Page 187 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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listening. Now I want to ask you just a little about the priority of messages. I will take it quite shortly. The Commissioner: That is a matter of importance. 24918. (The Attorney-General.) It all appears quite clearly, and that is why I am not going to take up much time with it. I have two books here, Mr. Marconi, and perhaps you will just follow me in what I read. One of them is called “General Orders Part I, Service Regulations.” That appears to be dated October, 1903? - Yes. 24919. Another book I have is “Handbook for Wireless Telegraph Operators,” and that is published in 1912? - Yes, I have got copies of them here. 24920. Those are two distinct things, are they? - Yes. 24921. The General Orders are in force as well as the Regulations under this Handbook? - Yes. 24922. I see in the Handbook, at paragraph 7: “In case of distress the obligation to accept messages is absolute in the case of every ship and coast station without distinction, and such messages must be accepted with priority over all other messages, they must be answered with similar priority, and the necessary steps must be taken at once to give effect to them.” Then there is another Rule which deals with it, Rule 73, which says: “Ships in distress make use of the following signals” - and then does that mean the SOS? - Yes, it would be SOS. These are the Government Rules - that is it. 24923. The three short and three long and three short? - It is not exactly an SOS as shown here, but it is practically. 24924. “Repeated at short intervals. As soon as a station perceives the distress signal it must suspend all correspondence, and must not resume work until it has made sure that the communication consequent on the call for assistance has been completed”? - Yes, they must do their best to render assistance. Sir Robert Finlay: What month of 1912 was this published? 24925. (The Attorney-General.) I do not know. I will ask Mr. Marconi. (To the Witness.) I called your attention to the fact that this book was published in 1912. Was it before or after the “Titanic” disaster, can you tell us? - I cannot say definitely, because I cannot find a date in it, but I think it was published before. The Commissioner: You are unable, then, to tell us whether there was a copy of this book on board the “Titanic.” 24926. (The Attorney-General.) I think I can answer it. (To the Witness.) You probably would not know the exact details? - I certainly can say that I have read it before the “Titanic” disaster. The Commissioner: What was the name of the young man who was on the “Titanic”? The Attorney-General: Mr. Bride. The Commissioner: Bride was not asked about this, was he? The Attorney-General: No, I do not think so. I think he is in Court now, and perhaps he can tell us about this. The Commissioner: Is Bride here? (Mr. Bride stood up in Court.) Bride, had you a copy of this book on board? Mr. Bride: Yes, I had a copy on board the “Titanic.” The Commissioner: Of this 1912 book? Mr. Bride: No, Sir, I believe ours was 1911. The Commissioner: That makes a difference. The Attorney-General: I do not think it does from what I am told. 24927. (The Commissioner.) If the same Rule is in the 1911 book that removes the difficulty, but I have never heard of this Rule before. The Witness: I think, my Lord, if you will allow me to say so, so far as I can recollect, the same Rule does exist in the 1911 book.
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