British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry

Day 14

Testimony of Harold S. Bride, cont.

16638. Are these messages that came to the ship for the Captain paid for message by message, or are they included in some rate?
- Some of them may be paid for; they may be messages from passengers on other ships; they may be master's service messages, or they may be franked messages from the office, or from the Captain of another ship to our Captain.

16639. Let us take the master's service messages - we have heard of them?
- They deal with the navigation of the ship, and anything relating to the shipping company.

16640. Are those paid for message by message?
- No, they are free between ship and ship.

16641. And supposing it was the other way about - supposing Captain Smith was sending a message which was a Master's service message to another ship, would that be paid for, or does that go free?
- That is likewise free.

16642. Now let us take the messages for passengers?
- If Captain Smith was sending a message to passenger it would go free of charge, because the marconi Company allow the Captain and the Officers of the ship a grant of so many words free of charge.

16643. It is my fault; I did not quite mean that. You had passengers on board, I suppose who wanted to send messages?
- Yes.

16644. Now, when they want to send a message what is done? Is it written down, or how does it happen?
- The passenger goes to the purser's office, is handed a form, and writes down his telegram, and the purser charges him for it, and, incidentally, it works back to the marconi Company.

16645. (The Commissioner.) And the money is paid how?
- To the purser on the majority of ships.

16646. And does the purser account to the marconi Company for the amount of money at the end of the voyage?
- Yes. In the case of the "Titanic" the message was sent up by a pneumatic tube to our office.

16647. (The Solicitor-General.) Sent up by pneumatic tube from the purser's office to you?
- Yes. Here was a ship going to America with a number of people on board, some of them Americans; can you tell us by the time you got into touch with the mainland, with Cape Race, had you got an accumulation of messages waiting to be sent to America?

16648. (The Commissioner.) He told us that, you know?

The Witness:
I had a very large accumulation.

16649. (The Commissioner - To the witness.) Phillips worked them off. How are you paid?
- I am paid by the marconi Company.

16650. Yes. I did not mean that, but are you paid a fixed salary or according to the number of messages?
- We are paid a fixed salary.

16651. Your pay does not depend upon the number of messages sent?
- No.

16652. Do you know how you are on the articles of the ship?
- Yes.

16653. What does the ship pay you?
- 1s a month in some ships; in the White Star Line I received a fixed salary.

16654. How much did you receive from the White Star Company?
- I have not received anything.

16655. But how much were you to receive?
- I could not say; I think it was £ 2 5s. a month.

The Solicitor-General:
I have it here. As you said, you are on the articles of the ship's Company. What I have here is the office copy, which is forwarded to the Registrar-General of Seamen, and I see here, "H. S. Bride." That is you, is it not?
- [No Answer.]

16656. "Aged" - I cannot read it. What is your age?
- 22.

16657. "London," and then there is an address given.

16658. (The Commissioner.) While you are on the question of age, will you tell me what age Phillips was?
- He was somewhere between 24 and 25, I believe.

16659. (The Solicitor-General.) Phillips is entered here as 24. (To the witness.) Now, "Bride, London," I cannot read what it says about the name and official number and the port she belonged to - that is your last ship, I suppose - what was it?
- The "Anselm."

16660. Yes, that is it, and you are written down as "Telegraphist"?
- Yes.

16661. £2 2s. 6d. a month. I suppose you are paid a salary by the marconi Company?
- Yes.

16662. (The Commissioner.) What salary do you get from the marconi Company?
- £4 a month.

The Solicitor-General:
We deliberately refrained from asking Mr. Turnbull, the marconi gentleman, the details about the agreement with the White Star because he was not prepared with the documents, and we thought it would be better to recall him on that part of the case so that we will not pursue it.

16663. I think you stated it was about 3 o'clock in the afternoon on this Sunday when you heard the "Californian" message?
- I said 5.

16664. Five, you said?
- Yes.

16665. I thought you said 3, but you say it was 5 o'clock by ship's time?
- Yes, between 5 and half-past.

16666. You knew it was an ice message?
- Yes.

16667. I think you stated to the Attorney-General that you were engaged in adding up your accounts?
- Yes.

16668. And then you went on adding up your accounts, and paid no attention to this message?
- No.

16669. Then some time afterwards, I forget whether you gave us the time, you happened to hear it repeated?
- Yes, that is correct.

16670. Then you had not written it down when you heard it the first time?
- No.

16671. You knew it was a message to the "Titanic"?
- Yes.

16672. Reporting ice?
- Yes.

16673. You did not write it down?
- No.

16674. You took no notice of it at all, but went on adding up your accounts?
- Yes.

16675. Then, if you had not happened to hear that message repeated to another ship nothing would ever have been heard of that message?
- Yes, it would.

16676. Well, forgive me. It gave the latitude and longitude. You had written nothing down when the message first came?
- No.

16677. Do you suggest that without writing anything down, and being busy with accounts, you can trust yourself to carry in your head the latitude and longitude which had been given in the message?
- No, I had read the text of the message, which mentioned three large bergs. I had not got the latitude and longitude, and I should have called the "Californian" if she had not transmitted it at a very short period afterwards, and asked her for the latitude and longitude.

16678. The latitude and longitude you could not have carried in your head?
- No.

16679. The only way of getting that message would have been to call the "Californian" afterwards to get the latitude and longitude?
- Yes.

16680. You happened to hear it repeated, did you say, a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes afterwards?
- Yes.

16681. Are you sure about the time?
- Yes.

16682. Had you finished your accounts by that time?
- No.

16683. Were you still on your accounts?
- Yes.

The Commissioner:
What are those accounts?

16684. (Sir Robert Finlay.) What were you doing?
- I was writing up an abstract of all the telegrams sent the day before.

The Solicitor-General:
That is the procès-verbal.

16685. (Sir Robert Finlay - To the witness.) Is that what has been called the procès-verbal?
- No, the telegrams; it gives the place where the telegram originated from and where it is going to, the station it is sent to; and the cost of the telegram, and the costs of the coast station, our charge, and everybody else's charge, one by one.

16686. Then when you heard it repeated you recognised it as being the message which had been sent to your ship?
- Yes.

16687. And wrote it down and took it on to the bridge?
- Yes.

16688. Now with regard to the payment of service messages, that, I understand you to say, is covered by the arrangement between the steamship company and the marconi Company?
- We are told to make no charge for that.

16689. No charge is made for that. Then all such messages as were sent on to Cape Race, trade and private messages, would be an extra payment to the marconi Company - to your company?
- Messages that were sent on to Cape Race at the request of passengers would be paid messages; messages sent to Cape Race on behalf of the company would be free messages.

16690. What I said was, trade and private messages sent on to Cape Race would be paid for extra?
- Yes.

16691. They would not be included in the service messages?
- No.

16692. I think you used the expression - I am not sure whether his Lordship caught it - that there was a very large accumulation of those messages?
- Yes.

The Commissioner:
That is the accumulation Phillips cleared off while the witness was asleep?

16693. (Sir Robert Finlay.) How long was Phillips occupied in clearing off those arrears of messages for Cape Race? He began at 8.30?
- Yes.

16694. When did he finish?
- I should estimate he could not have finished before nine anyhow from the batch he had, but I could not give you any idea as to when he did actually finish.

16695. I think you saw Phillips about 10 minutes before the collision, did you not?
- No; after the collision.

16696. I want to ask you about what you said in America before the Committee of the senate on this point. Were you asked this question, and did you give this answer: "Were you working with Cape Race, or was Phillips, to your knowledge, just before the collision with the iceberg? - (A.) As far as I recollect, Phillips had finished working with Cape Race 10 minutes before the collision with the iceberg. He made mention of the fact when I turned out." Did you say that, and is that true?
- I said that, but I could not remember what he said now.

16697. But did you say that?
- I said that to Senator Smith, but I could not recollect now what Phillips told me after I had turned out.

16698. Was what you said to Senator Smith true?
- Well, I was on oath at the time.

16699. I presume what you said was true?
- Yes.

16700. (The Commissioner.) Then what you stated just now must be a mistake?
- What was that?

16701. That this man had finished his work about 9 o'clock.
- I said he could not have finished sending the batch of telegrams before 9. At the same time Cape Race would have a number of telegrams to transmit to him as was proved by the "Californian" The "Californian" said she heard Cape Race sending him telegrams.

16702. (Sir Robert Finlay.) You know Phillips was engaged in communicating with Cape Race right on from half-past 8 to 10 minutes before the collision?
- Apparently so, yes.

16703. Well, have you any doubt about it?
- No. I do not think so. I am judging by the amount of work that was got through.

16704. He was engaged during these hours from half-past 8 to 10 minutes before the collision in communicating with Cape Race these trade and private messages?
- Yes.

16705. We shall be able to get all those messages, I suppose, from the marconi Company?
- Yes.

16706. There is one other point. You told us that the ship to which you overheard the message repeated from the "Californian" was the "Baltic"?
- Yes.

16707. Have you any reason to doubt the correctness of what you said?
- I have since; but at the time I was sure of it, as far as my memory served me.

16708. Still, as far as your memory serves you, it was the "Baltic"?
- Yes.

The Commissioner:
Do you want to ask anything more, Mr. Solicitor?

The Solicitor-General:
There is one thing I am not quite clear about. I understand my friend is going to recall these two Officers. It does not arise in any way out of cross-examination. It is the message which he does know of from the "Californian." I do not myself quite follow at present what it was that he did with it, according to his own recollection, and it might be important.

The Commissioner:
He took it to the bridge and gave it to an Officer.

16709. (The Solicitor-General.) That means he wrote it down on a piece of paper?

The Witness:
Yes.

16710. (The Commissioner.) And put it in an envelope?
- No, that particular message was not put in an envelope.

The Solicitor-General:
May I ask about it?

The Commissioner:
Yes.

Re-examined by the SOLICITOR-GENERAL.

16711. This is the message from the "Californian"?
- Yes.

16712. And it refers to the three icebergs, and gave the latitude and longitude?
- Yes.

16713. Did you personally hear the message?
- Yes.

16714. Did you write it down?
- Yes.

The Commissioner:
Which message are you now talking of?

The Solicitor-General:
The only one that he says he remembers - the one from the "Californian," which says they had passed three icebergs and gave the latitude and longitude.

16715. (The Commissioner.) I understood he got that twice. (To the witness.) Is not that so?
- No, the first time I did not take it down.

16716. Yes, I know, but you received it. It came to your ears?
- It came to my ears, yes.

16717. That is what I call receiving it?
- I took no notice of it.

16718. And because you were busy you took no notice of it?
- Yes.

16719. And that message contained, or there was comprised in it, the latitude and longitude where the ice was supposed to have been seen?
- Yes.

16720. You took no notice of that message, but went on with your accounts?
- Yes.

16721. For something like an hour and a half?
- No.

16722. How long?
- Between a quarter of an hour and 20 minutes.

16723. I thought it was an hour and 20 minutes?
- No.

16724. And then you got it again?
- Yes.

16725. And then you took it down and did not put it in an envelope?
- No.

16726. But took it to the bridge and gave it to an Officer on the bridge?
- Yes.

16727. The only difference is that I thought there was an interval of more than an hour between getting the first message and getting the second message?
- No.

16728. (The Solicitor-General.) I am going to ask your Lordship to allow me to test it, because it is important to get the time. (To the witness.) Take this in your hand. You will see it is a "Californian" procès-verbal. You are familiar with that sort of document. (Handing same to the witness.) Do you see the page before you is the page for the 14th April?
- Yes.

16729. And is it the "Californian" procès-verbal?
- Yes.

16730. Did you see an entry about exchanging Trs. with the "Titanic"?
- Yes.

16731. What is the time?
- Five -twenty.

16732. Is that New York time?
- Yes.

16733. If it is 5.20 New York time, it would be later according to your ship's time, would it not?
- Yes, ship's time.

The Commissioner:
It would be about 7.20.

16734. (The Solicitor-General.) Yes. (To the witness.) Do you know Mr. Evans?
- Yes.

16735. That is the operator on the "Californian"?
- Yes.

16736. He has given evidence, you know, and he says at half-past 7, ship's time, there or thereabouts, the "Titanic" stated that they had got a message about the ice, about the three icebergs; he puts that at half-past 7, you see. Now, Mr. Bride, does not that correspond with his entry 5.20 New York time?
- [No answer.]

The Commissioner:
Put it to him again.

The Solicitor-General:
I do not wish to seem to be pressing him.

The Commissioner:
No. It is because I do not want him to be bothered that I want you to put it to him again.

16737. (The Solicitor-General.) I put before you just now, and you have before you now, the procès-verbal of the "Californian"?
- Yes, 5.20 Trs. with M.G.Y.

16738. Is not "M.G.Y." the "Titanic"?
- "M.G.Y." is the "Titanic." It says on the top "New York time."

16739. And do you agree that 5.20 New York time would mean on your ship something like half-past 7?
- Yes.

16740. And are not all those entries on that procès-verbal made in order of time line after line?
- Yes.

16741. Just give us the time immediately in front of the one I called your attention to?
- 5.5.

16742. That is 15 minutes before; what is the time immediately following the one I called your attention to?
- 5.35.

16743. You have no doubt those entries were made at the time when each thing occurred?
- I have no doubt at all.

16744. Does not that show that there were messages being exchanged between the "Titanic" and the "Californian" at 5.20?
- Yes.

Perhaps you had better look at the message which at that time was being sent by the "Californian" about 7. Is not that better, My Lord? (To the witness.) Just see if you can help us now about it (Handing message to the witness.)

The Commissioner:
There is no record in the procès-verbal of the "Californian" of two messages having been despatched.

The Solicitor-General:
That is right, My Lord. I will have it looked at.

The Commissioner:
There is no record of two messages having been sent.

16745. (The Solicitor-General.) No, My Lord, I am told not. (To the witness.) Have you before you now the "Californian's" record of the message about ice?
- Yes.

16746. Just look at it, because I only want to get it clear. That message that you have before you now, what time, New York time, is it sent off?
- Five -thirty-five.

16747. That corresponds exactly. And is that a message about "latitude, 42 deg. 3 min. N., longitude, 49 deg. 9 min. W. Three large bergs five miles southward of us. Regards.
- Lord"?
- Yes.

16748. That actual message is being sent to the "Antillian," I think?
- Yes.

16749. So far as regards the language of that message, the latitude and longitude and the three bergs, does it resemble the one which you heard?
- Yes.

16750. Now just think?
- With the exception that I cannot recollect the "regards" or the signature or any name or address.

16751. You probably would not remember the address or the signature?
- No.

16752. But as regards latitude and longitude and three bergs, that is the same sort of thing?
- Yes.

16753. Now that is sent off between five and six, New York time. Do not you think that the message you heard must have been heard by you between five and six, New York time?
- No. To the best of my recollection it was between five and six, ship's time.

16754. If there was a message sent from the "Californian" to the "Titanic" between five and six, ship's time, that would be about three o'clock, New York time?
- Yes.

16755. Now will you look in the procès-verbal of the "Californian," and see whether there is any reference to any message sent between three and four, New York time, to the "Titanic"?
- No, because the first signals he has down with the "Titanic" are at 5.20, when he exchanges trs.

16756. That is the one I called your attention to. Does not exchanging Tr.'s mean that he has then got into communication with the "Titanic" for the first time?
- Yes.

That is what it means. It starts the communication?

The Commissioner:
Does it all come to this, that his own memory is quite defective about it?

16757. (The Solicitor-General.) Assuming those records are right, you must be making a mistake about the time, Must you not?
- I do not think I am making any mistake about the time.

16758. But assuming those records are right?
- Assuming those records are right, yes.

16759. Assuming they are right, you are making a mistake?
- Yes.

Sir Robert Finlay:
It is a matter of argument. Then, My Lord, I desire to recall Mr. Lightoller and Mr. Boxhall.

16760. (The Commissioner.) I want to ask this Witness another question. (To the witness.) The only ice message that you heard anything at all about was the ice message from the "Californian"?
- That was the only one.

16761. Now, be very careful. Is it the only one that you heard anything at all about while you were on the "Titanic"?
- The only one.

16762. Had you any conversation with Phillips about ice messages?
- I cannot recall any.

16763. Can you recall any conversation with Phillips in which he mentioned an ice message having been received by him?
- No.

16764. Then, so far as you know from your own knowledge, or from conversation which you had with anybody on board the ship, there was no ice message received, except the "Californian's"?
- As far as I am concerned, that was the only one.

16765. The only one you either know of or heard of?
- Yes.

16766. Do you remember the Captain coming to tell you and Phillips to clear out?
- Yes.

16767. Can you tell us what time of night that was?
- No.

16768. You have a clock in your room, have you not?
- We have two.

16769. You have a clock with the ship's time?
- Yes.

16770. Have you any recollection of having seen or looked at the clock when you were told to clear out?
- I had been looking at the clock whilst I was getting my P.V. entered up, My procès-verbal , but cannot recall any of the times now.

16771. You cannot tell us when it was that the Captain came in and told you to clear out?
- No.

Mr. Lewis:
May I ask a question, My Lord?

The Commissioner:
Yes.

16772. (Sir Robert Finlay.) May I ask the witness one question? (To the witness.) When you are entering up the procès-verbal was there any reference to any other ice?
- I am talking of the time when we were calling for assistance.

Examined by Mr. LEWIS.

16773. When you returned to the marconi room on the last occasion did anything unusual occur?
- We had a lady inside there who was in a fainting condition, sitting down in a chair.

16774. Have you made a statement at any time that you found Mr. Phillips being attacked or his lifebelt being removed?
- Someone was taking the lifebelt off Phillips when I left the cabin.

16775. Do I understand you to state that you thought it was a stoker who was taking this lifebelt off Mr. Phillips?
- I presumed from the appearance of the man that he was someone in that line of business.

16776. This would have been a few minutes before you left the room?
- Yes.

16777. Was he dressed in stoker's gear?
- Yes.

16778. Do I understand that you hit him, or what?
- Well, we stopped him from taking the lifebelt off.

16779. "We," you say?
- Yes.

16780. I understood the report was that Mr. Phillips was engaged at this time with his work?
- Yes.

16781. Sending messages; and that you forced this man away?
- Well, I forced the man away and it attracted Mr. Phillips's attention, and he came and assisted me.

16782. Is your recollection of this matter very clear?
- It is fairly clear.

16783. Would you know the man again if you saw him?
- I am not likely to see him.

16784. You are supposed to have hit him?
- Well, I held him and Mr. Phillips hit him.

16785. Mr. Phillips hit him?
- Yes.

16786. That is the difference between what you say and what I read. You are absolutely positive on this question?
- I am positive on it, yes.

16787. Now, with regard to the installation, did you have any spare transmitters on board?
- We had a standard 5 kilowatt set, as supplied by the marconi Company, and we had emergency gear also.

16788. Was that out of gear at any time?
- We had had some trouble with it the night before.

16789. For how long was it out of gear?
- For five and a half to six hours.

16790. That would have been on the saturday?
- Yes.

16791. Late on Saturday?
- From 11 o'clock Friday night till half-past four or five saturday morning.

16792. Nothing occurred to it while you were on watch; I know you were off and did not go on watch again till 12. But during your watch was there any defect?
- What time was this? When are you talking about?

16793. On the Sunday?
- There was nothing the matter with the apparatus on the Sunday.

16794. When you reported at 12, you did not hear from Mr. Phillips whether there had been any defect?
- Apparently there had not been considering the traffic he had got through.

Examined by Mr. HARBINSON.

16795. (Mr. Harbinson.) I should like to ask two questions, if I may. (To the witness.) Do you remember how long it was after the collision when you learned that the "Carpathia" was coming to your assistance?
- The "Carpathia" was the second boat to answer our call.

16796. Can you remember how long that was after the collision?
- No, I could not tell you; it was within a very short space of time after we sent out our first distress signal.

16797. And you took that message to the Captain, you told us?
- Yes.

16798. Now, do you know if the Captain communicated the substance of your message to any of the Officers or to the crew?
- I passed the word myself, as I went to find the Captain.

16799. To whom did you pass it?
- To anybody whom I happened to go close by.

16800. Did you pass it to any of the Officers?
- Not to my knowledge.

16801. But you gave it out that the "Carpathia" was coming to your assistance?
- Yes.

(The Witness withdrew.)