Page 97 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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different kind of shipowner. He said: “Because I could not get my way with regard to this capacity and could not get my requirements in that matter within the recommendations of the Advisory Committee, which had rejected my recommendations on this other head or had not passed them at the moment, we would not have them at all; until they took the whole we would not have a half.” But as the halves were not complements of one another, and related to entirely different matters, it is difficult to see the logical justification for that position. That is all I desire to say with regard to the boats. My Lord, the last thing I desire to say is with regard to the question of the loss of the engineers. They were all lost, and it is one of the misfortunes of this case, the loss of life is so tremendous that it is idle to complain of any particular loss of life. But, of course, it is one of the misfortunes of the case, not only that such highly competent and skilled engineers were lost, but it is a misfortune to the Court that none of them are here to tell us, as they could, no doubt, a good deal of the operation of the pumps, bulkheads, and other matters which have not and cannot be finally cleared up. What I want to say about them is really again with a view to the future. There is, as your Lordship knows, this disproportion in this case of loss among the engineering staff. It is a disproportion which has prevailed before, and is too commonly found. It is one of the noblest traditions of the engineering profession on board ship that in case of accident the Rule is, “All hands below.” Those who instruct me have no desire to weaken the force or effect of that tradition. But the finer the tradition is, the more closely it is observed, the more need is there that the interests of those who carry on the tradition should be safeguarded from the deck, and that they should be given an opportunity, when things are hopeless, of coming on deck and taking their chance with others, of the boat accommodation which one hopes in future will be available. In this case, unfortunately, if they had come, although they might have had some of the empty places in the boats, they would have been excluding others, and therefore it is more with a view to the future than the past that I am addressing these observations to your Lordship. Now the fact of this case is this: practically speaking, there is no evidence of any engineers being on deck at all after the calamity. There is the evidence of Scott, who speaks, first of all, in answer to the learned Attorney-General about seeing all the engineers on deck when he came on deck, but that was after all the boats were gone. Scott was saved by going into the water and being picked up. That was after all the boats had gone, but it appeared, in answer to myself, that all he was speaking about was some eight engineers - he did not know their names except one - who came from his section, which is the turbine. The Commissioner: What page is Scott’s evidence? Mr. Roche: Pages 124 and 125. In answer to the Attorney-General, at Question 5685, he said when he came and was looking over at the boats, one or two were alongside, but they were all lowered: “All the engineers and firemen and all that.” At page 125, Question 5711, I asked him: “How many of them did you see? - (A.) I should say there were about eight of them.” Whether he meant eight engineers and firemen or not, I do not know. The Commissioner: He is speaking of engineers, I think, and not of firemen: “(Q.) Which of the engineers did you see? Can you tell me their names? - (A.) Mr. Farquharson. I do not know the names of the others. (Q.) How many of them did you see? - (A.) I should say there were about eight of them.” Mr. Roche: It is a small matter, and those came on deck after the boats were gone. There may have been a general order, I know not, in this case for the engineers to come on deck, but, of course, there were no boats for them, and, obviously, if it were given, it was too late. The Commissioner: They had nothing to trust to but their own swimming and the lifebelts. Mr. Roche: That is so. I think the truth is this. Mr. Sanderson, one of the Managing Directors, at page 486, Question 19475, said to me: “I think the engineers on the ‘Titanic’ were fully alive to the danger in which they stood, and that if they did not come on deck it was due to a
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