Examined by MR. WICKHAM.
289. What was the number of passengers carried on the "Lusitania” at normal times?
- I am afraid that question is very much too vague. It depends on the season.
290. I put it to you that the number was practically the same as on normal occasions on this particular occasion?
- No, that was not so.
291. How do you say it differs. The figures are there were 290 saloon passengers. On ordinary occasions, I put it to you, there are only about 300?
- First class?
- Then the second class.
293. Of the second class there were 600. What do you say would be the ordinary number?
- Anything from 400 to 500.
294. Then do you agree that the number of passengers on this particular voyage of the "Lusitania” was normal?
- No, because you have left out the third class passengers.
295. The number of third class was 267 on this occasion?
- The normal number would be about a thousand.
296. You spoke just now about authorizing the Captain to come up without a pilot. Have you ever authorized a captain to come up without a pilot in pre-war times?
- I cannot remember.
297. Have you ever on any occasion; or has your Company, paid the fines of the captains when they have disobeyed the orders as to coming up without a pilot?
Mr. Butler Aspinall:
I do not know whether this question, or the answer which Mr. Booth might give, would be of any value to your Lordship.
Will you repeat your question, Mr. Wickham, and do you mind telling me, so that I may follow your questions, what it is you are aiming at?
Yes, my Lord. The witness said that on this occasion he had authorized the Captain to come up without a pilot.
Tell me what it is you want to establish.
I want to know if prior to the war captains had been authorised to come up without a pilot, and if so, I shall submit, and shall prove later on in evidence, that the Company have paid the fines for their doing so.
Of course anything that is relevant should be gone into; but there is not allegation that he ought to have had a pilot on board at the time, or till long subsequent to the time when the ship was torpedoed. I mean, it ought not to go as a suggestion that at this particular time there ought to have been a pilot on board, because it is not so.
If I knew what it was you were aiming at, Mr. Wickham. What is it you have in your mind? [sic] because I do not know.
First of all, the difficulty, of course, is the meeting in camera; but certain questions were written out by my learned leader Mr. Rose Innes, and I understood that Sir Edward Carson would ask them during the inquiry, and if those questions were put before your Lordship, you would at once see the object of my inquiry.
Cannot you tell me the object of your enquiry without divulging any secrets?
They were written by my learned leader, and he considered that the questions were not proper.
I have not seen them.
My friend is entirely in error, as your Lordship will see, and I asked every question.
Would you like to see these questions, Mr. Wickham?
I did see them before they were handed to Sir Edward Carson.
Do you remember them?
Yes, my Lord.
Will you tell me what they were?
They are in connection with a conversation with a lady, and as to the pilot, and also in connection with certain instructions from the Admiralty.
I see nothing about a lady in them.
There is only one other question I want to ask.
Do not think that I want to prevent you from putting questions, but I want to keep the inquiry, if I can, within legitimate limits.
298. Mr. Wickham: It goes to show whether the captain had on other occasions disobeyed orders; because it is his duty to take a pilot on board, and if he disobeyed the order on this occasion, I submit it tends to show that he disobeyed the Admiralty wireless instructions. (To the witness.) Did your company itself, independently of the Admiralty, take any steps whatever to prevent the vessel doing what she did do, that is, appearing in the war zone at the scheduled time?
- I do not know. What does scheduled time mean? I really do not understand.
In other words, she arrived there when the submarine was waiting for her.
Examined by MR. DONALD MACMASTER.
299. Was Captain Turner the regular captain of the "Lusitania” at the time of the accident?
- Captain Turner was making his second consecutive voyage in the "Lusitania," and he had been in the "Lusitania” before.
300. I understand he had been in the "Lusitania" before, but at the time and during the preceding voyage the regularly appointed captain was Captain Dowe [sic], was he not?
- Captain Dowe [sic] had been in command of the ship for several months and was tired and really ill, and I decided that he should stay ashore for a rest; but I never considered that Captain Dowe [sic] was the specially appointed captain of the "Lusitania." The captains go in whatever ships the Board decides.
301. On this occasion, at all events, Captain Turner took the ship out to New York and was bringing her back, and he was a substitute for the time for Captain Dowe [sic]?
- The voyage before that change took place, Captain Turner went in place of Captain Dowe [sic].
302. Had you in Liverpool any communication whatever with Captain Turner during the voyage from New York homewards?
- None whatever. As I understand, the message I asked the Admiralty to send him was not received.
303. Had you no communication from him?
- He had strict instructions not to use his wireless unless absolutely necessary.
304. I did not ask you that, quite. I asked you whether, as a matter of fact, you had any communication from him during the voyage?
- During the homeward voyage?
- No, I cannot remember receiving anything.
306. You received nothing from him?
307. Did you receive anything from your New York office with regard to the threat that the destruction of the ship was contemplated during the voyage?
- We received it by letter afterwards. Do you mean by cable?
308. The Commissioner: No, no. The ship having left on the Saturday, you knew on the Sunday that there had been in New York threats to wreck her?
309. I do not know how you received that information?
- In the newspapers. I do not remember receiving it through the agents.
310. Do you mean from newspapers published in England?
- From newspapers published in England ; that is my recollection. I do not remember receiving anything from the New York office by cable.
311. Mr. Macmaster: It is rather an important matter. I suggest to you that if you received a cable message or a wireless message from New York with reference to this threat, you probably would remember it?
- I think I probably should, yes.
312. What do you say now is the final balance of your mind on that point?
- That I did not receive it.
313. Do you file messages from your New York office at your Liverpool office?
- Yes; all communications received from the New York office are filed.
314. When did you first hear that the "Lusitania” was struck?
- On the Friday afternoon.
315. How did you hear that?
- The General Manager brought me a telegram which stated that the "Lusitania” had been struck by a torpedo and was sinking.
316. A telegram from whom?
- I cannot remember.
317. Have you got that telegram among your records in the office at Liverpool?
318. Did you receive any despatch in relation to the destruction of the ship from the captain?
319. The Commissioner: Do you know how long the captain was in the water?
- I understand for over three hours. I think the message came from one of the wireless stations, or from a Lloyd's station. It was from some public body, at any rate.
320. Mr. Macmaster: What I wish to know is, was the wireless apparatus on the steamer in such a condition that a report could be made to your office from the steamer after the accident?
- No, because the wireless messages, sent by the steamer are all received by the wireless stations on shore and passed through the Admiralty. I understand that nothing comes to us except what they allow to come.
321. Do you know whether any message was sent from the steamer after she was struck?
- To the office?
322. To anywhere?
- I believe not. The S.O.S. was sent out. I presume you will have that in evidence later.
323. The Commissioner: I no not understand that. Some information reached some public body, who communicated it to you, to the effect that the "Lusitania” was sinking?
324. How do you suggest that that information would come to the public body unless it was sent from the "Lusitania” itself?
- It did come from the "Lusitania” itself.
325. Then how could it come except from the Marconi room?
- It did come from the Marconi room, not addressed to anyone in particular, it was the S.O.S. sent out broadcast, but picked up by the shore station, and the message was sent by this shore station, Marconi or Lloyds, to us.
326. Were the Marconi operators saved?
- One certainly was, because I have seen him.
Is he here?
Yes; I am going to call him.
327. Mr. Macmaster: Had you on the "Lusitania” any device or contrivance by which either the presence or approach of a submarine could have been detected?
Could you suggest, because it might be useful, what sort of a device?
I understand that there are appliances.
Can you tell us of one?
I put the question in a general form.
I know you did, but I want to be particular. Tell us of this device which you refer to.
I thought perhaps the witness was better informed on the subject than I am.
But has the witness informed you, because if so, do tell us.
He has not informed me, my Lord. (To the witness ) Was there any device at all?
The question is whether their was any device whatever on board the "Lusitania" for apprising the people on board of the proximity or approach of a submarine, and if there was, I am very anxious to know it.
If your Lordship will permit me, I will put the question in this way: Was there any device or contrivance on board by which those in charge of the ship could detect the presence or approach of a submarine?
That is exactly what I understood you to put, and I want you to tell us, if you can and will, what sort of a device you mean.
There are things called hydrophones, I am told.
What is a hydrophone? Have you heard of a hydrophone.
I am not skilled, but I am informed that it is possible to detect the approach of a submarine.
Will you tell us who has told you?
I will tell your Lordship, because your Lordship has asked me, although the communication was made to me privately; but under the circumstances I feel justified in telling your Lordship. The gentleman who told me that it was possible to detect the presence of a submarine is Sir William Van Horne, one of the most learned men of the day.
Have you got him in Court?
No, my Lord.
Are you going to bring him?
It is not my business to bring him into court.
I beg your pardon; you ought really to give us all the information you can. If there is any danger in not having any appliance on board, or it is so suggested, it ought to be made by a skilled witness, and we will welcome any such evidence.
I agree. It is of public importance. If this gentleman can tell us how to detect the presence of submarines, he should come and tell us.
No doubt, my Lord. I do not wish to place myself in opposition to your Lordship's opinion in any way, but I did think that if anybody knew anything about such an appliance, this witness would, and that is the only reason why I put the question.