Page 82 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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which appeared to steam towards them and then go away again, and that is not the “Californian.” That is the whole of the evidence which seems to bear upon this question. The Commissioner: Is there any evidence to show that the “Californian” saw this steamer or the vessel or the lights that the witnesses from the “Titanic” say they saw. Mr. Dunlop: I do not know whether this steamer which Boxhall is referring to is or is not the steamer which the Chief Officer of the “Californian” saw at four o’clock, a vessel which had been steaming to the S.W. and afterwards was seen steaming to the N.E. or steaming in a Northerly and Easterly direction. That is the only evidence which seems to connect the vessel which Boxhall saw with any vessel which the “Californian” saw. But I will deal later with the vessels which were in this vicinity at about this time. That is the whole of the evidence which seems to bear upon this question whether the “Californian” and the “Titanic” were ever in sight of each other, and I submit to your Lordship that the conclusion of the whole evidence, the “Titanic’s” evidence, the “Carpathia’s” evidence, and the “Californian’s” evidence, all point to the same conclusion that they were never in sight of each other. If that is so, then the whole foundation of the charge against Captain Lord disappears. The whole significance of what is described as the “Californian” incident at once vanishes if the vessels were never in fact in sight of each other. In that case the rockets seen could not possibly have been the rockets of the “Titanic,” but must have been the rockets of another vessel which we have not, unfortunately, got before the Court. The next question to which I desire to address myself is what steamer was it which the “Californian” saw and the Fourth Officer of the “Titanic” saw and signalled to. Probably they were different steamers. If it was not the “Titanic” it does not concern me what the steamer was. The Commissioner: Have you made any attempt to find out what the steamers were? Mr. Dunlop: Personally, my Lord, I have from the only source available to me, namely, Lloyd’s weekly index. The Commissioner: And have you found out? Mr. Dunlop: Yes, my Lord, I have found out some vessels which I have put on your Lordship’s chart; but, of course, it would ill become the Leyland Line to endeavour to ascertain the name of a steamer which may have seen the “Titanic’s” rockets and did not in fact go to her assistance; it is no part of my purpose. It would ill become the Leyland Line to make enquiries from the Masters or owners of other vessels with a view to showing that there was a vessel nearer to the “Titanic” than the “Californian” herself was, and, therefore, we have made no effort. The Commissioner: Why would it ill become them? Mr. Dunlop: I submit that for them to bring evidence with a view to showing that there was a vessel nearer to the “Titanic” than the “Californian” was, which we know did not in fact go to the “Titanic’s” assistance, or did not in fact render any effective assistance, would only be to involve some other vessel in the criticisms which have been made in the course of this Enquiry. The Commissioner: I think it would be your duty to do it. Mr. Dunlop: Well, my Lord, the view which my clients have taken, and I respectfully agree with them, is that for one shipowner to endeavour to throw blame upon a steamer belonging to some other owner is not what I should have thought would be the loyalty owed by one shipowner to another. It is no part of my purpose and certainly no part of theirs to attempt to throw blame upon any other vessel. The Commissioner: This is a very high sense of duty; I do not appreciate it at all. Mr. Dunlop: My Lord, they have not, in fact, done so, but I have had sent to me Lloyd’s Shipping Index, which records the reports of vessels which were in the ice at about this time, and from that index I have been able to locate the position of certain vessels which may or may not have been the vessels which were in sight of the “Californian” or in sight of the “Titanic.” The reason why we cannot put the name to this steamer which we saw is that the evidence before
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