Page 141 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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that, after I saw that the ship was doomed, I gave the order to pull a little further, and so escape the suction." Now, if that evidence is true, it is true that at the time the ship was going down they were close to it, so close to it that Symons feared the effect of the suction; and, therefore, it seems to point to this, that the boat did keep near to the ship. Well, now then, where do you get your 20 minutes after 2.20, when the ship went down? Mr. Edwards: That is in the evidence of Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon, my Lord. The Attorney-General: Question 12586 is the promise of money, on page 263. The Commissioner: What I am upon is when the money was promised; I know it was promised. Mr. Edwards: Yes, Question 12586. "(A.) There was a man sitting next to me, and of course in the dark I could see nothing of him. I never did see him, and I do not know yet who he was. I suppose it would be some time when they rested on their oars, 20 minutes or half-an-hour after the 'Titanic' had sunk, a man said to me: 'I suppose you have lost everything?" and so on. That is the time fixed; it is fixed by Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon himself. The Commissioner: That is sufficient; it is 20 minutes to half-an-hour. Mr. Edwards: Yes, my Lord. The Commissioner: As far as that witness remembers the matter; so that you get it now about a quarter to three in the morning. Mr. Edwards: Yes. The learned Attorney-General suggested that I was not giving the matter quite in its correct sequence. The Attorney-General: Yes. Mr. Edwards: On this matter I am supremely anxious to be scrupulously careful. The Attorney-General: I will tell my friend what I mean. I was saying it, my Lord, because Mr. Duke is not here, and in consequence of what your Lordship said the other day one has to be a little careful about these statements. If I follow my friend's argument, it was that this promise had been made and that this promise actuated the man Symons and the others in not going back; that the promise of money showed what was in the mind of Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon; and although my friend did not say that it was a bribe, still he said it gave him an ascendancy - that was the expression used - a supremacy over the men. If that means anything, it means they did not go back when they heard the cries, because of the promise of money. My impression of the evidence, and I think it is borne out, is that they did not go back. That was the point I had in mind when I interrupted my friend. Before that they did not go back. That all happened before the promise of money at all. The promise of money was afterwards; that is, as I understand the order. That is the point between us. Of course, it is very important. Mr. Edwards: You mean, from whatever cause, they might have gone back even before the lapse of the 20 minutes if there was any real intention on their part to go back. The Attorney-General: Quite. Mr. Edwards: So that with whatever object the promise may have been made, it could not, at all events, have operated as an inducement for them not to go back, at all events, in the first place? The Attorney-General: That is what I mean. The Commissioner: That certainly was the effect of Sir Cosmo's evidence. Mr. Edwards: I still submit that the right inference to be drawn, as shown by the evidence of Officer Lowe, by the evidence of Joughin, the head baker, and by the evidence of others, is that at the time, the 20 minutes or half-an-hour that is referred to in Sir Cosmo's evidence, a time at which it would have been perfectly useless to render service, the fact remains that there was no attempt on the part of this boat to go back. Whether the money had the actual effect of shaking the men's intention, or whether they had no intention, or, perhaps it is better to put it, whether Symons had no intention at any time of going back, or whether he was affected, is a matter
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