President of British Board of Trade Arraigned in Commons
He Retorts That Parliament is Equally at Fault for Failure to Enforce Steamship Regulations
London May 21 The attack on Sydney Buxton, president of the Board of Trade, in connection with the Titanic disaster was renewed in the House of Commons this afternoon, when the slackness of the Board of Trade was severely handled.
Maj. Martin Archer-Shee, a London unionist member, started the ball by moving the reduction of the salary of Mr Buxton, who, he declared, had been convicted by the damning fact that he has neglected to carry out the recommendations of his own committee.
Charges of slumbering dilatoriness, absolute neglect and unconcern were hurled at the Board of Trade by various speakers.
Lord Charles Beresford bitterly complained that the Board of Trade had not attempted to carry out its own regulations. Lord Charles Beresford indicated that watertight compartments with smaller doors in the bulkheads, which would be more easily closed, were more important than lifeboats.
This was also the view of Richard Holt he suggested the provision of bulkheads without any doors at all.
Sydney Buxton, in his defence, argued that parliament had been slack as the Board of Trade and was equally responsible, because it had not raised the question of providing adequate boat and life-saving appliances before the Titanic disaster. He said the British and German governments had undertaken arrangements for an international conference on the subject.
Charles Herbert Lightoller, second officer of the Titanic, was on the witness stand throughout the day at the Board of Trade inquiry into the disaster. His evidence was practically a reiteration of that given before the Senatorial Committee in the United States.