Page 182 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 14 - 18
P. 182
because they knew that there was water in No. 5. We have direct evidence on that, too. That is how it stands. May I call your Lordship’s attention to one piece of evidence which I think has hitherto escaped particular observation, because our attention was not directed to this point, but it is not right to say that the evidence has only established that there were icebergs in the morning when day broke - on the morning of the 15th, that is. The Commissioner: No, I am aware of that. The Attorney-General: That is on the track. The Commissioner: Yes, that is on the track, but I was speaking about ice having been seen on the track before the collision. None was seen, as I understand. The Attorney-General: Your Lordship means none was seen by the “Titanic.” The Commissioner: Yes, by the “Titanic.” The Attorney-General: No, I agree on account of the iceberg, which was the first thing. (The Witness withdrew.) Sir Robert Finlay: Now, my Lord, there are some portions of those documents I have put in which I should desire to read. The Commissioner: If you please. Sir Robert Finlay: A good deal may be omitted, but the first is the letter of instruction given to the Commander on his appointment to the vessel. “In placing the steamer. . . temporarily under your command, we desire to direct your attention to the Company’s Regulations for the safe and efficient navigation of its vessels, and also to impress upon you in the most forcible manner the paramount and vital importance of exercising the utmost caution in the navigation of the ships, and that the safety of the passengers and crew weighs with us above and before all other considerations. You are to dismiss all idea of competitive passages with other vessels, and to concentrate your attention upon a cautious, prudent and ever watchful system of navigation which shall lose time or suffer any other temporary inconvenience rather than incur the slightest risk which can be avoided. We request you to make an invariable practice of being yourself on deck and in full charge when the weather is thick or obscure, in all narrow waters and whenever the ship is within sixty miles of land; also that you will give a wide berth to all headlands, shoals and other positions involving peril, that, where possible, you will take cross bearings when approaching any coast, and that you will keep the lead going when approaching the land in thick or doubtful weather, as the only really reliable proof of the safety of the ship’s position.” Then there is a paragraph about “The most rigid discipline on the part of your officers must be observed, and you will require them to avoid at all times convivial intercourse with passengers or each other; the crew must also be kept under judicious control and the look-out men carefully selected and zealously watched when on duty, and you are to report to us promptly all instances of inattention, incapacity, or irregularity on the part of your officers or any others under your control. Whilst we have confidence in your sobriety of habit and demeanour, we exhort you to use your best endeavours to imbue your officers and all those about you with a due sense of the advantage which will accrue, not only to the Company, but to themselves, by being strictly temperate, as this quality will weigh with us in an especial degree when giving promotion. The consumption of coals, water, provisions, and other stores, together with the prevention of waste in any of the departments, should engage your daily and most careful attention, in order that you may be forewarned of any deficiency that may be impending, that waste may be avoided, and a limitation in quantity determined on, in case you should deem such a step necessary, in the interest of prudence.” Then I do not know that I need read the next two paragraphs, but will pass to the next over the page: “We have alluded, generally, to the subject of safe and watchful navigation, and we desire earnestly to impress on you how deeply these considerations affect not
   177   178   179   180   181   182   183   184   185   186   187