Page 138 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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"Titanic"; whether they will succeed I cannot say, but I think you may leave it. Mr. Edwards: Then I will not carry the matter further with regard to that. Then there is the question upon which I feel a certain degree of special personal responsibility, and that is the evidence as to the conduct of those in boat No. 1. Having examined on a certain line, I feel it is only due to the Court that I should in the fewest possible words indicate to the Court what in the four corners of that which is relevant I believe to be the effect of the evidence with regard to that boat. As your Lordship will remember, it is No. 1 boat, that in which the skipper was a man named Symons. There were seven of the crew, and there were five passengers, Sir Cosmo Duff- Gordon, Lady Duff-Gordon, Miss Francatelli and two others. Now the broad facts with regard to that particular boat are these, that she was not in any way undermanned, and that she had accommodation for some 28 more passengers than, in fact, she carried. The real responsibility, at all events the primary responsibility, so far as this Enquiry is concerned, will necessarily be that of the member of the crew who was in charge of that boat, and any conduct that there may have been, however reprehensible, however abhorrent we might think it, will not be relevant except in so far as it may have been done in order to affect, or may have affected, the mind and the judgment and the conduct of the man responsible for the conduct of the boat. As the evidence stands, the position is this: - Here was a boat a little away from the ship, not so far away but what the cries of those who were struggling in the water could be heard; that they were in fact heard; that Hendrickson said - The Commissioner: Before you go to what happened in the boat, is not there some evidence that the boat was to stand by the ship? The Attorney-General: Yes. The Commissioner: That is to say evidence of what happened on board the "Titanic" before that boat cleared from the ship? Mr. Edwards: That is so. The Commissioner: Just remind me of that. Mr. Edwards: Yes, my Lord. The Attorney-General: It is Question 11488. It is the orders not to go far from the ship, but to stand by. The Commissioner: That is what I meant. The Attorney-General: It is page 257. The Commissioner: How you carry the numbers of these questions in your head passes my comprehension. The Attorney-General: I do not profess to carry the numbers in my head, my Lord. I happen to have it before me. I worked it out this morning. "My orders were to pull away from the ship not too far, and to stand by if I was called back." The Commissioner: That is what I want. Mr. Edwards: That is in Symons' evidence, my Lord. The Commissioner: Now you can pass on from that and go on to what you were saying. The boat leaves the ship with instructions to stand by near the ship. Mr. Edwards: That of itself imposes quite explicitly upon Symons, the skipper, the duty of standing by. The next point is that there is the fullest possible knowledge conveyed to those in the boat when the "Titanic" sinks, that there are a large number of people struggling in the water. The evidence then passes to what Hendrickson says, that he suggested that they should return, and not that Hendrickson said it, but that somebody suggested it is corroborated by two of the witnesses. Then the evidence passes to a statement that some one of the ladies, identified by one of the witnesses as Lady Duff-Gordon, appealed that they should not, as they might be swamped. So far as that particular matter for the moment is concerned, I do not propose passing any comment at all upon what might have been said under the circumstances of horror there by a
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