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Smith and his coadjutors on this ship are vindicated from all blame. The result was unfortunate, but it was an accident that might have happened, as it did happen, to the most careful and experienced navigator, owing to the emergence of new conditions which may profoundly affect the future of the navigation of the North Atlantic. Now, in connection with this subject and what took place on board the vessel, I have said only a very few words in regard to Mr. Ismay. I am prepared to deal at length with Mr. Ismay’s evidence, but I do not know how far it is necessary for me to go. I do not know whether the Attorney-General can give me any indication on that point. I am prepared to go through Mr. Ismay’s evidence, and I hope to satisfy your Lordship beyond all doubt that Mr. Ismay never interfered by giving any directions with regard to the navigation of the vessel; that it would have been most improper for him so to do; and that the Marconigram from the “Baltic” was certainly not shown to him by Captain Smith by way of inviting advice or directions from Mr. Ismay. The Commissioner: There is no evidence that Mr. Ismay interfered in any way with the navigation of the ship. Sir Robert Finlay: No. The Commissioner: There is at the best or at the worst only surmise. Sir Robert Finlay: Yes. The Commissioner: One naturally asks why did the Captain show the telegram. The Attorney-General: That is the whole point. The Commissioner: And one also asks why did Mr. Ismay before the voyage commenced, take upon himself to go into the engine room and have a conversation with the Chief Engineer. Sir Robert Finlay: If your Lordship pleases. Then I think it would probably be better that I should refer to Mr. Ismay’s evidence. The Commissioner: I was pointing out to you that in my view it is all surmise. The Attorney-General: I think it must be. The Commissioner: No one can suppose for a moment that the Captain did not know quite well that the whole responsibility of the navigation of the ship was upon him, and that he had no business to take any orders from anybody else. Sir Robert Finlay: And that he never would. Captain Smith never would. The Commissioner: At the same time you know there is a feeling that if there is a person in the position of Mr. Ismay on board, the Captain may think it wise to speak to him on questions of navigation when he would not speak to another person at all. But that is surmise again. Sir Robert Finlay: Mere surmise. The Commissioner: Will you tell us, Mr. Attorney-General, what your view is? The Attorney-General: Yes, I think it right I should, so that my friend Sir Robert should know exactly the position I am going to take up. Substantially what your Lordship has said is my view of the evidence. I do not think that there is any evidence that Mr. Ismay interfered. The evidence that we have got all tends the other way. We have his own evidence that he did not interfere in any way, and there is no evidence to contradict it. As the matter stands, it is established that he did not interfere in the navigation. But, as your Lordship has pointed out, and it must be pretty obvious, the showing of the telegram to him was not such an act as would have been performed by the Captain to an ordinary passenger. The Commissioner: Certainly not. The Attorney-General: Whether it was merely to tell him what had happened and the news that he had got, and simply to give him information, is the one view; on the other hand, it is open to surmise that it was shown to Mr. Ismay for him to make any observation upon it if he thought fit. But he certainly did not on the evidence as it stands. The Commissioner: On the evidence he did not. The Attorney-General: I say on the evidence he did not; and upon the evidence as it stands I
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