Page 208 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 14 - 18
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matter of great importance. He would recognise it as such? - Undoubtedly. 19317. Now, would you tell me, as far as your knowledge of the conduct of the White Star Line goes, do you, or do you not, reduce speed if you have news that ice is in your track, in front of you? - In clear weather I have no hesitation in saying they do not reduce speed. I do not believe that any ships reduce speed. That is only an opinion. The Commissioner: That leads me to ask you to get information, or ask this witness for information, as to the conduct of other liners in the same circumstances. The Solicitor-General: We had it in mind, my Lord. 19318. (The Commissioner - To the Witness.) Can you give me any information about that? - We will try to get it, but I think it is very difficult to get any Master of any ship in active service to come into Court and say that he would do what is before him as having brought about an accident. 19319. It is not what he would do. What he would do now is one thing, but what did he do in circumstances like these because of reports of ice - did he slow down or not? - My opinion is he did not. I do not think you can possibly prove it except by getting the logs of other ships that had reports of ice, and seeing whether they did slow or not. 19320. I have heard that these large Atlantic liners - take fog, for instance - pay no attention to fog, but steam just as quickly when they get into fog as when they are not in fog. Is that true? - My Lord, any man that told you so was either a very ignorant or a very vicious man. It is absolutely untrue. 19321. I am told that they pay no attention to fog, but steam ahead as fast as they can? - He told you what was absolutely untrue. 19322. Fog is different from ice, of course, because ice in clear weather can be seen. Do you say if they can see the ice they do not slow down at all? - I believe not. 19323. (The Solicitor-General.) You say in clear weather. Does your answer extend to night as well as day? - Yes, in clear weather at night I am advised by our Commanders that they would expect to see ice at a safe distance to avoid it going at full speed. 19324. (The Commissioner.) It is with reference to this point that I want, if possible, to get the logs or some reliable information about what other liners were doing in this region on the 14th April last? - No doubt logs can be obtained, my Lord, but it goes without saying that having regard to the agreement we have with the other companies, which is very rigidly adhered to, all the ships belonging to the companies in that agreement were in fact following the same track West-bound that the “Titanic” was following. 19325. I want to know what speed they were going? - That you can only get from their logs, my Lord. The Commissioner: When we get their logs we can see that. 19326. (The Solicitor-General - To the Witness.) I suppose we may take it that whether there is a message about ice or whether there is not, the keenest look out would be expected to be kept on one of your liners? - I hope so. 19327. In your view what is the importance of getting a message sent to a Captain that there is field ice in his track if it does not have any effect on his speed or his course? The Commissioner: They were icebergs here. The Solicitor-General: The message was field ice. The Commissioner: And icebergs. The Witness: I think it would be given to him as a warning to be on the look out for it, or if he thought fit, if the case was sufficiently urgent, to alter his course. 19328. (The Solicitor-General.) What is in your mind when you say, “If the case was sufficiently urgent”? - If there was a large quantity of ice. I do not imagine if he was merely told there were a few icebergs about that he would necessarily alter his course; he would expect to
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