Page 127 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
P. 127
Sir Robert Finlay: For a specific purpose? The Attorney-General: Yes, there is evidence as to that. Mr. Scanlan: There is the evidence also as to the discussion between him and the Chief Engineer. The Commissioner: At Southampton. Mr. Scanlan: At Queenstown, before he left. Sir Robert Finlay: I wish really to appreciate the situation. The Attorney-General says that the ice report was given to Mr. Ismay for a specific purpose. I do not quite know what that means. That message related not merely to ice, but also to a tramp vessel said not to be under control, but I cannot trace any evidence as to any specific purpose for which that message was handed to Mr. Ismay. The Attorney-General: I do not think my friend is accurate in his recollection of the facts, but I do not want to discuss the matter now. My impression is that Mr. Ismay admitted definitely to me that he knew it was given to him because it was an ice report, and a serious one. That is my recollection. Sir Robert Finlay: I only wish to be clear as to what my friend means. Is it his suggestion that this telegram was handed to Mr. Ismay by the Captain in order that Mr. Ismay might advise him? The Attorney-General: Oh, no. Sir Robert Finlay: Is that the suggestion? The Attorney-General: No, I never made it. Sir Robert Finlay: Then I do not know what the suggestion is. The Attorney-General: I am sorry my friend did not appreciate the point; I thought I had already made it pretty clear. If he does not know I will tell him; I have no objection to telling him - that the object of giving him the telegram was because he, as Chairman of the Company, was there; that it was looked upon as a very serious report; that it was given to him because it was a very serious report; it was given to him to consider and apprise himself of the facts, and that it was then handed back, as we know from the evidence later on, to the Captain at seven or a quarter-past seven. The Commissioner: With a request. The Attorney-General: With a request; and the object of giving it to him, I certainly shall suggest, was that if he had any directions to give with regard to it that that was the time for him to give them. He was told what was happening. The Commissioner: The real point of the matter is that he did not. The Attorney-General: I quite agree to that. The Commissioner: It is, to my mind, an extraordinary thing that the Captain, instead of pinning that thing up in the chart room, as I should have thought he ought to have done, should hand it to anybody - Mr. Ismay or anybody - to keep in his pocket. That is a very extraordinary thing. The Attorney-General: Of course, it is, and at a later stage we will discuss it. The Commissioner: Yes, it will have to be discussed. The Attorney-General: It is extraordinary there was never a word exchanged about it. Sir Robert Finlay: There must certainly have been if your views are right. The Attorney-General: I am not certain that there was not, if you challenge me to say it. Sir Robert Finlay: If my friend is going to say that he will have to deal with the evidence. The Attorney-General: I know. We have the evidence of one person who has been called. Sir Robert Finlay: If Mr. Ismay’s word on that point is impeached it is another matter, and I will deal with that at the proper time. (The Witness withdrew.)
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