Titanic Sinking - Ismay Denies All


Not in Control of Ship, and Did Not Order Full Speed Through Ice Fields.


Had No More Privileges Than Any Other Passenger---In Bed When Crash Came.


They Got Into Last Boat Together---Room for More, Who Weren't There---4 Chinamen Under Thwarts.

J. Bruce Ismay issued a statement last night in reply to various published accounts of the Titanic disaster, particularly those in which his name has prominently figured. He denies that he had anything to do with the navigation of the vessel says he did not consult with her Captain regarding her conduct at sea, and that he made no suggestion as to the course or other handling of the ship. He exercised no privileges that did not belong to any other first cabin passenger, he declared. He did not sit at the Captain's table, was not dining with him at the time of the accident, and, in fact, was in bed when the collision occurred. He had no idea of returning to Europe on the Celtic to avoid appearing at the Senatorial investigation, he adds, and only knew that the investigation was pending when informed of it at the pier on the Carpathia's arrival. His statement follows:

"When I appeared before the Senate committee Friday morning I supposed the purpose of the inquiry was to ascertain the cause of the sinking of the Titanic with a view to determining whether additional legislation was required to prevent the recurrence of so horrible a disaster.

"I welcome such an inquiry and appeared voluntarily without subpoena, and answered all questions put to me by the members of the committee to the best of my ability with complete frankness and without reserve.

Didn't Expect to be Investigated.

"I did not suppose the question of my personal conduct was the subject of the inquiry, although I was ready to tell everything I did on the night of the collision.

"As I have been subpoenaed to attend before the committee in Washington to-morrow, I would prefer to make no public statement out of respect for the committee: but I do not think that courtesy requires me to be silent in the face of the untrue statements made in some of the newspapers.

"When I went on board the Titanic at Southampton on April 10 it was my intention to return by her. I had no intention of remaining in the United States at that time. I came merely to observe the new vessel, as I had done in the case of other vessels of our lives.

"During the voyage I was a passenger, and exercised no greater rights or privileges than any other passenger. I was not consulted by the commander about the ship, her course, her speed, navigation, or her conduct at sea. All these matters were under the exclusive control of the Captain.

"I saw Capt. Smith only casually, as other passengers did. I was never in his room. I was never on the bridge until after the accident. I did not sit at his table in the saloon. I had not visited the engine room nor gone through the ship, and did not go or attempt to go to any part of the ship to which any other first-cabin passenger did not have access.

"It is absolutely and unqualifiedly false that I ever said I wished the Titanic should make a speed record or should increase her daily runs. I deny absolutely having said to any person that we should increase our speed in order to get out of the ice zone, or any words to that effect.

Titanic at No Time Speeded.

"As I have already testified, at no time did the Titanic during the voyage attain her full speed. It was not expected that she would reach New York before Wednesday morning. If she had been pressed, she probably could have arrived Tuesday evening.

"The statement that the White Star Line would receive and additional sum by way of bounty or otherwise for attaining a higher speed is absolutely unique. The White Star Line receives from the British Government a bonus of £70,000 per annum for carrying the mails without regard to the speed of any of its vessels, and no additional sum is paid on account of any increase in speed.

"I was never consulted by Capt. Smith, nor by any other person; nor did I ever make any suggestion whatsoever to any human being about the course of the ship.

Captain Handed Him Ice Message.

"The only information I ever received on the ship that other vessels had sighted ice was by a wireless message received from the Baltic, which I already have testified to. This was handed to me by Capt. Smith without any remark as he was passing me on the passenger deck on the afternoon of Sunday, April 14. I read the telegram casually and put it in my pocket.

"At about 7:10, while I was sitting in the smoking room, Capt. Smith came in and asked me to give him the message received from the Baltic in order to post it for the information of the officers. I handed it to him, and nothing further was said by either of us. I did not speak to any of the other officers on the subject.

"If the information I received had aroused any apprehension in my mind---which it did not---I should not have ventured to make any suggestion to a commander of Capt. Smith's experience. The responsibility for the navigation of the ship rested solely with him.

"It has been stated that Capt. Smith and I were having a dinner party in one of the saloons from 7:30 to 10:30 Sunday night, and that at the time of the collision Capt. Smith was sitting with me in the saloon.

"Both of these statements are absolutely false. I did not dine with the Captain, nor did I see him during the evening of April 14. The doctor dined with me in the restaurant at 7:30, and I went directly to my state room and went to bed at about 10:30.

"I was asleep when the collision occurred. I felt a jar, went out into the passageway without dressing, met a steward, asked him what was the matter, and he said he did not know. I returned to my room. I felt the ship slow down, put on an overcoat over my pajamas, and went up on the bridge deck and on the bridge.

Captain and Chief Engineer Agreed Damage Was Serious.

Continued, Ismay Denies All, part 2 (below)