Page 124 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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progressing I do submit that they ought to have done it, and that it was a precaution that they ought to have taken; and then, my Lord, I get further to this, that as regards the speed it is quite clear what it was. According to the evidence of one witness, it was 45 knots for two hours, according to cherub log - it does not matter very much about the exact speed; it is sufficient to say that, according to the evidence of another witness (Mr. Boxhall) he said he was quite satisfied that the speed was 22 knots. And according to the evidence of one further witness, one of the Quartermasters, he said after he took up the log after the vessel had been in the casualty, he found she had made the 260 knots from noon that day, when the log had been set; that he took it up at about 11.45, and that would give a speed of 21 3/4 to 22 knots. And, therefore, it is that I have allowed something lower than that, in the test I have been taking, without doing any injustice to the White Star Line by taking 700 yards a minute, which is less than the evidence so far established. Then, my Lord, a great deal has been said during the course of the case, particularly at one time, about the lighting up of the two or three boilers at 8 o’clock on Sunday morning. Your Lordship will remember the discussion. Certainly now, having had the advantage of hearing the evidence, or gone into it very carefully, it seems to me that there is no importance to be attributed to it. I do not suggest upon the evidence, indeed I do not think that one can suggest, that the vessel was travelling at more than 75 revolutions, and 75 revolutions would give us 22 knots, and no doubt they had in mind that they were going to travel at 78 or 80 revolutions either on Monday or Tuesday, wherever they found a favourable moment to test the speed of the vessel for two or three hours, but it had nothing to do with the record passage, as we know now that it was never done before, and I do not think it is necessary to trouble your Lordship with any further observations upon it, for it throws really no light upon what actually did take place. Now, my Lord, I think the precautions that were taken are sufficiently indicated by what your Lordship has already said, and that you have them present to your mind, and I am not going to dwell upon them. So far as I can make out altogether from the time of the first indication by Marconigram of the presence of ice, there was first the precaution taken by the Captain, which I will assume was taken in consequence of the Marconigrams, of proceeding the seven to ten miles to the Southward before he turned the corner; I will assume that. Then there is the direction given to the look-out men, which they were to pass on, to keep a sharp look-out for ice and growlers, the exact words are “icebergs, small ice, and growlers.” My Lord, there is just one more point upon that to which attention has not been directed, which I think it is worth bearing in mind in connection with this, and that is that Mr. Lightoller says that his recollection of it was that he said that that order was to be passed on till daylight. That is at Question 13658 at page 307. Its value, of course, is obvious to your Lordship, that during the night there was this anxiety about going through this region of ice, and that this sharp look-out was to be kept - this precaution - right through until they got to daylight and could see better. Now, my Lord, I think that really brings me very near the end of what I want to say about the speed. My Lord, I will not trouble you with passages as to the speed, because there is really no controversy, it is so well established by the evidence that I think the short statement I have made and the reference to the evidence is sufficient up it. The Commissioner: You are entitled to assume that the speed was from 21 to 22 knots. The Attorney-General: Yes, and, as I say, I have assumed a little less than that. Now, my Lord, what are the answers that are made? Upon that state of facts to which I have been referring - no doubting of the look-out, no reduction of speed, and substantially, except for telling the look-out to keep a sharp look-out, no precaution taken - I say advisedly no precaution taken - to spot the ice which they might expect to meet during the night. What is the answer that is made to the Court? Well, my Lord, really it is only this: it always gets back to the two points, that the conditions were so extraordinary that night, and so unknown to them, as they must say to
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