British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry

Day 31

Final Arguments, cont.

Sir Robert Finlay:
Yes, my Lord. Your Lordship will understand I am really most grateful for these interruptions, because I am very glad to have my attention called to anything passing in the mind of the Court. I might pass over points which may turn out to be important unless I were indebted to your Lordship for intimations of this kind.

I was reading Mr. Lord's evidence at page 164, and I think I had read all that is material, and I need not read any more.

Then I pass to Mr. Moore, the Commander of the "Mount Temple." That is one of the Canadian Pacific boats. It is on page 208, at Question 9261: "(Q.) Have you instructions from your Company as to what to do when you meet ice? - (A.) We are not to enter field ice under any conditions. (Q.) Just tell us what your instructions are? - (A.) I have not got them here; they do not happen to be in these sailing orders, although I have them. Those instructions we usually get that we are not to enter field ice, no matter how light it may appear. (Q.) Not even in daylight? - (A.) At any time. We are not to enter field ice at any time, no matter how light it may appear. (Q.) When you got warning there was ice ahead, what precautions did you adopt? - (A.) I simply steered down. I went further down to the Southward. (Q.) Did you decrease your speed? - (A.) Not at all; it was daylight. (Q.) What is your highest speed? - (A.) About 11 knots."

The Commissioner:
Then, of course, he does that which, if done in time, gets him out of the region of field ice.

Sir Robert Finlay:
He went further to the Southward; he got only five miles to the South of the berg. I will show your Lordship, when I deal with what Captain Smith did, that he went further to the Southward, and went to the Southward on a course which, so far as the information that he had about ice was concerned there was every probability would be a perfectly safe one.

The Commissioner:
We will come to that.

Sir Robert Finlay:
Yes, I do not propose to turn aside at the moment to deal with that. Then at Question 9379 -

The Commissioner:
Will you read 9316?

Sir Robert Finlay:
Yes, my Lord: "Now would you consider it safe in the neighbourhood of an ice-field, provided your boat had the power, to go ahead at 21 knots an hour? - (A.) It would be most unwise to go that speed at nighttime." I think with that must be read Question 9407: "And when you say it is not wise to go at 21 1/2 knots - I think your expression was in the neighbourhood of ice - did you mean field ice? - (A.) Field ice. (The Commissioner.) And you have never gone through field ice except when you went to the position where the "Titanic" was lost? - (A.) No; I do not pass any ice at all."

The Attorney-General:
The original question is "in the neighbourhood of an ice-field."

Sir Robert Finlay:
Yes; there might have been a slight ambiguity as to the meaning of the term "ice-field" in Question 9316, but that possible ambiguity is removed by Question 9407, which shows he was speaking of field ice.

The Commissioner:
I understand Question 9316 to refer to field ice. An ice-field, I think, means field ice.

Sir Robert Finlay:
So far as the field ice of which we had intimation was concerned we did not see anything of it, and we should not see anything of it.

The Commissioner:
I do not think that is very important.

Sir Robert Finlay:
What is important is that, having regard to the Easterly drift the field ice would have, so far as it had any drift at all - it would drift with the Gulf Stream - the course the Captain took was certain to avoid it, and, as a matter of fact, he did avoid it and avoided it effectually. Then at Question 9379, on page 210, my friend, Mr. Laing, puts this question to the Witness: "Have you had a long experience in the North Atlantic trade? - (A.) Twenty-seven years. (Q.) And do you run to Montreal in the summer and St. John's in the winter? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Have you ever tried using binoculars for your look-out? - (A.) No. (Q.) Is that a new idea to you? - (A.) Yes, it is. (Q.) With regard to yourself, on this voyage did you get a Marconi notice that ice was about? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Was it fine, clear weather? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Did you keep your speed? - (A.) I did. (Q.) I suppose in time you saw ice? - (A.) I saw no ice at all until I went back to the "Titanic's" assistance."

The Commissioner:
But I suppose when he says here that he kept his speed, he means in the daytime.

Sir Robert Finlay:
I do not think so, my Lord - "fine, clear weather." All the Witnesses say they all do so night or day so long as it is clear weather.

The Commissioner:
His speed was only 11 knots.

Sir Robert Finlay:
As your Lordship said just now, it does not make any difference in the principle really. Your Lordship will remember Sir Ernest Shackleton, whose boat, the "Nimrod," had an outside speed of 6 knots, used to slow down to 4 knots when he got among the ice which he had to navigate - navigation, of course, of a very different kind from what we have to deal with in the North Atlantic. I will not enlarge upon that, because I shall comment upon Sir Ernest Shackleton's evidence by and by.

Then the observation which I make upon Mr. Moore's evidence is this, that he speaks to the same practice as every other Witness who knows the trade speaks to, and his observation about the danger of going at 21 1/2 knots is confined to field ice. This gentleman was in the Canadian trade.

Then Mr. Hayes of the "Adriatic," on page 569 -

The Commissioner:
I think I am right in saying that the "Mount Temple" went to the Southward 26 miles?

Sir Robert Finlay:
But Southward of the ice only 5 miles.

The Commissioner:
But Southward of the course.

Sir Robert Finlay:
I cannot at the moment give your Lordship the precise number of miles South of the course; he went five miles South of the Southernmost ice that had been reported to him.

The Commissioner:
Yes, but is it right to say that he steered to a position 26 miles South of the ordinary track?

Sir Robert Finlay:
I will have that worked out, my Lord; I cannot answer your Lordship at the moment.

The Commissioner:
Was the "Mount Temple's" course the same as the "Titanic's"?

Sir Robert Finlay:
No, I do not think so.

The Commissioner:
I think not.

Sir Robert Finlay:
No.

The Commissioner:
And if it was not, I am in confusion about this.

Sir Robert Finlay:
May I call attention to a passage in the evidence of this Witness, which I think makes the matter clear? It is on page 207, near the beginning of Mr. Moore's evidence. At Question 9224 he says he was going West, "on our sixty-second voyage West." Then at Question 9226 he is asked, "On the 12th April did you receive a message from the "Corinthian," informing you that there was ice? - (A.) On the 13th April. (Q.) Where was that ice? - (A.) 42 deg. 15 min. N. and 49 deg. 48 min. W.; 41 deg. 25 min. N., 50 deg. 20 min. W."

The Commissioner:
What does that mean?

Sir Robert Finlay:
I suppose it is between these limits: "(Q.) In consequence of that information did you alter your course? - (A.) I did. (Q.) When you got that information what course were you on? - (A.) About S. 65 deg. W. (Q.) And in consequence of that information to what did you alter your course? - (A.) Just a little to the Southward of that, because I went straight down to 50 deg. W." That "52 deg." should certainly be "42 deg." Instead of going down to 52 deg." - that is 42 deg. - "and 47 deg. W., I went down to 50 deg. W. and 41 deg. 20 min. N."

Now, your Lordship sees what he did. He did not turn at the ordinary corner. Your Lordship recollects that on the chart the corner is marked. He did not turn there; he ran down to 50 deg. W. and 41 deg. 20 min. N.; that is to say, he took a course that took him 5 miles to the South of the ice that had been reported.

The Commissioner:
Did that take him out of the ice-field as advised in the telegram; it took him clear?

Sir Robert Finlay:
As advised in the telegram which he got from the "Corinthian." What he did, my Lord, was to continue his course, instead of turning at the corner. He continued his course until he got to a point 5 miles South of the most Southerly ice that had been reported to him. So that your Lordship sees how like his proceedings up to a certain point were to those of the "Titanic." He did not turn at the corner, he ran on, and he ran on until he got to a latitude which was 5 miles South of the most Southerly ice that had been reported to him; he went on at his ordinary speed, 11 knots.

The Commissioner:
He did not steer clear of the ice-field that is advised to him. By the "ice-field" I mean the space over which the ice was.

Sir Robert Finlay:
I hope to prove to demonstration that the "Titanic" did escape all the ice that had been reported to her. She was struck by what must have been another berg.

The Commissioner:
What I mean is the telegrams advised her of the existence of icebergs and field ice within a certain parallelogram.

Sir Robert Finlay:
That telegram never got to the bridge; that is the "Mesaba" telegram.

The Commissioner:
See if I have it right now. Did the course steered by the "Titanic" take her about five miles South of the nearest ice of which she had advice?

The Attorney-General:
The "Mount Temple," I think your Lordship means.

The Commissioner:
No, I am talking about the "Titanic" now.

Sir Robert Finlay:
Yes, about that, my Lord.

The Commissioner:
That is what I am told - four or five miles. I am taking the three telegrams.

Sir Robert Finlay:
Yes, my Lord.

The Commissioner:
And none other. She was South of all the ice.

Sir Robert Finlay:
She was South of the position.

The Commissioner:
Of all the ice referred to in these three telegrams?

Sir Robert Finlay:
Yes.

The Commissioner:
And the nearest ice referred to in these three telegrams was over four or five miles to the North.

Sir Robert Finlay:
Certainly. I will deal in detail by-and-by with the course that the Captain took and his reasons for it, because, of course, one has to bear in mind that while the bergs are drifting and may be drifting Southward if they are so bulky as to get through the Gulf Stream down to the Labrador Current below, the field ice and any bergs which are not so bulky as to get down through the Gulf Stream to the Labrador Current will be drifting Eastward. And I shall show your Lordship, I hope, that the Captain had very good reasons for going just as far South as he did and not further. I hope to show beyond all doubt that the berg which struck the "Titanic" was not a portion of any ice which had been reported to him.

The Commissioner:
You have gone away from the point to another point.

Sir Robert Finlay:
But the points your Lordship puts are so important that I do not like to pass them by, but I want to clear them up as I go along.

The Commissioner:
You are quite right.

Sir Robert Finlay:
Now I have finished with Mr. Moore's evidence, and I pass on to the evidence of Mr. Hayes, of the "Adriatic," on page 569. He states his experience in the first column on that page, and at Question 21804 he is asked with regard to the matter upon which the Court is engaged. He is first asked about the look-out.

The Commissioner:
Tell me, to begin with, what line this gentleman belongs to.

Sir Robert Finlay:
The "Adriatic," the White Star Line. Then Question 21809 and the following questions are devoted to the look-out. I will not read them, because I shall have to deal with the look-out by itself. At Question 21814 he is asked: "Did you proceed at the same rate of speed? - (A.) At the same rate of speed. (Q.) You made no alteration? - (A.) No alteration. (Q.) Is that the practice in your line, so far as you know? - (A.) It is the practice all over the world, so far as I know - every ship that crosses the Atlantic. (Q.) To make no alteration in speed, notwithstanding that you may have been advised of the presence of ice? - (A.) Ice does not make any difference to speed in clear weather. You can always see ice then. (Q.) The experience of the "Titanic" shows you cannot always? - (A.) There were abnormal circumstances there which nobody has ever experienced before. (Q.) But you said you can always see it? - (A.) In clear weather, I am talking of. (Q.) Now I want to ask you, at night - supposing you are steaming at night, and it is reported that along the course you are following you will come into an ice-field, according to your view would you make any reduction in the rate of speed? - (A.) None, till I saw the ice. (Q.) None till you saw the ice? - (A.) No. (Q.) If you saw it too close it would be too late? - (A.) But you would not see it too close in clear weather. (Q.) What? - (A.) You would not see it too close in clear weather. That is my experience. (Q.) Of course, I am only asking you according to that. Is this right then? Supposing the weather is clear, and a proper look-out is being kept, you would be able to see ice at sufficient distance to enable you to avoid it? - (A.) Certainly. (Q.) That is what you mean? - (A.) That is what I mean. (Q.) Whatever your rate of speed? - (A.) Whatever my rate of speed. (Q.) And supposing you have an iceberg which is 60 to 80 feet high from the sea level, how far off do you think you would see that on a clear night? - (A.) Six or seven miles, I should say. I have seen it 10 miles. (Q.) What is it that you see; what is it first calls your attention to the fact that there is an iceberg there? - (A.) You see a light there; the ice is light. (Q.) You mean light against the horizon? - (A.) It is like looking at that piece of paper on the wall; you can see the brightness." Then I think he pointed across to the plan of the "Titanic."

The Attorney-General:
Yes.

Sir Robert Finlay:
"Colour - something which attracts your attention? - (A.) The brightness of it attracts your attention. (Q.) And is that the way you distinguish it at night? - (A.) That is the way you distinguish it any time; you see the colour of it. It is differentiated from land in the daytime. (Q.) Have you ever been very close to an iceberg yourself? - (A.) Not in clear weather. I have steamed in between them. They have been scattered all over about the course on either bow, and I have gone on my course steering between them at nighttime. (Q.) I should assume that was in the daytime from what you tell me? - (A.) At nighttime, approaching Belle Isle. (The Commissioner.) Going full speed? - (A.) Going full speed."

The Commissioner:
What was the speed of this man's ship?

Sir Robert Finlay:
The Attorney-General asks the question, my Lord: "What is your full speed? - (A.) 18 knots; the "Laurentic" was 18 knots. (Q.) That was on the Canadian service? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Of the White Star Line? - (A.) Of the White Star Line. (The Commissioner.) That is in the track North? - (A.) Yes, by Belle Isle. (The Attorney-General.) Where you would meet more ice and expect to meet more ice than on this track? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Is that your invariable practice? - (A.) Everybody's invariable practice, as far as I know. (The Commissioner.) No, not everybody's, because we have had evidence about the Canadian Pacific boat, I think it was. (Sir Robert Finlay.) Not on this point, my Lord." That was cleared up. That related to the notice about field ice; they were not to enter field ice at any time. I endeavoured to summarise it at page 570 in the first column. "(Sir Robert Finlay.) I think it stops there - they are not to enter field ice - because it is given more in detail in our Rule, which was issued to vessels using that track, the Northern track, to Canada, and it was pointed out that even if there is a lane it may very likely be a lane which does not go very far. It is no use to enter the ice. (The Attorney-General.) It does not really stop there, it goes further. The next is: 'When you got warning there was ice ahead, what precautions did you adopt? - (A.) I simply steered down. I went down further to the Southward," and he says his highest speed was about 11 knots." That is referring to the evidence of Mr. Moore. (Sir Robert Finlay.) He is asked: 'Did you decrease your speed? - (A.) Not at all; it was daylight. (The Attorney-General.) He steered further to the Southward."

The Commissioner:
If it had been night he would?

The Attorney-General:
It is the qualification of the answer before. The Witness does say it was daytime.

Sir Robert Finlay:
All the other evidence of the Witnesses who deal with night say it makes no difference.

The Commissioner:
But that answer plainly indicates a distinction in the man's mind.

Sir Robert Finlay:
Not necessarily, my Lord. Very often a man saying -

The Commissioner:
Well, it is a matter for observation, perhaps.

Sir Robert Finlay:
He puts in a circumstance which is perfectly true, but he would have done the same, even if that circumstance had not existed. Then the Attorney-General in the second column on page 570 says: "Then he is asked if he makes any change in the look-out, and he says: "If we expect to see ice we always double the look-out." That is how it stands, I think. We shall have to consider later the evidence already given. (To the Witness.) I only want to get your view. Supposing you had had a report of field ice ahead, not of icebergs, would you still steam full speed ahead? - (A.) Till I saw that ice in clear weather, yes. (Q.) Even at nighttime? - (A.) On a clear night." Your Lordship sees that deals with that point. "(Q.) What I do not quite understand is this: Where there was an iceberg of from 60 to 80 feet from the sea level, and it was not seen until within half a mile away, how do you account for that if it was a clear night? - (A.) I was not there on that night. (The Commissioner.) That is my difficulty. (The Attorney-General.) I agree. (The Witness.) There must have been some abnormal conditions which misled them. (The Commissioner.) Or there was a bad look-out. (The Attorney-General.) Either one or the other. (The Witness.) I do not think there was, my Lord. I have known the two men, and there is no carelessness. (The Attorney-General.) I am not going to ask you to say there was a bad look-out on another White Star Line boat; do not think that. - (A.) No, not against the men." I do not think the Attorney-General and the Witness were quite on the same point there. The Attorney-General's question was ironical, and the Witness was answering in all simplicity and good faith.

The Attorney-General:
That is quite right.

Sir Robert Finlay:
Therefore, I think I am entitled to claim the evidence of this Witness as entirely bearing out the evidence I have already called attention to as to practice both by day and by night. Then Mr. Passow, who is a Captain in the American Line, at page 571, is the next Witness. He has a British Master's certificate and has been in command as Master for the last 28 years. He has been serving in the Inman Line and now in the American Line. Then at Question 21856 he is asked: "The Inman Line, as we know, has become an American line, and you passed on from the British company's service into the service of the American company? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) I think you have crossed the Atlantic some 700 times? - (A.) About that. I have never kept an accurate record, but about 700 times. (Q.) And at the present moment you are in command of the "St. Paul"? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) She is one of the American Inman Line boats? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) What speed boat is she? - (A.) About 20 knots. (Q.) I think I can shorten your evidence in this way: Have you heard the evidence of the last gentleman who was in the box? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Did you hear the statements of fact that he spoke to? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) And the expressions of opinion that he uttered? - (A.) Quite so. (Q.) Do you agree or disagree with the statement of facts? - (A.) I agree with it. (Q.) With regard to the expression of opinions, do you agree or disagree? - (A.) Yes." That means he agrees with the expression of opinion.

Then, on the same page, I asked him, at Question 21872: "Do you see a great deal of ice on the tracks you follow? - (A.) On the Northern track we see a great deal. (Q.) You have had a very large experience of ice? - (A.) I have had a very large experience of ice. (Q.) I do not know whether your Lordship caught the last answer of the Witness. He said that on that track, which he described as going 30 miles South of the Virgins, they saw a great deal of ice, including field ice. You have had a very large experience of ice? - (A.) Yes, a large experience of ice. (Q.) Did you ever slacken your speed for ice as long as the weather was quite clear? - (A.) Not as long as it was quite clear - no, not until we saw it. If it was field ice, of course we kept out of it if we could. We get into it sometimes. (Q.) Was that the same by night and by day? - (A.) The same by night and by day, as long as the weather was absolutely clear." Then he deals with the question of binoculars. Then at Question 21880 he is examined by the Attorney-General. "(Q.) I want to understand one thing. You said you never altered your speed because you could always depend upon seeing the ice in sufficient time? - (A.) As long as the weather is perfectly clear. (Q.) Has the disaster to the "Titanic" caused you in any way to modify your view? - (A.) I do not think so. Of course, I was not there, and I did not see what they looked like. But I have never seen an iceberg of that size that you could not see on a perfectly clear night, and far enough off safely to clear it. I have seen a piece, quite a small piece, that you could see some distance off. (The Commissioner.) If you are right, and if this was - as we have been told by a great many Witnesses it was - a perfectly clear night, how do you account for the collision? - (A.) I cannot account for it at all. They say it looked like a black iceberg, but I have never seen a black iceberg. I never saw anything but a white one, and that you can see on the darkest night. You can see field ice, too, on the darkest night in time enough for you to get out of the way of it. (Q.) We have had an explanation given of it by Mr. Lightoller. He said, that the sea was absolutely flat - there was not, as I understood him, even a swell - and that the consequence of that was that there was no surf of any kind round the base of the iceberg. By the base, I mean the margin on the waterline, and that, therefore, one of the best indications for the seeing of ice was absent. What do you think about that? - (A.) I think you would see the surf round it at a shorter distance than you would see the iceberg, if it was a large one. The ice has a phosphorescent appearance. (Q.) I should have thought, that, as a seaman, you would have had some sort of explanation to suggest? - (A.) I cannot think of anything, because they say the ice was dark blue, almost black. I never saw an iceberg like that in my life, and I have seen a good deal of ice too. (Q.) Does that lead you to infer that they are mistaken when they say it was black? - (A.) I would not like to say that, my Lord. I do not know, of course; I was not there, but I never saw an iceberg of that kind. (Q.) Have you ever seen a growler? - (A.) These low bergs? (Q.) Yes? - (A.) Very seldom. (Q.) What is the colour of a growler? - (A.) White. (Q.) The same as an iceberg? - (A.) The same as an iceberg, only a smaller one. That is what I understand by a growler - a low-lying berg. We always see those. (Q.) If there was any haze, I suppose it would be seen from the bridge? - (A.) The berg? (Q.) No. If there was any haze the haze would be seen? - (A.) Immediately. As soon as there is the slightest beard on the green light and we are in the ice region we slow down, because you cannot say how far you can see, but when it is absolutely clear we do not slow down for ice. (Q.) Of course, if there had been a haze you could have accounted for it? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Would a bad look-out account for it? - (A.) Yes, but I do not believe there are bad look-outs on any Atlantic steamers. I do not believe that. (Q.) There were two men in this crow's-nest and there were two Officers, I think, on the bridge. You do not suppose there could have been a bad look-out? - (A.) No, I should not think so. I never knew a bad look-out on these steamers, especially when you are in the ice region - not necessarily because ice was reported, but from longitude 41 to 51 we are always looking out for it. (Q.) If a haze comes on, is it the duty of the man in the crow's-nest to report it to the bridge? - (A.) No, Sir, it is not; we would know it quicker than he would, or just as quick, because we always see the little blur on the green light." It is what he has referred to as the "beard"; it is a familiar expression.

The Commissioner:
Yes, I know what it means.

Sir Robert Finlay:
"(Q.) It is the business of the man on the bridge to notice it? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) And to give directions accordingly? - (A.) Call the captain of the ship immediately. (Further examined by Sir Robert Finlay.) (Q.) May I suggest one question with regard to what the Witness said as to what Mr. Lightoller said? You said that you thought that if there had been a swell the white of the waves breaking at the foot of the iceberg would not be seen further than the iceberg itself? - (A.) I do not think it would be seen as far, unless there was a sea on. Then you would see the breakers just like breakers breaking on the beach. (Q.) I am speaking only of an ordinary swell? - (A.) No, I should think you would see the berg first. (Q.) You are speaking of the icebergs of which you have experience - white icebergs? - (A.) Yes." Your Lordship remembers he said he had never seen a black iceberg. "(Q.) Suppose you had a black iceberg? - (A.) I would not see it, I suppose. (Q.) Would the white of the waves, if there was a swell, be seen further under those circumstances? - (A.) Oh, yes, of course, according to the amount of sea. (Q.) You were speaking of the white icebergs with which you are familiar? - (A.) Quite so, yes."

The next Witness is Mr. Owen Jones, of the "Canada." That is one of the vessels of the Dominion Line. It is at page 664, Question 23612: "Tell us what you did when you found yourself in the neighbourhood of the ice. That is what we want to know? - (A.) It was some hours later when we came to the ice. (Q.) Whenever it was, what did you do? - (A.) When I saw the ice I stopped. (The Commissioner.) This was pack ice? - (A.) Yes. (The Solicitor-General.) What sort of ice? - (A.) Pack ice. (Q.) You stopped altogether, did you? - (A.) Yes, I stopped altogether. I let my ship run her way off, and then I gave her a touch ahead, so as to get close to the ice, so as to inspect it. (Q.) Was this in daylight or at night? - (A.) At night, 11 o'clock at night. (Q.) Then you say you gave your ship a touch ahead to get close to the ice to have a look at it? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) What did you find? - (A.) Broken ice and lanes between them, so I decided it was safe for me to go through. (The Commissioner.) To go through? - (A.) Yes, my Lord. (The Solicitor-General.) At what speed did you go through? - (A.) Oh, very slow; I picked my way clear of the broken pieces. (Q.) And did you succeed in getting through? - (A.) Yes, I was through about daylight the next morning, about 6 o'clock. (Q.) After you got the messages about the ice did you continue going on full speed ahead until the ice was reported by the look-out? - (A.) Yes, certainly. (The Commissioner.) Now, I see the object. (The Solicitor-General.) That is the point. (To the Witness.) Is that, in your opinion, the usual practice? - (A.) Certainly, always. (The Commissioner.) What speed were you going at? - (A.) 15 knots. (The Solicitor-General.) Is that your full speed? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) What was the weather? - (A.) Dark and clear. (The Commissioner.) Suppose you had had a 22-knot boat, would you have gone 22 knots? - (A.) I should think it would be just as safe to go full speed with 22 knots. (The Solicitor-General.) What was the distance at which the ice was picked up? You are going your 15 knots, and it is reported, and then you say you stopped and ran on to reach it. Do you know how far ahead of you it was seen and reported? - (A.) Well, I saw the glare of it; I should say about 3 miles off. (Q.) You did yourself? - (A.) Yes, and I saw the ice itself fully a mile and a half. (Q.) Then I understand you stopped, let your vessel come to a stop, and then felt your way on to inspect it? - (A.) Yes."

I think I should read a passage at the very end of page 664, Question 23646: "With your experience on a clear night, have you always been able to detect ice by this ice-blink? - (A.) No, not by the ice-blink; the ice-blink does not always occur. (Q.) Then, if it is not the ice-blink which enables you to see it, what do you see it by? - (A.) You see the ice itself. (Q.) Can you suggest to us at all why it should be, if a good look-out is kept, that a ship would not see ice until she is close upon it? - (A.) No. (Q.) You cannot imagine? - (A.) No; I have always seen ice in plenty of time on a clear night."

Then at page 666, Question 23708: "(Q.) Where you have ice about, in your experience are you liable to have fogs? - (A.) Very liable. (Q.) Does that, in your judgment, afford any reason for the practice you have always pursued as to speed? - (A.) Yes, we always make what speed we can. (Q.) Just tell us, in your own way, what effect that fact has on your practice as to speed? - (A.) Well, we always try to get through the ice track as quickly as possible in clear weather. (Q.) If fog came on while you were there? - (A.) It would increase the danger very much. We have to slow down or stop."

The Commissioner:
Are there many cases reported of collisions with icebergs?

Sir Robert Finlay:
Very few, my Lord.

The Commissioner:
I think there are very few indeed.

Sir Robert Finlay:
Very few.

The Commissioner:
There was one a good many years ago.

Sir Robert Finlay:
The "Arizona" I think your Lordship is referring to.

The Commissioner:
Is that the only one?

Sir Robert Finlay:
I think that is the only reported case, as far as I know.

The Commissioner:
I mean a reported case.

Sir Robert Finlay:
It will be in the early eighties.

The Commissioner:
This is 1880.

The Attorney-General:
Of course, you could not get the ordinary collision action; you have that difficulty.

The Commissioner:
That is so.

Sir Robert Finlay:
Not in rem against an iceberg.


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