Page 162 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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page 498, your Lordship had cleared up the question of what the duration of the voyage of the "Titanic" would have been if it had been followed out as was contemplated, arriving on the Wednesday morning. It is Question 19788 - this is still in Mr. Sanderson's evidence - and the Attorney-General is speaking: "Supposing she had left Queenstown at 2.30 on the 11th April and had arrived in New York on the Wednesday morning at 5 o'clock her passage would have taken, allowing, of course, for the voyage westward, five days, 19 hours, and 30 minutes? (Sir Robert Finlay.) Arriving on Wednesday morning. (The Attorney-General.) Allowing for her arrival at 5 o'clock on Wednesday morning. The record, I think, that was given yesterday of the 'Olympic' from Queenstown was 5 days, 17 hours and 29 minutes." That is a mistake that was corrected three lines further down. "(The Commissioner.) So that the 'Titanic' would have taken about two hours longer? (The Attorney-General.) Yes, if she had arrived at 5 o'clock on Wednesday morning. (The Witness.) I think the difference was more than that, my Lord. I think the 'Olympic's' time was 5 days, 7 hours - not 17 hours. (Mr. Maurice Hill.) It was 7 hours, my Lord. You will find it on page 476 of the notes. (The Commissioner.) What is it, Mr. Hill? (Mr. Maurice Hill.) Five days, 7 hours, 29 minutes. (The Attorney-General.) Is that right? - (A.) Yes, 5 days, 7 hours, and 29 minutes is correct. (The Commissioner.) Then it is a difference of 12 hours? - (A.) Yes, 12 hours." Under those circumstances, my Lord, is it not a little too bad that there should have been laid this foundation for an attack upon the memory of Captain Smith - that they were bent upon making a record passage in the "Titanic," when it is perfectly obvious they were bent on doing nothing of the kind. It was contemplated that they should not attempt to arrive on the Tuesday evening, but that they should only get in on the Wednesday morning, as it would be more convenient in other respects. So that the whole of the foundation upon which this monstrous charge has been based is not only unsupported, but it is destroyed by the evidence itself. It is further destroyed by the conversation to which I shall have occasion to refer again when I deal with Mr. Ismay's evidence in detail, and from his point of view - the conversation between Mr. Ismay and Mr. Bell at Queenstown. I venture to say, my Lord, that this suggestion ought never to have been put forward - that the Captain handed this telegram from the "Baltic" about the ice to Mr. Ismay to get his opinion, to be told by him what was to be done, or because he was anxious to devolve the responsibility upon him. I say there is no evidence of it whatever. Your Lordship was told that the disaster was one of unparalleled magnitude. That the disaster is unparalleled in its magnitude is no excuse for throwing such aspersions upon the memory of a dead man. (After a short adjournment.) Sir Robert Finlay: My Lord, there is one other point of a preliminary nature on which I must say a few words, and that arises out of the observations made by Mr. Edwards with reference to Mr. Ismay's getting into this boat and leaving the vessel. Your Lordship asked what was the duty on which Mr. Edwards was insisting, and as far as I understood his position it was this. He said Mr. Ismay had no right to save his life at the expense of any other life. The Commissioner: No moral right. Sir Robert Finlay: No moral right. Mr. Ismay did not save his life at the expense of any other life. If Mr. Edwards had taken the trouble to look at the evidence he would have seen how unfounded was the charge he was levying against the living Mr. Ismay as against the dead Captain Smith. If your Lordship would look at three pages 443, 453 and 464 your Lordship will see that there is not the slightest ground for the suggestion that any other life would have been saved if Mr. Ismay had not got into that boat. The only result would have been that the boat would have gone away with a place empty, no other person would have got into it, and no other life would have been saved. It is on page 443, beginning at Question 18555, "But, except the
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