Page 16 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 1 - 5
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Mr. Thomas Lewis: May I point out, my Lord, that the union I represent represents a large number of the crew. The President: That may be; but at present my opinion is I shall have sufficient information and assistance if I allow the National Sailors’ and Firemen’s Union to be represented. If later on I want your assistance, I will take care to let you know. Mr. L. S. Holmes: May I take it that your Lordship will allow the officers of the “Titanic” to be represented? The President: I thought I had been very plain in what I said. I have allowed two of the associations to be represented, and I have mentioned them. If I find that the others ought to be represented, as I go on with the Inquiry and hear the evidence, I will take care to let you know. Mr. W. H. Champness: My Lord, I represent the widow of a deceased first-class passenger who was drowned. The President: Do you appear on behalf of a particular widow? Mr. W. H. Champness: Yes, a particular widow My Lord, I think nobody has applied at present to your Lordship on behalf of the representatives of the deceased passengers? The President: I cannot consent to your application. The Attorney-General: I understand what your Lordship has decided is that the National Sailors’ and Firemen’s Union and the Chamber of Shipping shall be allowed to appear, and that with regard to the other applications all you have done is to say that at present your Lordship is not allowing them to appear. The President: That is exactly what I have decided. The Attorney-General: I am desirous of putting this before your Lordship for your consideration at a later time when you may have some further application made to you in connection with this matter; that so far as I am concerned, I should not raise any opposition to anyone whose interests were involved in any way, during the course of this Inquiry, being represented or at least applying to your Lordship to be represented. I only want to make that quite clear at the outset, because naturally the Board of Trade are anxious that everybody who has any interest in the matter should, when his interest is affected, have a right to put questions under the presidency of your Lordship. The President: I quite understand that. Now is there anything more to be done today? Sir Robert Finlay: My Lord, I hear from those sitting near me that there is great difficulty in hearing in this hall. This hall was not built for the purpose of holding Inquiries of this kind, and its acoustic properties are very bad indeed. The Attorney-General: I quite agree. Sir Robert Finlay: I think if we go on here it will most seriously hamper the progress of the Inquiry. May I suggest to your Lordship and to the Attorney-General, the desirability, if possible, of getting another hall. There is a large committee room at Westminster which may be available, and, I am perfectly certain that the efficiency of the Inquiry would be enormously increased by having another room better adapted for the purpose. The President: I absolutely agree, and I am sure if the Attorney-General will put himself in communication with the Solicitor to the Board of Trade, arrangements can be made for the sittings to be held in a hall which will be more convenient, or a room which will be more convenient to all of us. The Attorney-General: I will see what can be done, certainly. I entirely agree with my learned friend that it is most difficult to hear and most inconvenient; but we will see what can be done. Tomorrow, in any event, we meet here, I understand. The President: Yes. We must go on here until we find another room. The Attorney-General: What time does your Lordship propose to sit tomorrow morning? The President: What time will be convenient?
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