Page 188 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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The Commissioner: That removes the difficulty. 24928. (The Attorney-General.) Mr. Turnbull tells me exactly the same. The book that I have here happens to be the last edition. I did call attention, I think, to Rule 73, which shows what has to be done, and that it takes priority of everything? - Absolutely everything. 24929. Everything else must cease until there is an answer to that call? - Exactly. The Commissioner: Do I sum it up correctly when I say that the directions contained in these Rules to the operators orders them to give precedence to all messages affecting the navigation of the ship? The Attorney-General: Your Lordship will forgive me, but it is not quite the same thing, if I may say so with respect. I will give it you from a Rule. The Commissioner: Very well. 24930. (The Attorney-General.) Your Lordship will forgive me, I am sure. (To the Witness.) Mr. Marconi, as I understand it, the message which takes priority over everything is the distress signal? - Yes. 24931. Everything gives way to that? - Yes, everything gives way to that - Government and service and shipping messages, and everything else. 24932. Then the next thing that would come would be the messages of the British Admiralty and the British Government Departments? - Yes. The Commissioner: We may omit those. 24933. (The Attorney-General.) “Messages relating to navigation” - it is a special Rule - Rule 49? - Yes. The Commissioner: Will you read it? The Attorney-General: I will, my Lord. It is “Priority of messages,” paragraph No. 49: “In the transmission of radiotelegrams priority must be assigned, first of all, to messages of distress (see Section 73); then to messages of the British Admiralty and other British Government Departments and to the messages of other Governments (see Section 74). “As between the two communicating stations themselves, the following order should be maintained: - “(1) Messages relating to navigation. “(2) Service messages relating to the conduct of the Radiotelegraphic Service, or to previous radiotelegrams transmitted by the station concerned. “(3) Ordinary correspondence.” 24934. (The Commissioner.) It does come to what I was trying to say. Messages connected with or affecting the navigation of the ship take precedence of private messages? - Yes, my Lord. 24935. The messages of passengers and other people? - Yes, my Lord. 24936. (The Attorney-General.) That is the order and those are the Regulations? - That is the order and those are the Regulations. 24937. Have you also some special Regulations with regard to navigation messages? So far as I follow, you are particular about those, that they must be signed by the Captain? - We are particular that they should be signed by the Captain, and they should be entered on proper forms, so as to keep a record of them. 24938. A navigation message, as I understand it, would have to be written on a form which is supplied for the purpose? - Yes. 24939. Of course that is important, among other things, because of the priority which they get? - Because of the priority, and also as a record. 24940. And then they have to be duly signed by the Captain? - Yes. 24941. And then they have to be delivered? - They have to be delivered to the operator. 24942. And that helps you, to the best of your ability, to fix the responsibility? - Yes. 24943. You have the document, the record of what has taken place? - Yes; all telegrams should
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