British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry

Day 7

Testimony of Stanley Lord, cont.

7270. What rate were you going?
- I went slow. I came through the ice full speed to the ship, but I went back slow.

7271. Can you tell me, on your boat, do you supply the look-out man with glasses?
- We do not.

7272. Why is that?
- I have never heard of it before this Enquiry.

7273. In your experience, it is not usual?
- I have only used them once, that was when I was looking for the "Titanic."

Mr. Dunlop:
May I ask some questions of the Witness?

The Attorney-General:
I think you had better wait till I have finished. I am going to put something further to him, and I think you had better hear what he says first.

Further examined by the ATTORNEY-GENERAL.

7274. Mr. Stone is your Second Officer, is he not?
- Yes.

7275. Did Mr. Stone send the Apprentice to report to you at any time?
- Did he on this morning?

7276. I am speaking of this morning?
- He told me afterwards that he had done so.

7277. At about 2 o'clock?
- At about 2 o'clock.

7278. Did he tell you that there had been rockets sent up?
- He did. That was the message the boy was supposed to have delivered to me. I heard it the next day.

7279. That is rather important, you see - that is the message which the boy was supposed to have delivered to you which you heard next day?
- Yes.

7280. I want to put this to you. Did not the boy deliver the message to you, and did not you inquire whether they were all white rockets?
- I do not know; I was asleep.

7281. Think. This is a very important matter.
- It is a very important matter. I recognise that.

7282. It is much better to tell us what happened, Captain?
- He came to the door, I understand. I have spoken to him very closely since. He said, I opened my eyes and said, "What is it"? and he gave the message; and I said, "What time is it"? and he told me, and then I think he said I asked him whether there were any colours in the light.

7283. That is what the boy has said to you. You have questioned him a good many times since?
- Yes, I have questioned him since.

7284. Is he still an Apprentice in your ship?
- He is.

The Commissioner:
Is he telling the truth?
- Is the boy telling the truth?

7285. Yes.
- I do not know. I do not doubt it for a moment.

7286. (The Attorney-General.) Just think. You say you do not doubt it for a moment. Do you see what that means. That means that the boy did go to the chart room to you. He did tell you about the rockets from the ship and you asked whether they were white rockets, and told him that he was to report if anything further occurred?
- So he said. That is what he said.

7287. Have you any reason to doubt that is true?
- No; I was asleep.

7288. Then do you mean you said this in your sleep to him, that he was to report?
- I very likely was half awake. I have no recollection of this Apprentice saying anything to me at all that morning.

7289. Why did you ask whether they were white rockets?
- I suppose this was on account of the first question they asked, whether they were Company's signals.

7290. Do just think?
- Company signals usually have some colours in them.

7291. So that if they were white it would make it quite plain to you they were distress signals?
- No, I understand some companies have white.

7292. Do really try and do yourself justice?
- I am trying to do my best.

7293. Think you know. Mr. Lord, allow me to suggest you are not doing yourself justice. You are explaining, first of all, that you asked if they were white rockets, because companies' signals are coloured. I am asking you whether the point of your asking whether they were all white rockets was not in order to know whether they were distress signals? Was not that the object of your question, if you put it?
- I really do not know what was the object of my question.

7294. And you think that is why you asked about it?
- I think that is why I asked about it.

7295. I must ask you something more. Do you remember Mr. Stone reporting at twenty minutes to three to you that morning through the tube?
- I do not.

7296. Is there a tube?
- There is a tube.

7297. What is the tube?
- A speaking tube.

7298. To your chart room?
- To my own room.

7299. Were you in your own room?
- No, I was in the chart room.

7300. Would you hear if he reported through the tube to you?
- At a quarter-past one.

7301. He reported through the tube then?
- At a quarter-past one.

7302. Listen to this - he reported to you at twenty minutes to three through the tube and told you that the steamer had disappeared bearing south-west half west. Do you remember that?
- I do not remember it. He has told me that since.

7303. Have you any reason to doubt it?
- I do not know anything at all about it.

7304. Have you any reason to doubt that Mr. Stone, the Officer, is speaking the truth?
- I do not see why he should not tell me the truth.

7305. (The Commissioner.), Is he a reliable, trustworthy man?
- As far as I know of him he is.

7306. (The Attorney-General.) Is he still with you?
- He is still with me.

7307. Listen to this: - "The Captain again asked me if I was sure there were no colours in the lights that had been seen." Do you remember that?
- I do not.

7308. "And that he" - Mr. Stone - "assured you that they were white lights"?
- He has told me all about this since, but I have not the slightest recollection that anything happened that way.

7309. He has told you of this - what he reported to you that night?
- Yes.

7310. And you have no reason to doubt it?
- If he is telling the truth I have not.

7311. Do you doubt it at all?
- I do not know.

7312. This is what he says: "I assured him that they were white lights, and he" - that is you - "said 'All 'right.'" Have you no recollection of that conversation?
- I have no recollection of any conversation between half-past one and half-past four that I had with the Second Officer.

7313. There is only one thing further I want to ask you, who is Mr. Stewart?
- The Chief Officer.

7314. Was it he who called you at half-past four?
- Yes.

7315. And was it he who told you that the second mate had seen rockets?
- Yes.

7316. And did you reply "Yes, I know."?
- I said, Yes, they certainly had told me something about a rocket.

7317. Do you observe the difference in the question I put to you and your answer?
- You mentioned rockets; I mentioned rocket.

7318. That the second mate had said he had seen rockets, and you replied, "Yes, I know." Very well. Now I want to ask you something further. When you were not satisfied that the rocket which you had seen was a company's signal, there was no difficulty in your calling your Marconi operator, was there?
- None whatever.

7319. If you had called him you would have been in communication with the "Titanic," as I understand it?
- Yes, I believe she was sending out signals.

7320. And you would have received the "Titanic's" messages?
- Yes.

7321. If the Marconi operator had been called up then, and he had put the receiver on he would have heard the "Titanic's" messages?
- Yes.

7322. Do you understand Marconi telegraphy at all?
- I know the idea of it. I cannot use it.

7323. Do you know the C.Q.D. signal?
- I know it.

7324. And the S.O.S.?
- Yes.

7325. Can you receive that signal?
- They go too quickly for me.

The Commissioner:
What does C.Q.D. mean?

7326. (The Attorney-General.) C.Q.D. means "Come quick, danger." They are danger signals; and S.O.S. - I am not sure I am quite right about this - is the same signal which has been adopted by a Telegraphic Convention, which means "Save our Souls." The object of the S.O.S. is that it is a very short signal by the Morse code. That is, I understand, the reason why it is given in that way. (To the Witness.) So that anybody on your ship who had put the receiver to his ears would have then heard the "Titanic's" message, the C.Q.D. or the S.O.S.?
- They would have heard the buzzing, yes.

7327. They would have been able to distinguish the signal as long as she was giving it?
- The operator would. I do not think anyone else on the ship would.

7328. The operator would if you had called him?
- Yes.

The Commissioner:
He has produced apparently the log of this vessel. Have you examined it?

The Attorney-General:
I have not.

7329. (The Commissioner.) I think you should. (To the Witness.) Is there any reference in the log to your steamer having seen these rockets?
- No, Sir.

7330. Or this mysterious ship which was not the "Titanic"?
- No, Sir.

7331. Is it not usual to record these things in the log?
- We never realised what these rockets were, my Lord. If they had been distress rockets they would have been mentioned in the log.

7332. But the next morning you knew the "Titanic" had gone down?
- Yes.

7333. Did you make no record then in your log of the signals that you had seen?
- No.

7334. Why not?
- We never took them to be distress rockets. The Second Officer's explanation to me of these rockets was that they were not distress rockets.

7335. Why was all reference to these rockets left out of the log?
- If we had realised they were distress rockets we would have entered them, my Lord.

7336. Do you mean that nobody on board your ship supposed that they might be distress signals?
- The Second Officer, the man in charge of the watch, said most emphatically they were not distress rockets.

7337. Is there anyone on board your boat who thinks that they were?
- Not to my knowledge, my Lord. I have not spoken to any of the crew about it.

7338. (The Attorney-General.) Will you let me see the log. Who wrote it up?
- The Chief Officer writes the log.

7339. (The Commissioner.) Mr. Stewart?
- Yes; and initialed by each Officer at his end of the watch.

Mr. Dunlop:
I have a typewritten copy of the log here if you would like to see it.

7340. (The Attorney-General.) I would rather see the original. (The log was handed to the Attorney-General.) My friend, Mr. Edwards, put some questions about what happened at the Court of Inquiry in America. I have the Report from America, and I think it is right to put this to the Witness. (To the Witness.) I see you said this in answer to Senator Smith, in America: "When I came off the bridge at half-past ten I pointed out to the Officer that I thought I saw a light coming along, and it was a most peculiar light. We had been making mistakes all along with the stars, thinking they were signals"?
- "Most peculiar night," I think that should be.

7341. It may be. "We could not distinguish where the sky ended and where the water commenced." That is right, is it not?
- Yes, that is what I have said.

The Commissioner:
When is this Witness going to sea?

7342. (The Attorney-General.) When does your ship sail?
- Saturday, Sir.

7343. (The Commissioner.) Where will you be in the meanwhile?
- I am going back home, Sir.

7344. Where is home?
- Liscard, Cheshire.

7345. (The Attorney-General.) 10, Ormond Street, Liscard, Cheshire?
- Yes.

Examined by Mr. DUNLOP.

7346. When. did you go on duty on the Sunday morning?
- I got up the usual time - 7 o'clock in the morning.

7347. And were you on duty the whole of that day?
- I was on deck practically the whole of that day.

7348. Had you got reports from east-bound steamers of the presence of ice?
- Yes.

7349. And were you keeping a look-out for ice in consequence of those reports?
- I was.

7350. And I think on that day you encountered ice as we have heard?
- We did.

7351. You retired to your chart room at 12.15?
- 12.15.

7352. Did you undress?
- No.

7353. Did you fall asleep at first?
- I did not fall asleep before twenty minutes to one.

7354. And at 12.40 you got the report from the Second Officer that the steamer which had previously been seen was still in the same position?
- Still in the same position.

7355. (Mr. Dunlop.) At 1.15, you have told us, you got a report -

The Attorney-General:
I do not quite know what this is leading to. My friend is supposing to be cross-examining this Witness. If not, I think it would be better to allow him to tell his story himself. I do not quite appreciate what my friend's position is. I quite understand that he is here for the protection of the Master, and I am raising no objection to that, but in all the circumstances I think it would be better to let him tell a little of the story.

Mr. Dunlop:
I am coming to the part I want him to speak about.

The Commissioner:
I do not think any harm has been done.

The Attorney-General:
I am only intervening so that it may not be done later.

7357. (Mr. Dunlop.) I have brought you to 1.15, the time that you got the second report?
- Yes.

7358. You told us what that report was - that the steamer had commenced to alter her bearing to the south-west?
- Yes.

7359. What did that report lead you to infer?
- That she was steaming away from it.

7360. And if she was steaming to the south-west would the masthead lights in the ordinary course of things disappear?
- Yes.

7361. And would she open then her stern light?
- She would open her stern light.

7362. How far is the stern light supposed to be visible?
- According to the law it is supposed to be visible at two miles.

7363. One mile is the law?
- Is it one mile?

7364. But sometimes they show much further?
- Much further.

7365. But they do not show so far as the masthead lights?
- No.

7366. Might it be that the masthead lights disappeared, showing a stern light, which was not in fact visible at that distance?
- Very likely, yes.

7367. At what time was it, do you think, that you fell asleep after 1.15?
- I think it was somewhere after half-past one. I could hear the Officer Morsing. I could hear the tick of the Morse machine over my head.

7368. Did you sleep soundly?
- I must have done.

7369. If the Apprentice came to your room subsequently, are you conscious of anything that he said to you or what you said to him?
- All I recollect saying is, "What is it?"

7370. Did you remain asleep until 4.30?
- Until 4.30.

7371. Then did you go on the bridge?
- I went on the bridge.

7372. And I think you afterwards heard of the sinking of the "Titanic"?
- Yes.

The Commissioner:
We have had all this, you know.

7373. (Mr. Dunlop.) I am coming now, my Lord, to the questions I wanted to put. (To the Witness.) You were surprised about the "Titanic." Did you question your Second Officer as to why you had not been called?
- I did.

7374. What was his explanation to you?
- He said that he had sent down and called me; he had sent Gibson down, and Gibson had told him I was awake and I had said, "All right, let me know if anything is wanted." I was surprised at him not getting me out, considering rockets had been fired. He said if they had been distress rockets he would most certainly have come down and called me himself, but he was not a little bit worried about it at all.

7375. If they had been distress rockets he would have called you?
- He would have come down and insisted upon my getting up.

7376. And was it his view that they were not distress rockets?
- That was apparently his view.

7377. The position which the "Virginian" reported to you was, I think, 19 1/2 miles South, 16 West, of your position?
- Yes.

7378. How many miles had you, in fact, to steam to get to the place where the wreckage was found?
- I should think 30 miles at the least.

7379. Were you able to proceed to the position indicated by the "Virginian" on a direct course?
- No.

7380. What prevented you from doing that?
- The ice.

7381. Can you indicate what the condition of the ice was between where you were lying and the place where the wreckage was found?
- Ice-field - dense ice-field.

7382. Can you tell us what the extent of the ice-field was?
- The width of it?

7383. Yes, the width of it from your position to the position of the wreck?
- It was running north and south after the style of a T, and the T was dividing the position where the "Titanic" was supposed to have sunk and where we were. I suppose for the two or three miles all the way down to where she was it was studded with bergs and loose ice.

7384. If any vessel was proceeding in a south-westerly direction towards the place where the "Titanic" was she would encounter this field ice?
- Yes.

The Commissioner:
You are falling into the error that the Attorney-General warned you not to fall into. You are putting the words into the man's mouth. You might as well hand your proof to him and tell him to read it out.

7385. (Mr. Dunlop.) Did you prepare a rough sketch to show the position of the ice and also the course which you took from 6 a.m. to 8.30 a.m.?
- Yes, I did, I drew a, rough sketch of it.

Mr. Dunlop:
I would like your Lordship to see the sketch he has made.

The Commissioner:
Hand it up.

(The sketch was handed in.)

The Witness:
It is not to scale or anything.

Mr. Dunlop:
Does that sketch show the position of the field ice?
- Yes.

7386. And the various icebergs?
- Yes, and the various icebergs round.

7387. And it shows the course, does it, which you took to avoid the field ice on your way to the "Titanic"?
- Yes.

7388. I think you had to cut through first of all 3 miles of field ice?
- Two or three miles.

Mr. Dunlop:
That is between 6 and 6.30. Does your Lordship see the three miles of field ice?

7389. (The Commissioner.) Where did you draw this thing?
- I drew that in Boston, my Lord.

7390. Before you were examined in the American Court?
- Yes.

7391. Where were you in Boston when you drew it?
- Aboard the ship.

7392. Who was with you?
- No one.

7393. You sat down and did it yourself?
- Yes.

7394. (Mr. Dunlop.) Was that after you had been summoned to give evidence at the American Enquiry?
- No.

7395. Before that?
- Before.

7396. (The Commissioner.) What did you do it for?
- After the statement that this man Gill made in the papers that we were supposed to have ignored the "Titanic" signals I knew at once there would be an Enquiry over it.

7397. You drew it for the purpose of showing that you had not ignored the signals?
- I did it for the purpose of showing where we were and the course we traveled on our way down to the ship.

7398. But you wanted it in order to meet the charge that was made?
- I did, my Lord.

7399. (Mr. Dunlop.) Your Lordship will see they first of all cut through three miles of field ice. (To the Witness.) Then at 6.30 you steered a southerly course and passed the "Mount Temple" and stopped at about 7.30?
- Yes.

7400. Was there another vessel near the "Mount Temple"?
- There was a, two-masted steamer, pink funnel, black top, steering north down to the north-west.

The Commissioner:
Have you seen this rough sketch?

The Attorney-General:
No.

The Commissioner:
Do you want to see it?

The Attorney-General:
Yes, I should like to see it.

(The sketch was handed to the learned Counsel.)

7401. (Mr. Dunlop.) After 7.30 had you to navigate through the field ice again?
- Yes, I ran along till I got to the "Carpathia" bearing north-east and then I cut straight through the ice at full speed.

7402. From 7.30 to 8.80?
- We were not going through ice the whole of that time. We were running till it must have been about eight.

7403. Supposing you had known at 1.15 a.m. that the "Titanic" was in distress somewhere to the southward and westward of you, could you, in fact, have reached her before she sank?
- What time did she sink?

7404. (The Commissioner.) Do not you know?
- I have heard so many different rumours of that out in the States that I really do not know.

7405. What time do you think she sank?
- Somewhere between 2 and 3.

7406. (Mr. Dunlop.) Assuming that she sank somewhere between 2 and 3, could you, in fact, if you had known at 1.15 a.m. in the morning that the "Titanic" was in distress to the southward and westward of you, have reached her before, say, 3 a.m.?
- No, most certainly not.

7407. Could you have navigated with any degree of safety to your vessel at night through the ice that you, in fact, encountered?
- It would have been most dangerous.

The Commissioner:
Am I to understand that this is what you mean to say, that if he had known that the vessel was the "Titanic" he would have made no attempt whatever to reach it?

7408. (Mr. Dunlop.) No, my Lord. I do not suggest that. (To the Witness.) What would you have done? No doubt you would have made an attempt?
- Most certainly I would have made every effort to go down to her.

7409. Would the attempt from what you now know in fact have succeeded?
- I do not think we would have got there before the "Carpathia" did, if we would have got there as soon.

The Commissioner:
You must leave this sketch with me.

The Attorney-General:
And perhaps we might keep the log till the other Officers have been examined.

The Commissioner:
Mr. Dunlop, what is this long statement in pencil on this piece of paper?

Mr. Dunlop:
Something at the back, my Lord?

The Commissioner:
Yes.

Mr. Dunlop:
I have not seen that. I have only seen the plan.

The Commissioner:
There is a very long statement on the back.

Mr. Dunlop:
I have not seen that, my Lord. Perhaps that is something he wrote out.

7410. (The Commissioner - To Capt. Lord.) What is this long statement on this piece of paper on which you have made a chart?
- They were the notes I made in Boston at the time I made the sketch.

7411. Are these notes supposed to tell the story from your point of view?
- Yes, private notes I made.

(The Witness withdrew.)