James is quite correct about the Pacific Coast Steamship Company's sordid safety history. I came across the following information about the Company's ships on the California State Lands Commission's website "California Shipwrecks" --
1. Steamship Coos Bay, built 1894 and wrecked in 1914.
2. Steamship Fideliter, built 1860 and dragged moorings and wrecked in 1876.
3. Steamship Gipsy, built 1868 and grounded in 1905.
4. Steamship Los Angeles, built 1866, grounded and sank in 1894.
5. Steamship Newbern, built 1862 and grounded in 1895.
6. Steamship St. Paul, built 1875 and wrecked in 1896.
7. Steamship San Vincente, built 1875 and wrecked 1896.
8. Steamship Santa Cruz, wrecked 1904.
9. Steamship Santa Rosa, built 1884 and grounded in 1911.
10. Steamship Tennessee, built 1848 and grounded in 1853.
11. Steamship Tennessee, built 1843 and collided with another ship in 1851.
12. Steamship Yaquima, built 1881 and wrecked in 1897.
This is some history of a steamship line's disasters. The owner of the ships was originally Goodall, Perkins & Co.-- "Perkins" being then Governor, and later senator, George C. Perkins who in 1912 served on Senator Smith's committee. The company was taken over by Pacific Coast Steamship Company, with Perkins and Goodall still in control. As such, at the time of the hearing in 1912, Senator Perkins must not have been very impressed with White Star Line's failures, including Atlantic, Naronic and the Titanic-- given the extreme record of failures by his own steamship line. Further, it's inconceivable to me that Pacific Coast's record would not have colored his perspective on the Subcommittee's Investigation, and findings.
Finally, I think this is a significant revelation. If someone who ran a company with this kind of record was on William Alden Smith's committee, it obviously couldn't help the investigation. Perkins' influence could have tempered some of the Committee's findings in favor of International Mercantile Marine, and Oceanic Steamship Navigation Company.