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into a boat as it was being lowered, and Mr. Lowe, the officer - The Commissioner: Took out a pistol. Sir Robert Finlay: Yes, a revolver, and fired one or two shots into the water by way of showing what any man who tried to transgress the Rules of order might expect. The Commissioner: I remember it. Sir Robert Finlay: And that was quite effective because there was nothing more of the kind. The Commissioner: I am reminded of the cowardly attack that was made upon Phillips when he was busy, but that of course had nothing to do with the boats, and that I think was by a fireman. Sir Robert Finlay: Yes, that incident is quite unexplained. The Attorney-General: The criticism which I shall make upon the discipline and organisation is directed to the preparations that were made before the disaster and actually up to the time of the disaster. Of course it does involve Southampton principally because the time had not arrived apparently for the boat muster as they call it which was to take place. What I propose to say in reference to it is that if there had been better organisation and better preparation for such an event a number of people would have been saved in the boats who were lost. That is the criticism I am going to make. I am certainly not going to say that there was anything in the nature of a panic, or the kind of disorder amongst the crew which would have fostered or promoted panic. Quite the contrary. The submission which I shall make to the Court upon the evidence is that the crew, speaking generally, behaved extremely well on the deck. The Commissioner: I am very glad to hear you say that because I think so too. The Attorney-General: And so far from there being any panic in the circumstances order was maintained to an extraordinary degree. That is the view I have formed from reading the evidence, and I would add also that with one or two solitary exceptions the passengers seem to have behaved with extraordinary calmness, not to say heroism. I do not think myself that the evidence, except as to these one or two isolated cases which are said to relate to foreigners, would bear any criticism which would reflect either upon the passengers or the crew in that emergency, in which they suddenly found themselves. The kind of argument which I shall address to the Court is more with a view to the future, and also some criticism on the actual state of preparations in the “Titanic,” not for the purpose of throwing blame upon them, because I can quite see that there are many circumstances to be taken into account; nor do I think that throwing blame on them in this particular matter would affect the Court’s judgment. What I do want to say is that if greater care had been taken before the ship started that all the crew should know what particular boat they had to go to, and what part they were to play, and also with regard to manning the boats, there would have been a different state of things. I agree there are some balancing considerations to be set against that, but I am only indicating it for the purpose of showing my friend the nature of the criticism which I am going to make upon it. But apart from that my view is that discipline was very well maintained. Sir Robert Finlay: I am much obliged to my friend, the Attorney-General, for what he has indicated as to the line he is going to take. I have listened with very great pleasure to what he said with regard to the behaviour of the officers and crew, and of the passengers. I must say, speaking for myself, it rather raised my ideas of human nature to find that such extraordinary order and such extraordinary courage prevailed among such a large body of people brought together in the miscellaneous fashion as the passengers on a vessel of this kind must be. There is one expression that occurs to my memory of how the passengers stood keeping back - the passengers stood at attention, I think one of the A.B.’s said, against the side of the saloon waiting for their turn. May I refer to one other little incident which struck my mind at the time? One boat was putting off with two vacant places and two men got in. At the last moment two women came running up
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