Page 194 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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Commissioner.) Or there was a bad look-out. (The Attorney-General.) Either one or the other. (The Witness.) I do not think there was, my Lord. I have known the two men, and there is no carelessness. (The Attorney-General.) I am not going to ask you to say there was a bad look-out on another White Star Line boat; do not think that. - (A.) No, not against the men.” I do not think the Attorney-General and the Witness were quite on the same point there. The Attorney- General’s question was ironical, and the Witness was answering in all simplicity and good faith. The Attorney-General: That is quite right. Sir Robert Finlay: Therefore, I think I am entitled to claim the evidence of this witness as entirely bearing out the evidence I have already called attention to as to practice both by day and by night. Then Mr. Passow, who is a Captain in the American Line, at page 571, is the next witness. He has a British Master’s certificate and has been in command as master for the last 28 years. He has been serving in the Inman Line and now in the American Line. Then at Question 21856 he is asked: “The Inman Line, as we know, has become an American line, and you passed on from the British company’s service into the service of the American company? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) I think you have crossed the Atlantic some 700 times? - (A.) About that. I have never kept an accurate record, but about 700 times. (Q.) And at the present moment you are in command of the “St. Paul”? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) She is one of the American Inman Line boats? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) What speed boat is she? - (A.) About 20 knots. (Q.) I think I can shorten your evidence in this way: Have you heard the evidence of the last gentleman who was in the box? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Did you hear the statements of fact that he spoke to? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) And the expressions of opinion that he uttered? - (A.) Quite so. (Q.) Do you agree or disagree with the statement of facts? - (A.) I agree with it. (Q.) With regard to the expression of opinions, do you agree or disagree? - (A.) Yes.” That means he agrees with the expression of opinion. Then, on the same page, I asked him, at Question 21872: “Do you see a great deal of ice on the tracks you follow? - (A.) On the Northern track we see a great deal. (Q.) You have had a very large experience of ice? - (A.) I have had a very large experience of ice. (Q.) I do not know whether your Lordship caught the last answer of the witness. He said that on that track, which he described as going 30 miles South of the Virgins, they saw a great deal of ice, including field ice. You have had a very large experience of ice? - (A.) Yes, a large experience of ice. (Q.) Did you ever slacken your speed for ice as long as the weather was quite clear? - (A.) Not as long as it was quite clear - no, not until we saw it. If it was field ice, of course we kept out of it if we could. We get into it sometimes. (Q.) Was that the same by night and by day? - (A.) The same by night and by day, as long as the weather was absolutely clear.” Then he deals with the question of binoculars. Then at Question 21880 he is examined by the Attorney-General. “(Q.) I want to understand one thing. You said you never altered your speed because you could always depend upon seeing the ice in sufficient time? - (A.) As long as the weather is perfectly clear. (Q.) Has the disaster to the “Titanic” caused you in any way to modify your view? - (A.) I do not think so. Of course, I was not there, and I did not see what they looked like. But I have never seen an iceberg of that size that you could not see on a perfectly clear night, and far enough off safely to clear it. I have seen a piece, quite a small piece, that you could see some distance off. (The Commissioner.) If you are right, and if this was - as we have been told by a great many witnesses it was - a perfectly clear night, how do you account for the collision? - (A.) I cannot account for it at all. They say it looked like a black iceberg, but I have never seen a black iceberg. I never saw anything but a white one, and that you can see on the darkest night. You can see field ice, too, on the darkest night in time enough for you to get out of the way of it. (Q.) We have had an explanation given of it by Mr. Lightoller. He said, that the sea was absolutely flat - there was not, as I understood him, even a swell - and that the consequence of that was that there was no surf of any kind round the base of the iceberg. By the base, I mean the margin on the waterline, and that, therefore, one of the best indications for the seeing of ice was absent. What do you think about
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