HC Deb 09 April 1913 vol 51 cc1181-2
80. Mr. JOWETT

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he can state whether the alterations made to the steamship "Olympic" include a rearrangement of the accommodation for third-class passengers to give them access, in case of necessity, to the boat decks as readily and freely as the first-class passengers have?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Buxton)

In view of the finding of the Court of Inquiry into the loss of the "Titanic," that there was ready means of access from all the principal accommodation decks to the boat deck, no rearrangement of the third-class accommodation on the "Olympic" has been considered necessary. Two additional emergency doors have, however, been fitted, affording direct communication between the third-class quarters and the first and second-class quarters. I understand that by means of these new exits and the existing doors and staircases the third-class passengers can enter the first-class and second-class quarters freely, and thence reach the boat deck as readily as the first-class and second-class passengers.


Is it not a fact that the report of the inquiry stated definitely as one of the findings of the Court that why so large a proportion of the third-class passengers were drowned was their inability to get to the boats?


I do not think it was a question of inability. I understand that question was most carefully considered, and those new emergency doors will enable them to have as free access to the boat accommodation as second and first-class passengers.


Will these doors be open all the time or only occasionally?


They will be open whenever it is necessary. I do not say they will be open all the time.