Page 144 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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Sir Robert Finlay: Yes, but then you must take 2441 with it. The Attorney-General: “Can you give us any idea of the breadth. What did it look like? It was something which was above the forecastle? - (A.) It was a dark mass that came through that haze and there was no white appearing until it was just close alongside the ship and that was just a fringe at the top. (Q.) It was a dark mass that appeared, you say? - (A.) Through this haze, and as she moved away from it, there was just a white fringe along the top. That was the only white about it, until she passed by, and then you could see she was white; one side of it seemed to be black, and the other side seemed to be white. When I had a look at it going astern it appeared to be white.” The Commissioner: You must remember that the iceberg at this time was in the glare of the lights of the “Titanic.” Sir Robert Finlay: Yes, my Lord, the next question shows that: “At that time the ship would be throwing some light upon it; there were lights on your own ship? - (A.) It might have been that.” I submit that entirely disproves my friend’s view. The Attorney-General: I am not dealing with that. With respect, it does not seem to me that what my friend has said this morning has in the slightest degree affected the view that was put before your Lordship, at least the argument that I addressed to you on Saturday, because all that my friend has said this morning, and, if I may say so, has said with all the force that he commands, only adds this, that there were these two abnormal or unusual conditions which I accepted on Saturday, when I argued the case before you, as the two abnormal conditions upon which my friend relied. They were all, however, matters which I dealt with then, and I agree with him that the result of the evidence shows that the excuse put forward must depend upon those two conditions. I analysed them then, and I do not propose to go into them at any further length. The only supplementary reference that I will make to what was said then, and I only make it because in consequence of what your Lordship said on the last occasion, I did not refer to the evidence upon it is this: My friend said to me just now, and said quite rightly - I call your Lordship’s particular attention to it - that when Sir Ernest Shackleton is talking of a flat calm he means what I meant by a flat calm on Saturday when I referred to the evidence. I said a flat calm is a calm in which there is no swell. My friend agrees with me certainly, that when Sir Ernest Shackleton is speaking of it, that when he speaks of a flat calm - Sir Robert Finlay: It is used in both senses. The Attorney-General: I know it is, but it is no answer to the point I am making. I quite agree, and my friend is quite entitled to say that it may be when you speak of a flat calm in consequence of certain answers that Lightoller gave, that he is speaking there of a calm, a perfectly smooth sea, apparently presenting a flat surface, and nevertheless with a swell, and it may be he is speaking of it without a swell. It is a little difficult to tell, but he uses the expression “flat calm.” Lightoller does in the first instance - it is his expression. The Commissioner: And the Captain’s expression. The Attorney-General: Yes; as I said to my friend, Sir Robert Finlay, this morning, you observe that Sir Ernest Shackleton, who, at any rate, is a seaman, when he is speaking of a flat calm means what I suggest it does mean. There is all the difference in the world - at least I suggest it - between speaking of a calm and a flat calm. However, I do not want to lay too much stress upon the meaning of a particular phrase that is used in connection with it; all I want to show is that when he is speaking of a flat calm he must have in his mind that at least there must have been practically no movement although there might have been the slightest swell. That, I think, is the highest it can be put. And if there had been this very slight swell - I will concede in favour of Mr. Lightoller’s proposition - that when he is speaking of a flat calm he means only with a slight swell - that would not have given any ripple upon the base of the berg upon which he would be entitled to rely as indicating to him at some distance ahead the presence of an
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