Page 114 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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remarked that it was cold, and as far as I remember I said, ‘Yes, it is very cold, sir.’” The Commissioner: Read that slowly. The Attorney-General: Yes. “‘In fact,’ I said, ‘it is only one degree above freezing. I have sent word down to the carpenter and rung up the engine room, and told them that it is freezing, or will be during the night.’” There is no doubt about that, because there was somebody else who took the message. The Commissioner: There is no doubt about that. I am talking of the conversation. The Attorney-General: I mean there is no doubt about the message, and I suppose there is no doubt he would have reported it. The Commissioner: I have no doubt about that, but this man purports to remember immaterial little observations that took place on the bridge that night: “It is very cold. Yes, it is freezing.” I doubt very much whether he remembers anything of the kind. The Attorney-General: The exact words it may be, but your Lordship sees the temperature is of some importance. It is not to be exaggerated, I agree. The Commissioner: I am talking about his memory about this conversation. The Attorney-General: “We then commenced to speak about the weather. He said” - that is the Captain - “‘There is not much wind.’” Now look at these words: “I said, ‘No.’” The Commissioner: That is one abnormal thing. “There is not much wind” - abnormal in this sense, you know, that there would be an absence of fringe round the base of the berg. The Attorney-General: Yes, but I do not think you can say that that is abnormal. The Commissioner: No, it is not abnormal; but that is one of the things which he relies on subsequently. No wind, no swell, black ice - they did not talk about black ice in this conversation. The Attorney-General: They do talk about black ice; but may I point out - I do not want to be hypercritical about it, but I think it is important to bear it in mind - that there is a difference, as of course your Lordship appreciates, between no wind and no swell. The Commissioner: Oh, yes. The Attorney-General: He does not say that no wind would be an abnormal condition. The Commissioner: No. The Attorney-General: What he says is no swell would be an abnormal condition. The Commissioner: It is one of the points, however, that he relies upon. The Attorney-General: Yes; “It is a flat calm, as a matter of fact.” He repeated it. He said “a flat calm.” The Commissioner: Yes, there are the two of them making the point. The Attorney-General: Yes. “I said ‘Yes,’ quite flat; there is no wind.’” The Commissioner: He makes the point the third time. Mr. Laing: I am very unwilling to intervene, my Lord, but - The Commissioner: I am doing this in your favour, Mr. Laing. Mr. Laing: I only wanted to point out that the witness is evidently meaning a flat calm to be no wind. He is distinguishing between no swell and no wind. The Attorney-General: I will call attention later to what he has said modifying it. But it seems to me there is all the difference in the world between talking of a flat calm which is the expression that he uses throughout as indicating that not only is it a calm but quite a flat calm in the sense that there is no swell; because he says so directly. The Commissioner: I am advised that a sailor would not use the expression “flat calm” as meaning no swell. The Attorney-General: You will see what he says about it. The Commissioner: He repeated it “‘He said a flat calm’ I said ‘Yes, quite flat; there is no wind.’”
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