5 MAY 1923, Page 3

The Merchant - Shipping Advisory Committee, which was appointed by

the Board of Trade, has issued a report on the rules as to life-saving appliances in passenger ships. The rules as they stand were drawn up after the loss of the Titanic,' and the principle of them is that there should be boats or rafts for all. At the time when these- rules were made" boats for all" was a very popular, and it seemed a very reasonable, cry. But much has happened since. For one thing the officers of the Merchant Service have had experience of what is meant by the provision of a great number of boats and life-rafts. There is danger in the very quantity of these things. Not all can be brought effectively under control, and a boat or a heavy raft being flung about in a heavy sea, or on a reeling deck, is a very deadly missile. Another point is that wireless telegraphy has been enormously developed, and it is almost certain that before a great ship founders S.O.S. messages will have been freely sent out. In narrow seas help will arrive quickly, and even on the great ocean routes it will come, save in exceptional cases, much sooner than it used to do.