Page 60 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
P. 60
The Commissioner: There appears to be a good deal in that, Mr. Attorney. I think there is a good deal in what Mr. Edwards says, that it is desirable that the Committee which is to Enquire into the question of bulkheads should, as a question pertinent to that one, enquire also into the provision of life-saving apparatus. You will, perhaps, think about it. The Attorney-General: Yes. The Commissioner: I will not ask you to answer the question now. The Attorney-General: I quite appreciate what your Lordship means. The Commissioner: I suppose the Board of Trade fixed the Terms of Reference to that Committee? The Attorney-General: Yes. The Commissioner: If the Board of Trade see no objection to it, I should myself like to see the Terms amended by including the matter mentioned by Mr. Edwards. The Attorney-General: It is sufficient if your Lordship says that unless there is some insuperable objection of which I do not know at the present moment. The Commissioner: Then, Mr. Edwards, I understand that neither you nor Mr. Scanlan will call any evidence? Mr. Edwards: That is so, my Lord. There is one point I ought to clear up. I inadvertently, I am afraid, rather misled the Court the other day. In the mass of evidence it is a little difficult to tell what has come formally before the Court and what has come before me in another form, and I did say that Barrett in his evidence, as far as I remember, had spoken about a hole being bored in a watertight compartment between sections 5 and 6. That was not given in evidence. I have caused very careful enquiries to be made, and even supposing the statement to be correct, I am given to understand it would not in the least degree interfere with or detract from the strength of that bulkhead as affected by the fire. The Commissioner: Very well. Then, in any event, it becomes immaterial. Mr. Edwards: Yes. The Commissioner: Now, do you desire to call evidence, Mr. Harbinson? Mr. Harbinson: No, my Lord. I have considered this question very carefully, and the survivors of the class I represent are in America, and, of course, it would, under the circumstances, be impossible for me to call evidence. I shall confine myself to comment. The Commissioner: That is sufficient. Mr. Laing: Sir Robert Finlay mentioned to your Lordship some time ago that we had two Captains, simply about the practice of navigation, and one of them is important, because he was navigating at about the time when this accident happened. The Attorney-General: Will he be here on Monday? Mr. Laing: Oh, yes. The Commissioner: I do not see Mr. Dunlop here, who represented the “Californian.” The Attorney-General: May I say this with reference to that, because that brings us to another point which I was going to raise at the end of the evidence, but I might raise it now, because it is convenient. There are questions, and at the end of the evidence, according to the practice, it would be my duty to submit to your Lordship any further questions which ought to be put in addition to those I placed before the Court at the beginning of the Enquiry. According to my view at present - and I do not think anything is likely to occur which will alter it - the only question which should be added is one relating to what I may call compendiously the “Californian” incident. There is no question in the twenty-six before you which would cover that. It does occur to me and to my friend the Solicitor-General associated with me in it, that it is important that the question should be specifically put and that your Lordship should take it into account, and that it ought not to be passed over merely as a matter throwing some general light upon the Enquiry. It has been already examined into, and my friend Mr. Dunlop has been here representing the “Californian,” and, therefore, we ought to put the question and ask your Lordship to answer it.
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