Page 15 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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and with the large steamer at that time alongside of it, and this is the expression of his opinion. Sir Robert Finlay: That is his observation. The Commissioner: I mean his opinion on the state of things at that time - based upon his observation. Sir Robert Finlay: Yes, and I submit the fact is proved by the evidence of all these previous witnesses “like a pond,” “perfectly smooth,” and so on. Then you have Mr. Lightoller saying that when he got down he realised what he had not been able to realise from the deck, that there was no swell at all. One knows perfectly well that the degree of motion on a ship varies with the size of the ship. Comparing, at one end, a small boat with the “Titanic” at the other end, of course the difference is tremendous. But it goes through all gradations. In a small steamer there is a great deal more effect produced by the swell than there is on a large steamer, and the larger the steamer the less the effect produced is. One has experienced that in going in what used to be considered a big boat, although I confess they have got to be comparatively small as compared with the enormous vessels that are made now. Then, my Lord, on page 306, Question 13615, there is an answer describing that conversation with the Captain to which your Lordship referred just now. I do not know that I need read it; it is fresh in your Lordship’s recollection. I will read it if your Lordship wishes. The Commissioner: Do you mean the conversation on the bridge? Sir Robert Finlay: Yes, my Lord. The Commissioner: It has been read three or four times. Sir Robert Finlay: Yes, I will not read it again, my Lord. The Commissioner: It is to be found in the Note of the American Evidence, and it is to be found in the Note of this Evidence, and it has been read several times. Mr. Scanlan read it - Sir Robert Finlay: I only mentioned it in order that it might not be supposed I was passing it over. Then on page 307, Question 13672, the Solicitor-General says: “(Q.) Of course, if there was no swell so that you could not at all rely on the breaking of the water against the edge of an iceberg or growler, it would be particularly hard to see, would it not? - (A.) It would be more difficult if it was not of any size. (Q.) Whereas an iceberg that is more out of the water, on a fine night, you thought would probably show you some white side or white edge? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) And on a fine night you would be able to see the whiteness? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Was that the reason you repeated the message about growlers? - (A.) Yes.” That was to keep a sharp look-out for ice and growlers, your Lordship remembers. Then on page 322 there is a group of answers, some 13 in all, beginning at Question 14196: “(Q.) Right up to the time the ship went down, is it your view that the conditions were the same as they were between 6 and 10? - (A.) Precisely. (Q.) Can you suggest at all how it can have come about that this iceberg should not have been seen at a greater distance?” Then the witness gave an answer which I think is perfectly in your Lordship’s mind. Your Lordship has referred to it more than once. I think I will read it again. It is an important answer, and perhaps it might be well if I read it. The Commissioner: We have had it read several times. Sir Robert Finlay: I agree, my Lord; it is present to all of us, I think. Question 14199 is the conical question: “And most particular of all, in my estimation, is the fact - a most extraordinary circumstance - that there was not any swell. Had there been the slightest degree of swell, I have no doubt that berg would have been seen in plenty of time to clear it.” Then, at Question 14207, there is a question put by your Lordship in continuation of former questions: “The iceberg, in your opinion, had probably quite recently turned turtle? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) And was displaying black ice with nothing white about it - that is it, is it not? - (A.) That is about it. (Q.) Does that, in your opinion, account for the man on the look-out not seeing the iceberg? - (A.) Yes.”
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