britain, I feel that I should like to see her have a more active part in it. I should not like to see it taken up by any other nation.
1676. Would you propose that a British vessel should be sent to patrol the United States' coasts within 100 miles sayP-No, I think that would be a matter for arrangement with the Government or the United States. I do not think that there would be any difficulty on the part of the United States in meeting that. Nearly all Americans travel sooner or later to Europe, and they get more or less interested in shipping matters, the dangers or otherwise of the journey ; consequently they are more alive to it than we are. We generally go for a holiday to the continent, but they come to Europe.
1677. Do not those charts which are published by the United States only show that the derelicts emanate from near their owu coasts, and they are within about 100 miles of their own ccasts and drawn out to the Atlantic by the gulf stream P-999 out of 1,000 commence their voyage either from Canada or the United States, but I should think principally from the Canadian ports.
1678. Do the United States' charis show that they come more from Canada than from the United States' ports, because I read it otherwise ?—No, I am taking it on account of the timber ships, chiefly from St. John's and the lower ports.
1679. Is not that supposition, do the charts show it? -.The charts do not show the port of departure of any of the derelicts, the charts merely show that they are found there.
1680. As to the “Naronic," have you been able to trace any known derelict anywhere near her position at about that time when she was lost in February P-I think that the chart which I put in shows that there are one or two derelicts marked.
1681. Then they must be others than those shown on the American charts, becanse the United States gives us nothing about the time of February 21; there has been no repori from the United States of any derelict anywhere near there throughout February that I can trace —There is a vessel reported March 20th.
1682. That is a month after the “ Naronic"was lost ? -But then she may have been there-I mean it does not follow that she was not afloat previous to that day.
1683. (Captain Wharton.) You cannot tell P-No, I cannot tell.
1684. (Sir George Nares.) If the Government under. took any duty in connection with searching for derelicts, beyond what they at present do, sending a special vessel for a special derelict or to search generally for derelicts near our own coasts, the service would have to be a continuous one P-It ought to be.
1685. The life of the derelict being only on an average about one month, when that month has passed as they are removed others will occur or may be expected to occur?—Or may be expected to occur. There is a certain average number afloat, and unfortunately as they disappear their places are supplied by others.
1686. In your opinion how many vessels would have to be sent out to search, even adopting your route between Great Britain and New York -If the United States Government continue their policy of sending vessels out to cruise within a certain number of miles off their coast, and if we send out a vessel, we can make an experiment and see the result of it. It is all more or less speculation as to what will be the practical result.
1687. But still as the advisers of the Government, this committee must see whether there is a chance of being able to do any good. You will agree to that pYes, except that the probable advantages to my mind would justify the expenditure that would have to be incurred.
1688. In that direction I would ask what is the range that we can see those derelicts bottom up from a vessel ? -I think the range unfortunately is very small.
1689. Therefore a vessel even with a man at the masthead can only command a certain area on each side of her as she is steaming along ?-Perhaps before the vessels get to that state that they are bottom up, they might be discovered when floating right side up.
1690. I will take it in regard to looking for a vessel that is only just wrecked, even then I suppose we can only command a view of five or six miles on each side ? -Yes, or perhaps further.
1691. That is such limited range of ocean that it would surely require more than one vessel to be cruising about, if anybody undertakes it at all I mean P—You are one of the conservators of the Mersey are you not? 1692. I am
a professional officer of the Board of Trade ?–Well, there was a great pressure brought to bear to get the bar deepened in the Mersey, and it was only after pressure that they made it, and now it is navigable for ships of moderate draught at any time of the tide.
1693. That was an engineering question, surely that was thought out by capable engineers ?-No, the engineering element was decidedly against it, and it was the laymen who put it forward, and I was trying to show that the laymen, although perhaps not always right, are entitled to have their way in this case, because the cost is so small.
1694. But the laymen might tell us how many vessels they want, to carry out this searching ?-Give us an experimental ship, and let us see what results follow from that experimental ship.
1695. An experimental ship to traverse the Atlantic must be a vessel about as capable as one of yours for keeping the sea. You say that she could be sailing and
save steam that way; but must she not search on a direct line, and if so to keep on that direct line must not she be a steamer P-To keep on that direct line she must be a steamer, but with a view of economy we thought of that anxiliary power, partly sail and partly steam.
1696. Can a vessel when steaming to the westward in the Atlantic with auxiliary power keep her required position ?-Perhaps not.
1697. (Chairman.) And must she not also be capable of towing for considerable distances ?_Yes, under certain conditions, certainly.
1698. She must have power and coal capacity ?-Considerable coal endurance she must have, but then she need not necessarily be steaming full speed con. stantly. When in the locality she would be half boiler power.
1699. (Sir George Nares.) Taking your steamers that are keeping to the actual line, can you give us how many derelicts have been seen by one of your ships in a dozen or 20 voyages ?— They may go 20 or more voyages and never see one.
1700. Would not that most probably happen to this vessel that was sent out to search if she is to stick to the line P-Except that she wonld be going to find that which the others wish to avoid. It would be a case of seeking and trying to find what the others would wish to avoid.
1701. But they are keeping a look out, and they are subject to your special telegraph to tell them that there is a derelict P-Except this, that if one of the liners saw this vessel, and reported passing a derelict in a certain position, that vessel would go to seek for the derelict.
1702. (Chairman.) But you have got to get the information to this ship --Yes.
1703. (Sir George Nares.) Are we to take it that it is a very rare thing for any of your captains to sight & derelict in crossing the Atlantic, and that, in fact, would be the same as the evidence that we have had from one of the captains of the White Star Line P-. It is the exception.
1704. It is the exception ?-Yes, fortunately so, too. The area is considerable, although you keep on certain routes.
1705. (Mr. Trevor.) As to the value placed by laymen on this United States' Pilot Chart, your view is that it gives you very valuable information P—My view is that it gives useful information.
1706. Useful information. Would you be surprised to know that a very efficient captain has told us in evidence that he never deviated one inch out of his course, although he had been informed that the derelict reported was in his near neighbourhood, and by his calculation he knew where it would be at one time. The question is 827: “Do you think that any captain “ would turn an inch out of his way on account of “ what was on those charts ?-I do not believe that " they would.” Again, in question 831 ; “But you
never have made practical use of the chart in the way " of turning one inch out of the way, and you cannot " increase the look out ?-I have never altered the
course of the 'Majestic;' and I do not believe “ that anybody else has deviated from their course on “ account of the chart.” There is the opinion of one of the most efficient captains of the most efficient line of steamships going across the Atlantic. Do you put your opinion against his ?-Well, of course I have a great respect for professional opinion, but there are times I keep to my own opinion. My experience is that when I try to get professional opinion I try to get it from various quarters, and then I endeavour to weigh that professional opinion, and draw my own conclusion from it, being guided by my own knowledge of the men from whom I draw it.
1707. But you are not suggesting for a moment that the knowledge of the captain of the “ Majestic” is not very extensive P-Not in the least. I bave the greatest possible respect for his opinion, and coneult him frequently, as I do others, and then I weigh their views and endeavour, rightly or wrongly, to form con. clusions thereon.
1708. Then upon another part of this subject. Have you ever considered the difficulty which might arise from the various nationalities of those derelicts ? Could, for instance, the United States' vessels searching
1709. Whichever vessels destroyed her, do you think that it would be of no consequence ?-I think certainly not, except a canse of thankfulness that a vessel which was dangerous had been destroyed.
1710. Do you not think that it would be necessary to come to some international arrangement with all maritime nations for the destruction of these derelicts ? --Not all. Some of the principal ones. Take Great Britain first, United States, France, Germany, Scandinavia. I think if they were agreed upon it, I do not think that we need trouble others. I think that the others would take the advantage, if it proved to be advantageous, in the course which was decided upon.
1711. Then if such searching for derelicts was established by this or any other Government, could it be confined to the North Atlantic P-I think so.
1712. Ought not the traffic route to India and Australia be similarly benefited ?-You have not the same source of danger. You have not got those timberladen ships. The traffic with India and Australia is chiefly in iron vessels, carrying mixed cargoes, and in case of anything happening to them it is only a question of a very short time until they disap, ear.
1713. But surely a passenger ship to Australia might be seriously hurt by derelicts, say off Cape Finisterre ? -I am not aware of any timber-laden ships traffic in that direction.
1714. You think that derelicts are only dangerous when they are derelict timber-laden ships P-Chiefly so. I think the fact of four full-powered ocean steamers disappearing within
year on the North Atlantic, and nothing having been heard of them at all has a tendency to show that there is something. You never heard of a steamer disappearing in the southern trade in that way. I am not dealing with the vessels in the Black Sea, and those deeply-laden, or the cargo shifting, but I am dealing with large steamers. Of course a great many vessels disappear in going across the Bay of Biscay ; but I am talking now of large, full-powered steamers, properly laden. Of course there is a great change in the construction of those within the last few years, all in the direction of safety.
1715. Do you think that the trade in the North Sea and the Baltic are not entitled to the same protection that you claim for the trade in the North Atlantic ?-It wonld be far from me to say that they are not entitled.
1716. At any rate you would like to be safe first ! Only on the grounds of the traffic, and the risk to the numbers of people, and the values of the cargoes, that is all, not on any other grounds.
1717. But you would be inclined to admit, would you not, that any arrangement for the North Atlantic must eventually, at any rate, be extended to other regions of the ocean? That would entirely depend upon the regions in which you propose to extend it. I have travelled round the world more than once, and the conditions are so different.
1718. Have you ever considered in your scheme what is, or what you would think, the best mode of destroying a derelict ?-I should think by fire where practicable.
1719. But would water-logged timber-laden derelicts easily burn? — Naturally, I presume, you would saturate them with petroleum or some other inflammable oil. 1720. Then I
the vessel searching for derelicts must have on board inflammable oil P-It ought to be provided.
1721. Ordinarily ships are not allowed to carry it?Yes.
1722. Below a certain flashing point p--There is a type of steamers that carry it in tanks, and also another type of steamers that carry it in cases; ships go out to India and Japan with thousands on thousands of cases.
1723. But petroleum allowed to be taken on those vessels is oil that is above a certain flashing point?Yes.