Page 9 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 14 - 18
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16152. I do not see how there is any “must be” about writing it down? - The operator, in sending a message for retransmission must take it down in the same way that he receives a message for delivery to a passenger on board his ship. 16153. I suppose when the message comes, he knows what has been telegraphed? - Certainly. 16154. And if he knows it he can re-telegraph it without writing it down? - Oh, no, he cannot. 16155. Why not? - Because he does not receive and send at the same time. 16156. But what interval elapses? - He must wait until he has finished receiving the message. 16157. Yes, but the message is only a message of a dozen words? - He would receive that in about a minute. 16158. At the end of the minute he will know what he has received? - Oh, he will not be certain. He must write it down as it goes along. 16159. It would be wiser to write it down, but I do not see the absolute necessity for writing it down if he can remember what has come through, I was going to say the wire, but through the apparatus; if he can remember that, then he has no difficulty, without writing anything down, in telegraphing it on? - We do not allow them to trust to memory. We insist upon them writing it down. 16160. I daresay it is the practice, and is a very wise practice, to write it down. You say it would be the practice for him to write it down, and having written it down then to send it on? - Yes. 16161. (The Solicitor-General.) I do not want to press it either one way or the other, but only to understand it. If the man on the “Titanic” is receiving a message from the “Amerika,” can he at the same time be sending a message to Cape Race? - On the “Titanic” he could not. 16162. We will ask Mr. Bride when he comes, but I think I ought to ask you. With regard to a message of this sort, dealing with ice, passing through the “Titanic,” what is the practice of your operators; what are their instructions; how do they treat it; do they treat it as a message which concerns an intermediate ship? Sir Robert Finlay: I should like to have the instructions themselves. The Solicitor-General: Certainly. I only want to know how it stands. The Commissioner: Never mind, Sir Robert. I have in my mind something which was said just now - I do not know whether you caught it - about this being a private message from the “Amerika.” 16163. (The Solicitor-General.) In ordinary practice - we will ask Mr. Bride about it afterwards - how would it be treated? - In ordinary practice it would be treated as a private message, but the operator, seeing the contents of it, and knowing how important it was to navigation in general and to his ship, would, without any doubt whatever, it is the general practice, communicate its contents to the Commander or to his responsible officer. 16164. (The Commissioner.) When you say “would,” you mean you think he ought to do it? - It is the general practice. 16165. Have you ever been on one of these steamers in the Marconi room? - I have. 16166. How long were you there? - I made a trip to America in 1904. 16167. One trip? - One trip. 16168. Have you been on any other occasion in the room? - Several times between Continental ports and Cherbourg. 16169. I mean as a paid official of the Marconi Company? - Very, very often. 16170. Can you recall any case where you received a private message which you thought would be of interest to the Captain of the ship that you were upon and that you disclosed to the Captain of that ship? - No, Sir, I cannot, not any particular incident. The Solicitor-General: Very well, that is how it stands. Now that is the “Amerika” one. Now have you any records from the “Baltic”?
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