Page 201 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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had had information that there was a probability that you might be travelling through a region of the sea at night where you might meet icebergs, would you or would you not reduce the speed of your vessel? - (A.) No, Sir. (Q.) What was the fastest vessel you ever commanded? - (A.) The “City of Rome” - 17 knots. (Q.) One other matter. With regard to look-out at night, when you have been informed that you may be passing icebergs, what provision did you make for your look-out under such circumstances? - (A.) The same as other times, as long as it was clear - two men in the crow’s-nest. (Q.) You had two men in the crow’s-nest? - (A.) Yes, I had two men in the crow’s-nest. (Q.) And nobody on the stem head? - (A.) Not when it is perfectly clear.” Then at 25233 I asked Captain Young: “If ice were reported; would you keep your course, as well as maintain your speed, in clear weather? - (A.) I should keep my course and maintain my speed. (Q.) How many years were you in the New York trade, crossing the Atlantic? - (A.) About 37 years.” Then in consequence of a suggestion from your Lordship, I put this: “Suppose you were told there was field ice, would your practice be the same, or different? - (A.) Just the same. (Q.) Has that been the universal practice in the trade as long as you have known it? - (A.) As far as I know, yes. (Q.) All ships have done so? - (A.) I think so.” Then, my Lord, there is a question a little further down that perhaps I ought to read with regard to the temperature. There is a curious mistake in the printing here - it is a printer’s error at Question 25242. That question should not appear in Mr. Hugh Young’s evidence; it is the evidence of Mr. Stewart, the next witness. Reading the evidence, I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw the following questions, and then it turned out that Mr. Stewart’s name ought to have been printed above Question 25242. It is a mere misprint. The Commissioner: Yes, I noticed that. The name of Stewart comes immediately before 25242. Sir Robert Finlay: Yes. He had commanded the “Empress of Britain.” He had been in the Beaver Line all the time it ran, 35 years; had been in the North Atlantic trade for 38 years; continued in the Canadian Pacific when the Beaver Line was taken over by them he continued with the Canadian Pacific for three years until he retired. The last vessel he commanded was the ‘Empress of Britain.’ “The ‘Empress of Britain’ was the fastest ship I ever commanded - 18 knots.” “25252. Do you know the weather conditions which existed when the “Titanic” struck? - (A.) I have read about them in the newspapers. (Q.) See you have them accurate. It was a clear night, no moon, no swell, no sea, and stars? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Given those conditions, and that you had command of a ship, and were given information that you might meet ice, and that your course would take you through the place where you might meet ice, and meet it at night, would you reduce your speed? - (A.) No, not as long as it was clear. (Q.) Not as long as it was clear? - (A.) No. (Q.) I am going upon the assumption that you might meet icebergs - you would not reduce your speed? - (A.) No. (Q.) If you had information that you might meet field ice, would you still maintain your speed? - (A.) Until I saw it, and then I should do what I thought proper.” Then he says that in clear weather he has the ordinary look-out. Then over the page, at page 734, this occurs. “25260. Would you maintain your course as well as your speed if ice were reported? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) And has that been the invariable practice in the North Atlantic? - (A.) It was with me. (Q.) And as far as you know, with others? - (A.) As far as I know, with others. (Q.) Did the “Empress of Britain” carry many passengers? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) First, second and third? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) What was her tonnage, about? - (A.) I could not tell you now, she was a large ship. (Q.) She was a big boat? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Of 18 knots? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) How many people did she carry, about? - (A.) Oh, I suppose about 2,000 altogether.” Then, my Lord, there is the evidence of Mr. Fairfull, of the s.s. “Tunisian,” of the Allan Line also, on page 734. For 21 years he was sailing in command of the Allan Line steamships across the Atlantic. He had heard the evidence of the last two gentlemen: “25272. Is your practice in accordance with theirs? - (A.) All except that when we get to the ice track in an Allan steamer, besides having a look-out in the crow’s-nest, we put a man on the stem head at night.” Then, my
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