Page 161 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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in fact there were 711 persons saved in the boats; that is the full number. There were, according to the evidence, 836 carried in the boats, and who ought to have been saved if that number is right, and moreover, it shows quite plainly that the witnesses have been inclined to over-estimate the number of women and children who went away in each boat, and to under-estimate the number of male passengers that went away in the boats, as well as the number of the crew. That is exactly how it stands. The Commissioner: Yes, that is exactly how it stands; there is an exaggeration in the gross number, and there is an exaggeration of the number of women and children. The Attorney-General: Yes, the tendency undoubtedly has been for the witnesses who have been called to make out that more women and children were carried in the boats than were in fact carried, and a less number of men and crew. It is striking in particular with regard to the women and children, because in fact there were 388 saved of women and children; according to the evidence there were 642 women and children saved. In fact there were 126 male passengers saved; according to the evidence there were only 71. In fact there were 189 male crew saved; according to the evidence, only 123. So that bears out what your Lordship said as a summary. That is dealing with the total number saved as 703 instead of 711, as we now know it, but the other figure is not of very great importance. Now, my Lord, may I say just a word, and it will not be more, because I have already indicated to you at an earlier stage of the case what my view was in answer to a question from your Lordship with reference to the discipline upon which your Lordship is asked a specific question; I think it is No. 17. My Lord, one cannot peruse the evidence given in this case without, I think, being very much struck by the discipline of the crew, taken as a whole, and of the behaviour of the crew. To take one instance, and I think a very, very striking one, to which I was adverting only a little while ago, when I called your attention to the evidence of Dillon and Cavell, trimmer and fireman, who were in No. 4 boiler room, they had been on deck, and there were others who had been ordered down below in a vessel which they know was in great jeopardy, and who heard the order which had been given from the bridge to uncover the boats and to man them, and to be ready to launch them, and to fill them with women and children. All these men on board knew perfectly well that they were in grave peril, and yet it is one striking fact that they go down, apparently without any question, without any murmur, they go down below to work on board that vessel, and down below in the hold when the water was coming in, as we know, in No. 4 boiler room, till the water was up to their knees, when they were ordered to come up on deck through the escape, and when they found, in fact, that all the boats had gone except the collapsible, and I think one ought to bear in mind the behaviour of these men in the circumstances. These were not even seamen, and on the whole I do not think that one is saying a word too much when we say that the behaviour of those men was heroic. My Lord, one is also struck in reference to the evidence about the engineers. Not a single engineer was saved. As my learned friend Mr. Roche said in the very admirable address he made to your Lordship, it is by no means an uncommon thing; it is a common thing to find that no engineers were saved. There they are right down in the vessel, and during a time of peril they do not come up, and they did not come up in this case until, if at all, all hope of safety had disappeared. There is some evidence of some eight men having been seen, it is not quite clear that it is right that they were engineers, but whether they were or not, when they were seen it is as plain as possible that it was only after all the boats had gone, and when there was no hope of rescuing them. And another striking fact which is worth remembering also, of which my learned friend reminds me very pertinently, I think, is that there were eight ship’s boys on board this vessel. We have heard nothing about them; they played no part in their humble capacity on board this vessel as ship’s boys; every one of them was drowned. They might very properly, if it had been desired, been treated as juveniles, but they were not; they went down as part of the crew of the ship; and, as I
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