Page 167 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 14 - 18
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18959. Had you had opportunities for forming an opinion as to his judgment and capacity for conducting a vessel? - He was a man in whom we had entire and absolute confidence. 18960. And you showed it by appointing him to the “Titanic”? - Yes. I think he had been in command for 24 years; I think that is the right number of years. 18961. Had anything ever occurred in the slightest degree to shake your confidence in him? - No. 18962. Something was said by one of the gentlemen who examined you with regard to instructions given by the Canadian Pacific Company to their steamers with reference to field ice? - Yes. 18963. That is with reference to the Canadian traffic? - Yes. 18964. You have also some share in the Canadian traffic, have you not? - We have. 18965. And do you give special instructions with regard to vessels engaged in the Canadian traffic? - We do. 18966. Is this an extract from the instructions in regard to field ice (Handing same to the Witness.)? - Yes. 18967. I will read it. This is only an extract. The whole document, of course, can be produced: “Extract from the instructions given to Commanders in the Canadian Service respecting field ice. Field ice may be met off the Eastern edge of the Bank, across the Bank, and along the South Coast of Newfoundland. This ice is often very heavy and should not be entered unless it is obviously in loose patches. Lanes in the ice often come to an end, and it is unwise to enter them unless clear water can be seen beyond. It is usually the safest course to go South to get round the field ice, and Commanders have permission to use their discretion to deviate from the track under such circumstances.” Were any such instructions necessary with reference to the tracks which we have been considering in this Enquiry? - I think not. 18968. (The Commissioner.) This Canadian track, I suppose, is much to the North of the track to America - to New York? - Yes. 18969. (Sir Robert Finlay.) Yes, that is shown by the localities specified at the beginning of this extract: “Field ice may be met off the Eastern edge of the Bank, across the Bank, and along the South Coast of Newfoundland.” This field ice is much commoner there, of course? - Yes. 18970. And you, yourselves, issue the instructions which have just been read with regard to field ice in those localities? - We do. 18971. (The Commissioner.) Is the ordinary track to Canada across what they call the Great Bank of Newfoundland? - I am afraid I could not answer that. The Commissioner: It appears to be marked. Sir Robert Finlay: I am told in reference to the question your Lordship has just put to Mr. Ismay that the ordinary route to Canada, unless it be the Belle Isle route, is always across the Bank. The Commissioner: The “Mount Temple” went South of the track? The Attorney-General: Yes. The Commissioner: In fact she went South of the track to New York - slightly South. Sir Robert Finlay: Yes. The Commissioner: And she was therefore South of any indicated field ice, as distinguished from icebergs, I mean. Sir Robert Finlay: Yes, that is so. Those instructions, of course, with regard to field ice that I was referring to are issued with regard to the ordinary route where field ice is much more commonly met with than further South. The Commissioner: But the instructions, as I recollect them from your reading them, gave permission to deviate. Sir Robert Finlay: Certainly, my Lord. “It is usually the safest course to go South to get round
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