Page 58 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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The Commissioner: But it cannot be said that the actual ice recorded was of any significance. Sir Robert Finlay: No. The Commissioner: It may be said against Captain Smith that it was a warning that he was within reach of the ice, and therefore he ought to have known, but as far as the particular ice itself goes it is quite without the reach of the “Titanic.” Sir Robert Finlay: Nothing has hitherto been said about it. The Commissioner: I have always supposed that that telegram was immaterial. Sir Robert Finlay: I so treated it, my Lord. The Attorney-General: Of course, that is my objection. That is why I am calling attention to it. I do not think it is immaterial by reason of what was said yesterday. At any rate, my object in calling attention to it is that I am going to found some observations upon it, and call your Lordship’s attention to the fact that there were telegrams, and that there was this telegram showing ice to the Northward. The Commissioner: Everyone knew there was ice to the Northward. The Attorney-General: Yes, but I mean that he had had an ice report. I have already indicated the point that I am going to submit with regard to those responsible for the navigation, that, having got four telegrams of ice reports, it was not sufficient, even if the Captain was justified in coming to the conclusion that the ice was to the Southward of him after he had turned the corner. The Commissioner: At present, Mr. Attorney, I do not see that the “Norddam’s” telegram carries it much further, because there was the “Baltic,” the “Caronia,” and the “Californian,” all indicating ice to the North and much nearer than the “Norddam.” The Attorney-General: Yes. I quite agree, my Lord, that is why, at an earlier stage, when your Lordship said you did not think it was worth dwelling upon the “Norddam.” I agreed, and the only reason I want it in now is because I am going to found some observations upon it, which I have indicated to my friend. The Commissioner: The telegram is in evidence. The Attorney-General: Yes, but I do not want it to be passed over, because originally we had said that three were the only ones that were material. I agree entirely when your Lordship said it has not anything like the direct materiality, but I think it has some. Sir Robert Finlay: I will say a word upon it as my friend has called attention to it. Your Lordship will see that the “Norddam” ice is to the North of the normal limit marked on the chart for field ice between March and July. The Attorney-General: Yes. The Commissioner: Yes. Sir Robert Finlay: And sensibly to the North of that limit. That ice cannot possibly have been the ice which caused the disaster. The Commissioner: Oh, no; that is not suggested. What is suggested is that it was another warning of ice. The Attorney-General: Yes, that is the point. The Commissioner: And it goes on, as it were, accumulating with the others. The Attorney-General: Yes. Sir Robert Finlay: The reply that I make to that suggestion that my friend, the Attorney- General, has called my attention to, is this; that the intimations that they had of ice which might be dangerous to them were the “Californian,” the “Baltic,” and the “Caronia.” I have submitted that Captain Smith took a reasonable course with regard to that. I am not going to repeat that. The Commissioner: And a fortiori he did with regard to the other? Sir Robert Finlay: The “Norddam” was absolutely negligible. So far from impugning Captain Smith’s judgment in the matter, I submit that it rather confirms it, because, having taken reasonable steps with regard to the “Caronia,” the “Baltic,” and the “Californian” ice, he is
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