Page 210 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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with the evidence of the other Captains who have been called. I think it is different in very material respects in the passages that have been read by my friend. I agree with a great deal of the comment that my friend has been making with regard to the other Captains’ evidence - there are one or two observations I shall make when I come to deal with that - but substantially, as I said in an earlier stage of the case, I agree that the evidence he has called of the Captains, does show that their practice is to continue at full speed, provided it is a clear night and they can see ahead. Sir Robert Finlay: Certainly, and Mr. Rostron does not contradict it. The Attorney-General: I do not agree. The Commissioner: He qualifies it. Sir Robert Finlay: I should be glad if the Attorney-General would call my attention to the passage in which it appears that he does qualify it. The Attorney-General: I have read it. First of all he qualifies it by saying, if he knows there is a lot of ice about, that would make a difference, and then he says, “If I knew there were one or two bergs it would make no difference.” But obviously he thinks that if he knew of more than that - that there was more ice about than that - it would make a difference. The question is, I think, substantially the question put by my Lord at 25541. Perhaps it would be better just to read the question before, so that my friend may see the point I am relying upon. And, my Lord, I would add also, before I read this - I am not going through the evidence in detail of Captain Rostron on it - I rely very strongly upon what he actually saw - I am going to comment on that and upon his indication and statement in evidence of what he had seen before with regard to icebergs of darker colour. But that is general. That is the evidence which I shall rely upon when we come to discuss the question as to whether there was anything abnormal in meeting what I will call - and I think accurately - a dark looking iceberg; that is a question which, of course, will form the subject of a good deal of discussion. The Commissioner: Are you going to suggest that the circumstances on this night were not abnormal? The Attorney-General: Do you mean of the weather? The Commissioner: Yes, I do. The Attorney-General: No. The Commissioner: I mean the atmospheric conditions in which it was necessary to look-out and detect the iceberg. The effect on my mind of this evidence is this, that there was a combination of circumstances on this night of very rare occurrence, which made it extremely difficult to ascertain with certainty the position of any ice of any kind. The Attorney-General: If I may say so, without putting it quite as high as your Lordship does, I agree. My view is also that there was certainly a combination of circumstances in this case which were exceptional, that is to say, they were out of the ordinary. But I want to indicate this also, so that my friend may know the argument - which I have no doubt he already does from the questions which I have put - that I am going to address to your Lordship. My submission will be that, notwithstanding they were not ordinary conditions, they were conditions against which it behoved a prudent man to guard; and I wanted to add that the moment they knew that the conditions were exceptional - although I agree that on Mr. Rostron’s evidence he did not know that there was no swell - yet those circumstances of which he did know necessitated, I am going to submit, extreme care, and may I add one thing further - that the highest standard of care apart altogether from the particular conditions of this night must be applied to a case of this kind in a passenger vessel like the “Titanic.” Those are general observations which I indicate to my friend of course for the purpose of his dealing with them. But the question I am upon now is as to what a prudent Commander would do if he had had ice reports, and that, my Lord, is to be found at Question 25540, where I put this question to him:
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