Page 131 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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The Attorney-General: Your Lordship will decide upon that when you come to your judgment. The Commissioner: Taking the “Californian,” that man is not represented. He came here merely as a witness. The Attorney-General: Who? The Commissioner: Captain Lord. The Attorney-General: Oh, yes, my Lord, he was represented. The Commissioner: Yes, he is here in the sense that somebody sent by his owners did speak for him. The Attorney-General: Then, my Lord, I would sooner deal with that separate, if I may; I know what your Lordship has in your mind. The Commissioner: What I mean is that he has not been cited here to defend himself against the charge made against him of negligence. The Attorney-General: Your Lordship is speaking now of the Captain of the “Californian”? The Commissioner: Yes, Captain Lord. The Attorney-General: But that is quite a different thing. The Commissioner: I am not sure. You are talking at present about Captain Smith. What I am pointing out is this, that Captain Smith could not be here; he is dead; he could not have been cited. But the Captain of the “Californian” is here really merely as a witness. He has not been cited to answer a charge of negligence, and I have great reluctance to find people guilty of negligence when they are not cited and charged with it, and have not had a proper opportunity of answering the charge. The Attorney-General: I will deal with Captain Lord’s case, my Lord. The Commissioner: Later on. I am only suggesting that there is an analogy between the two cases; I may be wrong, you know, but that is what I am suggesting. The Attorney-General: Well, so long as your Lordship has present to your mind what the position is with regard to the case and you have all the considerations, at any rate, which have occurred to me to present to you, that the speed was excessive, I should submit that it is beyond all question in this case upon the evidence as it stands; but naturally that does not dispose of the other points. It is quite possible, as your Lordship says, to treat that simply for the purpose of this case as a fact, and to leave it there. Now, my Lord, that is really all I need trouble you about with regard to that. The result of it in any event is that the question as to the cause of the disaster, and Question 14 as to the speed are, I submit, plain apart from all these considerations that I have put to you, and, my Lord, having placed all the facts before you I am content to leave it. It certainly is no part of my duty, and it is the last thing I should desire to press your Lordship to find negligence against Captain Smith, and I quite appreciate what your Lordship says, that he is not represented. At the same time as I leave it, I do think it necessary to put before you this, that having enquired into all these facts and circumstances, we have gone into all that has happened with regard to the navigation of this vessel, and if you do come to the conclusion that it was negligent navigation I submit there is nothing to prevent the Court from saying it. That is the point I want to make clear. Now, my Lord, I am going to other matters, and probably your Lordship would think it right to adjourn. The Commissioner: Do you intend to come back this afternoon? The Attorney-General: No, my Lord. Mr. Laing: May I correct a statement of the Attorney-General (I did not want to interrupt him) which arose about Mr. Ismay’s opinion. My Lord, my friend the Attorney-General said in the course of his argument that Mr. Ismay’s view had been expressed that the question of speed in future was one which he had formed an opinion about. That is incorrect. May I read what Mr. Ismay said, because I wish to correct it. He was asked: “Is it still your view that your Captains
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