Page 106 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
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The Commissioner: Will you hand up to me the “Freeman’s Journal” and the “Irish Independent.” Mr. Harbinson: If I have the extracts here your Lordship shall have them. The Attorney-General: May I point this out to my friend. Of course, a number of statements have appeared; some statements have been before us, and we have enquired into them, and I see no use whatever in calling the witnesses. The Commissioner: Never mind, let me see those two papers. The Attorney-General: I am ready to call any witnesses - The Commissioner: To found a case upon statements found in newspapers seems to me most extraordinary. The Attorney-General: All I am anxious to make plain is that I will call any witnesses who can give us any more light than we have at present. I do not intend to call witnesses who will only repeat evidence that we already have. The Commissioner: “A terrible story of women and children locked in the steerage of the ‘Titanic’ is told by Miss Margaret J. Murphy, of Foster, County Longford, who, with her sister, Miss Katherine Murphy, were saved from the wreck.” That lady does not appear to have been locked in the steerage. “Interviewed by a representative of the ‘New York American’“ - that is another paper. Mr. Harbinson: No, my Lord. The Commissioner: Is the “New York American” the same paper? Mr. Harbinson: No, it is an extract. The Commissioner: “Interviewed by a representative of ‘The New York American’ at the residence of their sister, Mrs. J. Tooney, No. 3,649 Olinville Avenue, the Bronx, Miss Murphy stated: - “Before all the steerage passengers had even a chance for their lives the “Titanic’s” sailors fastened the doors and companionways leading up from the third class section. That meant certain death to all who remained below.’” You have never asked any man who has been in the box any question directed to this. Mr. Harbinson: Oh, yes, my Lord, with great respect, I have. The Commissioner: Tell me where you asked whether the sailors did not fasten the doors and companion ways. Mr. Harbinson: I have asked them were they opened. The Commissioner: That is not a fair way of asking such a question. The fair and proper way is to say, “Were they fastened by you or by any of the men working with you?” Mr. Harbinson: That question, I believe, has been asked, too. The Commissioner: Well, then, tell me where it is - “And while the sailors were beating back the steerage passengers, lifeboats were putting away, some of them not half filled.” Then do you want me to read about “a brave Irish youth”? Mr. Harbinson: No; your Lordship asked me for the paper, and I gave it to you. The Commissioner: It is much longer than the part I have read. Do you want me to read the passage headed, “A brave Irish youth”? Mr. Harbinson: I should hope, my Lord, that is not a solitary example of Irish bravery. The Commissioner: I daresay not; but has it any bearing upon this Enquiry, because, if so, I will read it? Mr. Harbinson: No, my Lord. The Commissioner: Very well, what is the other extract from a newspaper? Is this the only foundation you have? Sir Robert Finlay: May I make this suggestion to Mr. Harbinson? If he would supply the Attorney-General with a proof taken of any witness he thinks it would be desirable to call, the Attorney-General will consider that.
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