United States Senate Inquiry

Day 5

(The subcommittee met at 10 o'clock a. m.)

Present: Senators Smith (chairman), Perkins, Burton, Fletcher, and Newlands.


Frederick Fleet  –  - Lookout - ss Titanic.
Testimony - Biography

Senator SMITH.
I desire to make an announcement. First, I want to meet the inquiry, so often heard, as to our purpose in this inquiry, and I want to say that it is to get all of the facts bearing upon this unfortunate catastrophe that we are able to obtain. It is, of course, very apparent that the surviving officers of the Titanic are not shipbuilders having had to do with the construction of that vessel, and the committee have assumed that if these witnesses should tell what they themselves know of the circumstances surrounding the ship up to the time of the collision, and what transpired thereafter, this information would be about all that we could obtain from these witnesses.

One word as to the plan. It has been our plan from the beginning to first obtain the testimony of citizens or subjects of Great Britain who are temporarily in this country, and this course will be pursued until the committee conclude that they have obtained all information accessible and useful to a proper understanding of this disaster.

Now one word about the difficulties. To the credit of most of the officers and crew we have experienced no very troublesome difficulty in securing such witnesses as we felt were necessary. But from the beginning until now there has been a voluntary, gratuitous, meddlesome attempt upon the part of certain persons to influence the course of the committee and to shape its procedure.

Misrepresentations have been made, I have heard. Personally, I have not seen a single newspaper since I was appointed chairman of this committee, because I did not wish to be influenced by those papers or unduly encouraged. Neither did I wish to take on any partisan bias or prejudice whatsoever.

The representatives of the press have all cooperated in every way possible to lighten the burdens of the committee and to assist in obtaining the results we seek.

The committee will not tolerate any further attempt on the part of anyone to shape its course. We shall proceed in our own way, completing the official record, and the judgment of our efforts may very appropriately be withheld until those who are disposed to question its wisdom have the actual official reports.

Senator SMITH.
I would like to call Mr. Lowe, the fifth officer.


Harold Godfrey Lowe  –  Fifth Officer, SS Titanic
Testimony - Biography

Senator PERKINS.
I suggest that these papers be put in the record. This is a list of the survivors (indicating) and this other paper is the memorandum made by Mr. Pitman in regard to the ship's run.

They may be included as part of the record.


Herbert J. Pitman  –  Third Officer, SS Titanic
Memorandum - Passengers carried and saved.
Memorandum - Ship's run.

(Thereupon, at 2.30 o'clock p. m., the committee took a recess until 3.30 o'clock p. m.)


The subcommittee met, pursuant to the taking of recess, at 3.45 o'clock p. m.


Charles Herbert Lightoller  –  Second Officer, SS Titanic
Testimony - Biography

Robert Hichens  –  Quartermaster, SS Titanic
Testimony - Biography

The hearing will stand adjourned until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.

(Thereupon, at 8 o'clock and 20 minutes p. m., the subcommittee adjourned until tomorrow, Thursday, April 25, 1912, at 10 o'clock a.m.)

Robert Hichens
Additional Statement