Page 104 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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any failure in the survey by the Board of Trade Surveyors. The Attorney-General: That is the difficulty, you see. Mr. Holmes: In making the remarks, I was exercising what I considered to be my right of commenting upon the evidence which has been clearly brought out in cross-examination, and in answer to questions put by me - questions which were allowed by your Lordship, and in connection with which in one or two cases, I think, your Lordship even assisted me by putting further questions. The Commissioner: I am afraid you must not rely too much on my having allowed the questions to be put. The Attorney-General: I am not suggesting that the questions would not be quite useful, but not on this Enquiry. The Commissioner: Mr. Holmes, you suggest that two officers in addition to the Captain are not enough. Mr. Holmes: Yes. The Commissioner: How does that matter arise under Question 26? The Attorney-General: That is what I do not follow. Mr. Holmes: I did not understand that this was the question the learned Attorney-General was objecting to; I thought it was on the question of the survey. The Attorney-General: Both. The Commissioner: He said this and the last one or two. How does that come within the object of our Enquiry? Mr. Holmes: I am afraid I cannot say it is particularly connected with the “Titanic” except so far as these Survey Reports have been put in, which contain, my Lord - The Commissioner: I know; it may be an important thing to consider these points, but I do not think it is for us to consider them or to make recommendations about them. Mr. Holmes: May I refer, my Lord, to both the Report of the Survey of an Emigrant Ship and the Declaration for the Passengers’ Certificate which were made by Mr. Carruthers. In each of these cases there is a Table. It contains a list of masters and officers, and the only names that appear upon that are the master, the first mate, the second mate, the first engineer and the second engineer, and then it contains a statement that the certificates of the masters, mates, and engineers are such as are required. The Commissioner: You are not directing yourself to the objection the Attorney-General put nor to what I was asking you. Question 26 empowers us to make any recommendations or suggestions that we may think fit, having regard to the circumstances of the casualty, with a view to promoting the safety of vessels and persons at sea. Now, I do not think, you know, that the appointment of Mr. Carruthers has got anything to do with the circumstances of the casualty and I doubt very much whether the fact that there are only two officers, in addition to the Captain, has anything to do with the circumstances of the casualty. It may be a very desirable thing to enquire into, but I can imagine thousands of questions which it might be desirable to enquire into. Mr. Holmes: I rather understood that this Enquiry was not to be limited merely to the nature of an inquest on a few persons who are dead, which can do no one any good whatever, but to try to do something to prevent accidents of a similar nature in the future, and I can conceive very few questions - The Commissioner: You know these two questions, Mr. Holmes, that you have been dealing with for the last few minutes appear to me not to have any reference to the casualty at all, but to be material to your Society. Mr. Holmes: Not to my Society, my Lord, alone by a long way - it is the whole mercantile marine.
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