Page 113 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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unusual condition. The Commissioner: You can say if that conversation did take place, the greatest precautions ought to have been taken. The Attorney-General: That is the point I am making. The Commissioner: But what occurs to me is this - did it take place? If you want to dwell upon your argument you must stick to the conversation and say it did take place. My difficulty is that it is not contradicted in any way. The Attorney-General: I can only deal with it upon the evidence which is before the Court. The Commissioner: Yes, quite right. I have read most carefully Lightoller’s evidence, not only that part of it but the whole of it, and I must say that it does not make a completely favourable impression on my mind. I have read it very carefully. The Attorney-General: Of course, it is very difficult, you must deal with the evidence before you. The Commissioner: I am afraid I must deal with it as I find it. The Attorney-General: Yes, if you eliminate altogether from consideration Lightoller’s evidence. Suppose you said this conversation did not take place, the result of it would be this, that there would be nothing to indicate that there was anything so exceptional on that night. His is the only evidence of it. The Commissioner: Has it occurred to you that the conversation about what I call the abnormality, the abnormal condition, perhaps came to the mind of Mr. Lightoller by way of enforcing the fact that there was an abnormal condition? Do you follow what I mean? However, perhaps it is not worthwhile discussing it. What I mean is this; I will be quite plain about it. He wants to make out an abnormal condition and it occurs to him that if he speaks of a conversation in which the abnormal conditions were referred to, that is evidence that there were abnormal conditions; and he has not seen that by the very conversation that he speaks to he shows that they were warned of the abnormal conditions. The Attorney-General: Of course, the dilemma is this. The dilemma is apparent from what your Lordship has said. If there were no abnormal conditions, then all this argument which has been addressed as an excuse falls to the ground; if there were abnormal conditions then the argument which I am putting to your Lordship is that they had full notice of it and that that necessitated unusual precautions. The Commissioner: So far as I am concerned, the White Star Company’s case would have been very much better without that conversation. The Attorney-General: It might be, but there it is. If no such conversation took place - The Commissioner: If no such conversation took place and they came here and said, “We discovered afterwards that we were in the middle of abnormal conditions,” that would be one thing; but here the case put forward by Lightoller was, “We were in the middle of abnormal conditions and were actually talking about them.” The Attorney-General: We must deal with the statement by him which is the only evidence we have got, given in a good deal of detail as your Lordship remembers. Just see what he says about this. The passage is at page 306, Question 13615. The whole of his evidence for five or six pages is of very great importance. I deal with it particularly because by this I am attacking the evidence which bears most against the view for which I am contending at the moment. Your Lordship will remember it begins by a very sharp drop of temperature of something like ten degrees; it gets to freezing point, that you have got in the earlier questions on that page which I do not trouble your Lordship to read because I know you have it in mind. It begins by this - that during a couple of hours that evening the temperature dropped from 43 degrees to 33 degrees, and subsequently dropped again to freezing. That is the position. He is on deck: “(13615.) At five minutes to nine, when the Commander came on the bridge (I will give it to you as near as I remember) he
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