Page 63 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 6 - 9
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application.) Sir Robert Finlay: Your Lordship will recollect that I asked that the cross-examination of the witness Hendrickson should stand over until today. After the rising of the Court on Friday I heard that Sir Cosmo and Lady Duff-Gordon were on their way to this country on board the “Lusitania.” They will arrive late to-night. Under those circumstances, if your Lordship approved, I think it would be highly desirable that the cross-examination should be postponed say till Thursday or better Friday, in order that Sir Cosmo and Lady Duff-Gordon should have an opportunity of making their statement, and taking any steps they think proper. The Attorney-General: Of course we should not raise any objection. I was going to suggest to my friend that if he will let us know as soon as he can what day he will be ready to go on with him, we will take care to have Hendrickson here. Sir Robert Finlay: Say Friday. The Attorney-General: Yes. The Commissioner: Very well. The Attorney-General: Your Lordship will remember we were examining Rule, the bathroom steward, on the last occasion. I propose now to take some other witnesses from the “Californian” steamer. The reason, as your Lordship will appreciate, is that we cannot always get them here. They are here today and I think it will be convenient to examine them now. Mr. Robertson Dunlop: Will your Lordship allow me to appear on behalf of the Leyland Line - the owners, master and officers from the “Californian,” who are to be examined today? The Attorney-General: Of course, this question of the “Californian” raises an issue between the master and officers of the “Californian,” and, certainly, one man who was employed as a donkeyman or as an assistant donkeyman. The question substantially is this: The “Californian” is said by this donkeyman to have seen the distress rockets fired from a vessel which, according to this man, was the “Titanic,” and to have taken no notice of those distress rockets. There is no doubt, as I understand the evidence, that rockets were seen on this night and that the “Californian” was not at a very great distance from the “Titanic,” but whether it was the “Titanic” that she saw or not is a matter which can only be determined after we have heard the evidence. It is a little difficult again to say that that has a very direct bearing upon the particular questions which have been submitted so far for your Lordship’s consideration. Some of the evidence undoubtedly will be material on these questions as to the position, what was seen and what precautions were taken by the “Californian,” and the wireless messages that were sent and received, and they will be undoubtedly important matters for your consideration. This question, as between the donkey man and the master is a different matter, but it does seem to me that in view of the statements which have been made and the evidence that has already been given elsewhere about it, it would be desirable that your Lordship should hear what there is to be said. I propose therefore to ask them a few questions. I do not propose to go into it at any length, but to ask them on such as would be essential, so that your Lordship will be enabled to form some opinion as to whether or not this story told by the donkey man is right. At the present moment he is not in England. The Commissioner: Who? The Attorney-General: The donkey man. He left the vessel - as I understand, he deserted, but he is on his road and we are taking steps to have him brought here as soon as he arrives, so that he may tell his story. The Commissioner: You are going to call others? The Attorney-General: Yes, the master and officers and the Marconi operator, because they have to go with their vessel, and I thought it right your Lordship should have the evidence at
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