Page 41 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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no necessity for it. The men kept back themselves, and we made a line and passed the ladies and children through. (Q.) Who made the line? - (A.) The stewards mostly - stewards and seamen; they were all together. (Q.) I think I caught you to say that though Mr. Wilde gave the order to keep the men back, there was really no necessity; they kept back themselves? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Was the order good - the discipline good? - (A.) Splendid.” Then with regard to Number 12. Mr. Lightoller was there. That is at page 82, Questions 2914 and 2962. Question 2914 is, “(Q.) Was there anybody there looking after it? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Who? - (A.) Mr. Lightoller. (Q.) Is he an officer? - (A.) Second Officer. (Q.) Was there anybody else with him? - (A.) No, only myself.” That is Poingdestre speaking. Then Question 2961 is, “Now having lowered her down to the water, did Mr. Lightoller give you any orders as to what to do with the boat? - (A.) He gave me orders before the boat was lowered what to do. (Q.) What orders did he give you? - (A.) To lay off and stand by close to the ship.” So that your Lordship sees that with regard to the starboard boats there is specific evidence in every case of that order to remain at hand. With regard to the boats on the port side there is that order in some cases; at least in one case it is specifically proved, and in another case there is no evidence of the order at all; we do not know what it was. With regard to Number 8 the Captain said, “Pull for that light, land the passengers, and return,” which comes to very much the same thing. And with regard to Number 6, Mr. Lightoller’s evidence at page 314 certainly points to his having expected this boat to remain at hand because he was giving the order at the same time to open the gangway doors, and there are other answers which I have just read which indicate that that is what he meant the boat to do. With regard to the other boats on the port side, 14, 16, 2, 4, and the collapsible, there is no evidence of an order at all. There may have been or may not have been. Now, my Lord, my suggestion is this, that there is no ground for the charge put forward that there was want of discipline on the part of the officers and crew. Your Lordship will find that charge formulated at pages 760 and 761 of the Notes. The Commissioner: The evidence of the witnesses is that good order was kept throughout. Sir Robert Finlay: Yes, every witness. The Attorney-General: Not quite as far as that; it is not every witness. The Commissioner: Is there any evidence that there was confusion and disorder? The Attorney-General: Yes, there is some. There certainly is some evidence of a rush by second and third class passengers for the boats. The Commissioner: I am not talking about the passengers; I am talking about the crew, the people handling the boats. The Attorney-General: Any evidence of a rush by the crew? The Commissioner: No, any evidence of disorder or want of organisation among the crew. There was a rush of passengers, but I thought the suggestion made by the gentleman in that part of the Court was that by reason of the want of drill these boats had not been handled in an expeditious and orderly way. The Attorney-General: I shall also make that comment, my Lord. The Commissioner: Well, I say that so far as the oral evidence goes there is nothing to support that, if it is to be believed you know. I do not recall anything. The Attorney-General: I do not quite understand what your Lordship means. The Commissioner: The facts may point to disorder, but the oral evidence, as far as I remember it, always is that good order was kept. The Attorney-General: Yes. There is no statement to the effect that there was disorder, I agree. What I am relying upon is the facts and the explanations of what happened. Sir Robert Finlay: I think, my Lord, that I am correct in saying that the only evidence of any misconduct on the part even of passengers was that some two or three foreigners tried to rush
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