Page 43 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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and those men at once got out and made room for the women, and themselves went down with the ship. I was going to refer to the way Mr. Scanlan put it. I shall deal with the case substantially with reference to what the Attorney-General has said but it is right. I should also call attention to what was said by Mr. Scanlan. Your Lordship says to him at page 760: “(The Commissioner.) Is it your contention that if there had been more lifeboats on board this vessel more lives would have been saved, although the lifeboats that were there were not used more than to the extent of two- thirds of their capacity? (Mr. Scanlan.) I do say, my Lord, that if there had been discipline - (The Commissioner.) Yes, that may be. (Mr. Scanlan.) And if there had been a training of the officers and crews in the manning and handling and navigation of the lifeboats, it would have been possible to have launched and lowered lifeboats sufficient to have rescued everyone on that ship. We are all glad to think that there was nothing in the nature of a panic on the “Titanic,” but I think it would be blinding one’s eyes to the real facts of the case if one were to accept the view that discipline, in any proper sense of the term, was observed after the accident in the filling and sending off of these boats. (The Commissioner.) Now I think what you must say you will probably agree with me - is that the facts speak for themselves, and that the evidence of the witnesses, who nearly all say that there was no panic and plenty of discipline, cannot be accepted in face of the facts.” The Commissioner: That is what I meant in speaking a minute or two ago. Sir Robert Finlay: “(Mr. Scanlan.) That is my contention, my Lord. Of course, you might have panic in one sense if there had been a rush of the passengers past the officers to get into the boats; and the witnesses from the crew, and from amongst the officers, are quite justified probably in saying that there was no panic whatever in that sense, and that discipline was maintained in that way, and that the officers were respected by the members of the crew and by the passengers. But in the sense of the officers and the members of the crew realising the duty thrown upon them and the work they had to do in the circumstances of the disaster, I think I am justified in saying in that broad sense that there was a lamentable want of knowledge and want of discipline amongst the officers. (The Commissioner.) I want to follow you, and I want to have it clear. All the boats, except possibly one collapsible boat, were launched? (Mr. Scanlan.) Yes. (The Commissioner.) Let us leave out the one collapsible boat. And they were launched well before the ship foundered? (Mr. Scanlan.) Yes, my Lord. (The Commissioner.) So that, discipline or no discipline, the boats were got into the water? (Mr. Scanlan.) Yes, my Lord. (The Commissioner.) All of them, except the one collapsible. (Mr. Scanlan.) Yes. (The Commissioner.) The only fault, therefore, which was of any consequence, if it was a fault, was that they did not get the people into the boats? (Mr. Scanlan.) That is it, my Lord. (The Commissioner.) They managed, discipline or no discipline, to get all the boats into the water. (Mr. Scanlan.) Yes. (The Commissioner.) I leave out the one collapsible boat. What they did not do, for some reason, was to get the people into the boats. (Mr. Scanlan.) Yes, my Lord. (The Commissioner.) Now, have you thought about that? (Mr. Scanlan.) I have, my Lord. I have given a good deal of consideration to the suggestion that people would not go into the boats, and I daresay that at the beginning that was true; but I do think if, when the terrible seriousness of what had happened was recognised by those in charge of the ship, they had told the people plainly that the ship was doomed, and was sinking, and would sink in a very short time, I think there would have been no indisposition to get into the boats.” With regard to that last suggestion, I submit that Mr. Scanlan in making it did not realise what the probable effects of a communication of that kind would have been. Every step, as we know from the evidence, and as I shall show your Lordship in detail if necessary, was taken to get the passengers together on deck. But to raise a cry of sauve qui peut and say the ship was sinking with the women and children on board, besides the vast number of men on board, however well
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