Page 79 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 10 -13
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12696. With his back to the stern? - Yes. 12697. Was any reply made to that man when it was suggested going in a particular direction? - No, I think no notice was taken. 12698. Did you hear anything said? - No. 12699. You said nothing? - No. I said nothing. How do mean, I said nothing? 12700. Did you give no answer? - It was going on all night; it was not once he said it. 12701. Was an instruction given or did you hear anything said shortly after the “Titanic” went down? - No, I do not think anything was said then. 12702. Was it an answer to this suggestion of his as to the direction in which the boat should go that you said “I will give you a fiver”? - I really do not understand your question. You must put it plainly. 12703. Yes, I will put it quite distinctly. An instruction, or rather an observation was made by someone, that the emergency boat should go in a particular direction. Is not that so? - That was going on all the later part of the night by this man, yes, continually. 12704. Before the “Titanic” went down? - No, no, no. 12705. After the “Titanic” went down? - Yes, I really do not know, it seemed to be most of the time. He called “Boat ahoy,” and so on. 12706. The question I put to you is this: When you first heard this observation made with reference to the direction in which this emergency boat should go, was it then, 20 minutes after the “Titanic” sank, that you suggested that you would give them a fiver each? - No, I see what you mean now. No, it was not; not in any connection with it. The man calling out to go this way and that had no effect, I think on anybody, nor on this subject at all. It had nothing to do with it. The Commissioner: If you will put your question plainly it would perhaps be understood better. Your question, as I understand it, really is this: “Did you promise a £5 note in order to induce the men in the boat to row away from the drowning people?” That is what you want to ask. Mr. Harbinson: That is the effect of it. The Commissioner: Well, why do you not put it in plain words. Examined by Mr. CLEMENT EDWARDS. 12707. As I understand, your version of what took place on the boat deck is this; that you and Lady Duff-Gordon were standing there for some time; that there was an attempt made to induce Lady Duff-Gordon to get into one of the three lifeboats; that she refused, and that you saw those three lifeboats lowered. Will you explain why Symons, the captain of your boat, states that just before the boat was lowered the two ladies rushed from the saloon deck by themselves and asked if they could get into the boat, and that then you and the two other men passengers rushed and also asked if you could get in? - No, it is quite incorrect, the whole thing. 12708. It is incorrect? - Yes. 12709. Symons has made a mistake if you are right? - I did not know he had said that, but I daresay. 12710. This is what Symons said at question 11454, on the 10th day, at page 256: “As he gave orders I” - that is Symons - “saw two ladies come running out of the foremost end of the top saloon deck, running towards the boat, and from there they asked Mr. Murdoch if they could get into that boat, and Mr. Murdoch said ‘Yes, jump in,’ and then, after that, I saw three gentlemen come running up, and they asked if they could get into the boat, and he said, ‘Yes, jump in.’” That is incorrect? - Yes, that is quite a wrong story altogether. 12711. When you were in the boat, when the “Titanic” had gone down, you were so absorbed in paying attention to your wife that you could not think whether you ought to go back to the drowning people or not? - Well, you may put it in that way.
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