Page 189 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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shows very well the history of the White Star Line; and, of course, it can be compared with the lengths of other vessels which are in evidence. It was handed in to the Court. I have it in the “Shipbuilder.” My friend has a separate copy. The Commissioner: Yes, I have that. Sir Robert Finlay: I only refer to it in a casual way at this moment for the purpose of showing how the lengths went on gradually increasing. The diagram slopes up from the left-hand side, with variations, of course, getting longer and longer. You have the “Adriatic” and the “Baltic,” and then finally you have the “Titanic” and the “Olympic.” That growth was going on gradually, but side by side with that growth in the White Star Line was going on the growth in the other vessels. I quite appreciate the point, but I submit to your Lordship that there is nothing in the additional length of the “Titanic” to render it improper to adhere to the ordinary practice which had always been pursued in this matter. The Commissioner: I should have thought that the great length of this ship might make a difference, whether considerable or not, I cannot say, in the difficulty of avoiding an object. Sir Robert Finlay: My Lord, is not the answer with reference to any suggestion of negligence that may be made on that score supplied by the fact that there are other ships, which, for practical purposes, are as big, which have adhered to the same practice? It is a matter which I suggest cannot be imputed as negligence to any officer in charge of the vessel that he did not vary from the ordinary practice in a way which no other Commander in charge of vessels which were approximately the same length, not very much shorter, did. The Commissioner: Well, I interrupted you. You were giving us a list of the witnesses who had spoken to the practice. Sir Robert Finlay: Yes, my Lord. Your Lordship will understand I am really most grateful for these interruptions, because I am very glad to have my attention called to anything passing in the mind of the Court. I might pass over points which may turn out to be important unless I were indebted to your Lordship for intimations of this kind. I was reading Mr. Lord’s evidence at page 164, and I think I had read all that is material, and I need not read any more. Then I pass to Mr. Moore, the Commander of the “Mount Temple.” That is one of the Canadian Pacific boats. It is on page 208, at Question 9261: “(Q.) Have you instructions from your Company as to what to do when you meet ice? - (A.) We are not to enter field ice under any conditions. (Q.) Just tell us what your instructions are? - (A.) I have not got them here; they do not happen to be in these sailing orders, although I have them. Those instructions we usually get that we are not to enter field ice, no matter how light it may appear. (Q.) Not even in daylight? - (A.) At any time. We are not to enter field ice at any time, no matter how light it may appear. (Q.) When you got warning there was ice ahead, what precautions did you adopt? - (A.) I simply steered down. I went further down to the Southward. (Q.) Did you decrease your speed? - (A.) Not at all; it was daylight. (Q.) What is your highest speed? - (A.) About 11 knots.” The Commissioner: Then, of course, he does that which, if done in time, gets him out of the region of field ice. Sir Robert Finlay: He went further to the Southward; he got only five miles to the South of the berg. I will show your Lordship, when I deal with what Captain Smith did, that he went further to the Southward, and went to the Southward on a course which, so far as the information that had about ice was concerned there was every probability would be a perfectly safe one. The Commissioner: We will come to that. Sir Robert Finlay: Yes, I do not propose to turn aside at the moment to deal with that. Then at Question 9379 - The Commissioner: Will you read 9316? Sir Robert Finlay: Yes, my Lord: “Now would you consider it safe in the neighbourhood of an
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