British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry

Day 19

Testimony of Paul Mauge

Examined by the ATTORNEY-GENERAL.

20074. Were you Secretary to the Chef of the Restaurant a la carte on the "Titanic"?
- Yes, I was.

20075. You have never been on a ship before?
- No, it was the first time.

20076. First of all, do you remember where your berth was - was it 21?
- My cabin, do you mean?

20077. Yes?
- 21.

20078. Was it by the engine room?
- I cannot tell you exactly; any way, I had No. 21.

20079. Do you remember whether it was on the port or starboard side?
- Well, it was on the left side.

20080. That is the port side; and in the third class corridor, was it?
- In the third class corridor.

20081. Do you remember what deck it was on?
- I can show you by this model, if you wish.

20082. Yes, show us by this?
- It was this one (Pointing.) I cannot say exactly; it is very difficult to say, but it was the third class corridor.

20083. We will see if we can arrive at it more closely directly. There were other people in your cabin, I suppose?
- We were four.

20084. Were you asleep when the vessel came into collision with the iceberg?
- Yes; I was sleeping.

20085. Did it wake you up?
- The head pastry cook got up and I got up after him.

20086. Did he call you?
- No; I got up after when I saw him come back, but one steward said to me "Oh, there is no danger; it is better you go to sleep." I had been sleeping again. At the moment I heard the alarm signal, and I went to the front, but the stewards sent me back to my cabin.

20087. I think I heard you saying there was an alarm signal?
- Yes, an alarm signal.

20088. What do you mean by that?
- A ringing.

20089. A bell ringing?
- Yes.

20090. Down where you were on the third class corridor?
- Yes.

20091. Alarming everybody on that corridor?
- Yes.

20092. That is what I wanted to know. Then did you come out of your cabin?
- Yes, I have been on the front of the ship, just to see what it was, but a lot of people came and sent me back to my cabin. I have been passing by the staircase of the restaurant, and I have been on the first class passenger deck. I forgot to tell you before that I saw Captain Smith had been to the engine room. He came back two minutes after. After that I have been to the first class passenger room by the staircase and I saw Captain Smith again at the first lifeboat. He said to a lady, "It is all right, lady."

20093. It was for her to get into the boat?
- Yes.

20094. Do I understand it rightly, he was encouraging a lady to get into the boat?
- Yes, because no lady or gentleman would like to go; everybody thought it would be quite safe.

20095. When you heard the bell ringing, giving the alarm in the third class corridor, did you see other persons coming out of that third class corridor?
- Yes, a lot of persons came from the front and went to the back, some of them with luggage, some with children. Some showed us a piece of ice.

20096. What I want to understand from you is, the effect apparently of the ringing of the bell there was to alarm the third class passengers in that corridor?
- Yes, it was to alarm the third class passengers.

20097. I thought I understood you to say that some went forward?
- I do not follow exactly.

20098. Were you near the chef's room?
- Yes.

20099. That will help us - on the same deck?
- Yes, on the same deck and the same corridor.

20100. That would be deck E - near the pantry were you?
- It was marked "pantry," but no pantryman was with us; it was washing men - men who washed the plates.

20101. What were the men who were in the cabin with you?
- The pastry cook and two washing men. They washed some plates or glasses or something like that.

20102. (The Attorney-General.) I see about where it is. If you look at E deck, My Lord, it is somewhere here (Pointing on the plan.) (To the witness.) When you speak of the third class corridor, I should like to understand what you mean by that. Was that the corridor into which your cabin opened?
- Yes.

20103. And were there also a number of third class cabins with passages leading down to the side of the ship?
- Yes, the cabin of the chef was just close to the ship.

20104. Close to the side of the ship?
- Yes.

20105. That is where your cabin was, do you mean?
- Yes, I was three before.

20106. So you had to walk down the corridor to get to yours; it was the fourth cabin, the nearest to the side of the ship?
- No, that was for the chef only; the chef was the nearest cabin on the side of the ship. I was four or three rooms before.

The Attorney-General:
Your Lordship sees the "chef"; that is on the port side and he is quite right. That is the closest; that is just on the side of the ship, against the side of the ship.

The Commissioner:

20107. (The Attorney-General - To the witness.) And you say you were before that?
- Yes.

The Attorney-General:
He means by that that there were four.

The Witness:
Four or three cabins and three people with me. We were four together.

20108. There were three cabins?
- Yes.

20109. Yours was one of the three cabins?
- Yes, the last one.

20110. In your cabin there were four persons?
- Yes.

20111. (The Attorney-General.) Then what he means, I understand, My Lord, is that there would be three cabins before you got to the last cabin against the side of the ship. (To the witness.) So that you would have to walk down a corridor or an alleyway, and yours would be the first of the three. Was it so?
- The first of the three, the nearest to the corridor.

The Attorney-General:
That is right, it would be nearest to the corridor before you turn.

20112. (The Commissioner - To the witness.) When you were walking towards the chef's cabin, was your cabin on your left-hand side?
- On my left-hand side, yes.

20113. Was it near where the fourth cook was?
- Well, it was marked so, but they changed their cabin with some others.

The Commissioner:
I think I know sufficiently well, Mr. Attorney, where it was.

20114. (The Attorney-General.) I see it better on a larger plan. (To the witness.) There was a wide corridor first of all, along which you walked?
- Yes.

20115. And if you were walking towards the stern of the ship - you know what I mean - the afterpart of the ship?
- Yes.

20116. Did you turn to the right in order to go to your cabin?
- I do not follow you exactly.

20117. Well, as I understand you there is a wide corridor, and then from that there is a smaller corridor which runs at right angles to the side of the ship?
- The small corridor was where I was, My room, My cabin, and the chef too; my cabin was on the left and the cabin of the chef was on the right.

20118. That is quite right; on the larger plan it is much easier to see, My Lord. (The Attorney-General pointed out the position on the larger plan.) Very well, now we understand. When you say you came out in consequence of the alarm and got into the corridor, do you mean the wide corridor?
- The big corridor, yes.

20119. When you got into the big corridor which way did you go?
- The first time I tried to go in front of the ship just to see what had happened, but there was a rush of people sent me back to my cabin. I went on the first class passenger deck and I saw there Captain Smith.

20120. I do not want to go through that. When you came back did you go along the stern of the ship at all?
- I have been once on the first class passenger deck.

20121. Did you have a difficulty?
- No, because we had a staircase which was going on the first class passenger deck, a private staircase only for the staff.

20122. Then you did get there?
- Yes.

20123. Did you see women and children being put into the boat?
- Yes, but not many, because that was only the first one.

20124. Only the first boat?
- Yes, the first boat.

The Commissioner:
The first boat does not mean No. 1?

The Attorney-General:
No, he means the first boat launched.

The Witness:

20125. What became of all the other persons who were employed in the restaurant; did they remain on the deck or did they go up with you?
- Well, I go down again, and I said to the chef, "There is some danger happening; we must get up." He lost his temper - he lost himself.

20126. He lost his presence of mind?
- Yes.

20127. Do you mean that he was agitated at what you told him?
- Yes.

20128. And lost his head - is that what you mean?
- Yes. I said to the other cooks to wait for us. After that we had been by the third class deck just at the back, and we have been trying to go on the second class passenger deck. Two or three stewards were there, and would not let us go. I was dressed and the chef was too. He was not in his working dress; he was just like me. I asked the stewards to pass. I said I was the secretary to the chef, and the stewards said, "Pass along, get away." So the other cooks were obliged to stay on the deck there; they could not go up. That is where they die.

20129. The other cooks were not allowed to pass?
- They could not go on this deck (Pointing on the model.)

20130. Why?
- Because some stewards were there, and would not let them pass.

20131. (The Commissioner.) Who were there?
- Some of the stewards, some members of the crew.

20132. (The Attorney-General.) You say they would not let them pass. You were allowed to pass?
- They let me pass, Me and the chef, because I was dressed like a passenger. I think that was why they let me pass.

20133. You think?
- I think, I cannot say.

20134. When you got on deck were they still putting the women and children in the boats?
- Oh, yes.

20135. Was this right, that they were preventing the men, the cooks and the other persons, engaged in the restaurant, from coming up on the deck where they were putting the women and children into the boats. Is that what you mean?
- No. I mean exactly this, that it was not possible for the number of the crew of the restaurant to be saved, because on the third class passenger deck there was no lifeboat at all, and it was not possible for them to go on the second class passenger deck.

20136. There was no lifeboat on the third class deck. That is right?
- No, that is what I say.

20137. You mean they could not get into a lifeboat unless they had got up on the boat deck?
- That is right.

20138. And they were not allowed to get up on the boat deck?
- No, Sir; they were not.

20139. (The Commissioner.) Why were they not allowed to get up on the boat deck? Why was it they were kept from getting to the boat deck?
- Well, I cannot say; I do not know.

20140. (The Attorney-General.) How many of them were there?
- I think all the members of the restaurant were there.

20141. How many would that be?
- Perhaps 60.

20142. You mean "soixante"?
- Ah! You understand French. Yes, 20 cooks and 40 waiters.

20143. They were all men, I suppose?
- Yes.

Very well, then we understand. When you came on the deck they were loading the boats, were they.

20144-5. (The Commissioner.) Who was keeping them back?
- Who was keeping the men from the restaurant from going on the second class deck?

20146. Yes?
- Some stewards.

20147. How many stewards?
- Well, there were two or three on each side.

20148. Am I to understand two or three stewards were keeping back 60 men?
- I cannot say after that how they managed to try to pass. Anyway they could not pass because I stood on the second class passenger deck for half-an-hour.

20149. And you did not see them?
- I did not see them.

20150. (The Attorney-General.) You stayed on there for half-an-hour and then eventually you got up on to the boat deck, did you not?
- Yes, after.

20151. Then after you got up to the boat deck they were still putting the women and children into the boats?
- Yes.

20152. Did you see any boats lowered whilst you were on the boat deck?
- I do not follow you exactly.

20153. (The Commissioner.) Did you see any boats put into the water?
- Yes, I saw some; just the last one.

20154. (The Attorney-General.) On which side do you mean?
- On this side.

20155. The starboard side?
- Yes.

20156. Do you mean the last one of the last four?
- It was the second or third, I cannot say which of the two.

20157. Do you mean you saw the second or third of the last four boats on the starboard side let down into the water?
- Yes.

20158. And filled with women and children, were they?
- No, because some of the women stayed with their husbands and would not like to go.

20159. You got into one of the boats, did you not?
- Oh, no; the second or third lifeboat was between two decks and I jumped directly from the top deck to this lifeboat. About six or ten persons were jumping in it.

20160. Now let me understand that. Are you speaking now of the second or third lifeboat of those last four on the right side?
- Yes.

20161. It had been lowered, or was being lowered to the water?
- Yes, it was going to the water, but it was between two decks when I jumped.

20162. But it was stopped between the two decks?
- Yes, was stopped between the two decks.

20163. And then you jumped into it?
- Yes.

20164. About 10 feet?
- I cannot say; I do not know.

20165. (The Commissioner.) How big a jump did you take? Just show us along this curtain?
- About half this, perhaps. (Pointing.)

20166. Down to where you are standing?
- Yes, to the lifeboat.

20167. (The Attorney-General.) He said about 10 feet. (To the witness.) You got into the boat, and eventually were saved?
- Yes, but before that I did ask the chef to jump many times, but the chef was too fat I must say - too big, you know. He could not jump.

20168. He was too stout, and, at any rate, he would not jump?
- No.

20169. You jumped. I suppose you saw it was very serious?
- Yes, and when I was in the lifeboat I shouted to him again in French. "Sautez."

20170. To jump down to you?
- Yes; he said something, but I could not hear because at the same moment a man said to me, "Shut up," or something like that. At the same moment another man from the "Titanic" (because at the moment the lifeboat was going down past the other deck; it was just like that.), a man from the "Titanic" tried to get me off to take my seat.

20171. He tried to take you off?
- Yes.

20172. You were in the boat?
- Yes, he tried to take me off the lifeboat.

20173. Where could he take you off; the boat was being lowered?
- That is what I said, the boat was lower. I will show you. The boat was just like there. (Pointing on the model.)

20174. Do you mean he leant forward. I do not understand how he could try, if your boat was being lowered. What do you mean by saying he tried to get you off the boat?
- He did try.

20175. (The Commissioner.) Where did he take hold of you?
- Well, just when the lifeboat arrived at the deck.

20176. Do you mean took hold of your arm?
- No, like that, just on the back.

20177. Of the back of you, by your coat?
- Yes.

20178. You were on the boat, and he was on the "Titanic"?
- He was on the "Titanic."

20179. (The Attorney-General.) And your boat was then going down, was it?
- Yes.

20180. And as you passed he caught you by the coat. Is that it?
- Yes, that is what I mean exactly.

Examined by Mr. SCANLAN.

20181. Had you a lifebelt on?
- Yes.

20182. And all your people had got lifebelts - those 60?
- Yes.

20183. Was this objection to people going up on to the deck only to your class of people - stewards from the Chef's Department?

The Commissioner:
No, the objection was by stewards, and it was made against waiters in the restaurant.

20184. (Mr. Scanlan.) I only want to get from him, My Lord, that this did not apply to passengers or anybody else. (To the witness.) This did not apply to passengers, did it; there were no passengers prevented from going up?
- No, there were not.

Examined by Sir ROBERT FINLAY.

20185. You were allowed to pass because you were taken for a passenger?
- Yes, but I said to the members of the crew that I was secretary to the chef. I said, "There is the chef, and I am his secretary." That is what I said to the steward, and he let me pass.

The Commissioner:
I regret to say so, but, it is unintelligible to me. What was it he said?

20186. (The Attorney-General.) He said he was secretary to the chef, and upon that they let him pass?
- I was secretary to the chef, and I said to the steward, "I am secretary, and there is the chef. Can you let me pass?" and he said, "All right, get away," and he let me pass.

20187. (Sir Robert Finlay.) I thought you said you were dressed so that you might be supposed to be a passenger?
- I think so; I was dressed like a passenger, just like this.

The Attorney-General:
The steward might have thought that the secretary to the chef was a passenger.

The Commissioner:
It was his dress, and that he was secretary to the chef; the two together got him through.

(The Witness withdrew.)