Were there any cases of Bribery in the Titanic Story?


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Aaron_2016

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Recently watched the German version and Cameron's version which both feature attempted bribery between the passengers and crew. Were there any real reports of any form of bribery in the Titanic story? e.g.



- Passengers bribing the crew in the lifeboats not to row back and pick up people in the water?

- Passengers attempting to bribe the wireless operators of the Titanic or the Carpathia to send private messages to shore during the evacuation and after?

- Passengers bribing the crew to gain a seat in the lifeboats?

- White Star officials bribing key witnesses during the Inquiry to forget certain details, be as vague as possible, or publicly deny events?

- White Star officials bribing or threatening survivors not to attend the US Inquiry? e.g. It would be easy to ascertain that Lookout Lee was on duty and saw the iceberg with Fleet, but according to Fleet his mate Lee was detained in New York and did not attend the US Inquiry. Did one man accept a bribe and the other refuse? Were the company concerned that if both men attended and testified on separate days then their stories might not match?

- White Star officials bribing members of the British Inquiry not to call key witnesses to testify? e.g. Quartermaster Olliver told the US Inquiry the captain telegraphed half speed ahead and heard the order "hard a-port" yet despite his important testimony he was not called to testify at the British Inquiry. Was his name quietly struck off a list of key witnesses after a meeting with White Star officials?


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Talira Greycrest

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There's always been a rumour that Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon bribed the crew in Lifeboat No.1 so they wouldn't go back to save drowning passengers. On the fifth day of the inquiries into the sinking, leading fireman Charles Hendrickson, who'd been assigned to boat no.1, stated that he'd wanted to go back and rescue people in the water but the Duff-Gordons had prevented him, even though the boat was only half full. He also confirmed that Sir Cosmo had given each crew member in the boat a cheque for five pounds. When Sir Cosmo was questioned about this, he insisted the money was given so the crew could replace lost possessions. He also denied that he and his wife had obstructed any attempts to rescue other survivors.
 

Moj

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This has always been my question . Not about the passengers but especially about White star line officials . Just thinking that with a disaster as big as this and the dangers that WSL faced I doubt there were not any case of WSL bribe to the Titanic officers and crew who wanted to testify or even to the members of inquiry so they would change their results.
But so far I havent read anywhere that there have been such a case .
One thing is that they amount of money given to the survivers by WSL could have been a lot more . So all of this makes me think there were some things going on at the background which we are not aware .
 
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Recently watched the German version and Cameron's version which both feature attempted bribery between the passengers and crew. Were there any real reports of any form of bribery in the Titanic story? e.g.



- Passengers bribing the crew in the lifeboats not to row back and pick up people in the water?

- Passengers attempting to bribe the wireless operators of the Titanic or the Carpathia to send private messages to shore during the evacuation and after?

- Passengers bribing the crew to gain a seat in the lifeboats?

- White Star officials bribing key witnesses during the Inquiry to forget certain details, be as vague as possible, or publicly deny events?

- White Star officials bribing or threatening survivors not to attend the US Inquiry? e.g. It would be easy to ascertain that Lookout Lee was on duty and saw the iceberg with Fleet, but according to Fleet his mate Lee was detained in New York and did not attend the US Inquiry. Did one man accept a bribe and the other refuse? Were the company concerned that if both men attended and testified on separate days then their stories might not match?

- White Star officials bribing members of the British Inquiry not to call key witnesses to testify? e.g. Quartermaster Olliver told the US Inquiry the captain telegraphed half speed ahead and heard the order "hard a-port" yet despite his important testimony he was not called to testify at the British Inquiry. Was his name quietly struck off a list of key witnesses after a meeting with White Star officials?


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Its been a while but I recall reading that some of the crew were paid a substancial amount by some newspaper reporters for a "good" story as in the more dramatic/juicy the better. I will see if I can find the source for that. I think it was also mentioned in the A&E doucumentary on Titanic. Other than that I'm not aware of any actual bribes that were paid for whatever reasons.
 

Mike Spooner

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There's always been a rumour that Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon bribed the crew in Lifeboat No.1 so they wouldn't go back to save drowning passengers. On the fifth day of the inquiries into the sinking, leading fireman Charles Hendrickson, who'd been assigned to boat no.1, stated that he'd wanted to go back and rescue people in the water but the Duff-Gordons had prevented him, even though the boat was only half full. He also confirmed that Sir Cosmo had given each crew member in the boat a cheque for five pounds. When Sir Cosmo was questioned about this, he insisted the money was given so the crew could replace lost possessions. He also denied that he and his wife had obstructed any attempts to rescue other survivors
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even though the boat was only half full? Only 12 in and 7 were crew members! Not bad for a lifeboat that can carry 40!
 

Mike Spooner

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Just added to the list of suspects for bribery or back handers. I wander if the BoT Inspector Maurice Clark was suspect of a back hander to? As he gave the ship a seaworthy certificate with a coal bunker on fire? As if WSL had been ask to remove the coal before leaving port that could of taken days, and were to put the hot coal? Empty coal bunker may of left them short of coal. To replace the coal were from as the coal strike had just finished, but it takes weeks before getting back to normal.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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I don't know about the other stories, but IMO Cosmo Duff-Gordon definitely bribed the crew members in his boat not to go back. All this BS about giving money to replace lost possessions is utter nonsense. Every briber for whatever reason would cook-up an excuse to make his/her actions publicly acceptable. Only a moron would believe the lame one that Duff-Gordon put up.
 
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There is no single proof that Duff-Gordon bribe the crew. For what reasons?
Also the "money" was not mentioned long after Titanic went down and all had become calm.
 

Mike Spooner

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In Second officer Charles Lightroller book: Titanic and Other Ships. Board of Trade surveys were carried out to everyone's satisfaction. The B.O.T. surveyor Captain Maurice Clark certainly lived up to his reputation as being the best cursed for B.OT. He was a man not to take an officers word for it, but check for him and must see for himself. Got the heartily cursed in consequence. He did his job well, and certainly say he did it thoroughly through.
Yet landed up giving a seaworthy certificate for Titanic with a coal bunker on fire!
Was there a backhander or bribe here?
 
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SmileyGirl

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In Second officer Charles Lightroller book: Titanic and Other Ships. Board of Trade surveys were carried out to everyone's satisfaction. The B.O.T. surveyor Captain Maurice Clark certainly lived up to his reputation as being the best cursed for B.OT. He was a man not to take an officers word for it, but check for him and must see for himself. Got the heartily cursed in consequence. He did his job well, and certainly say he did it thoroughly through.
Yet landed up giving a seaworthy certificate for Titanic with a coal bunker on fire!
Was there a backhander or bribe here?

I have read the book Lights many years ago. Is this the same book?
 

Arun Vajpey

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There is no single proof that Duff-Gordon bribe the crew. For what reasons?
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How do you 'prove' something like that? All involved will try their best to hide it oe deny it. And yet, there has been repeated mention that Duff-Gordon handed out £5 cheques to the crew members on Lifeboat #1 and so there must be something in it.
If that story is not true (which I doubt) it does not matter. But if it is, that gesture was definitely a bribe to keep the crew members quiet about not wanting to go back to pick-up more survivors. Duff-Gordon or his wife do not exactly come across as people who would care about the crew's lost possessions or much else.
 
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Mar 18, 2008
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How do you 'prove' something like that? All involved will try their best to hide it oe deny it.

Not all agree to the same story what happened in boat No. 1 and about the money for example Collins first hear about it when they went aboard Carpathia and Hendrickson had no idea until one day later.
And regarding a bribe, someone would have talked or do you believe 5 Pounds will keep someone quite a life long? Other boat also did not row back.

And yet, there has been repeated mention that Duff-Gordon handed out £5 cheques to the crew members on Lifeboat #1 and so there must be something in it.

That is not right. The cheques were written aboard Carpathia on April 16th and given out the same day to the crew members who had been aboard No. 1. Some much about the "facts" mentioned here of which opinions or conclusions are build up.
 
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In Second officer Charles Lightroller book: Titanic and Other Ships. Board of Trade surveys were carried out to everyone's satisfaction. The B.O.T. surveyor Captain Maurice Clark certainly lived up to his reputation as being the best cursed for B.OT. He was a man not to take an officers word for it, but check for him and must see for himself. Got the heartily cursed in consequence. He did his job well, and certainly say he did it thoroughly through.
Yet landed up giving a seaworthy certificate for Titanic with a coal bunker on fire!
Was there a backhander or bribe here?

Clark had no idea about the smouldering coal in the bunker, also it was nothing unusual aboard a ship. The smouldering coal was nothing which would have prevent the certificate.
 
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Aaron_2016

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In Second officer Charles Lightroller book: Titanic and Other Ships. Board of Trade surveys were carried out to everyone's satisfaction. The B.O.T. surveyor Captain Maurice Clark certainly lived up to his reputation as being the best cursed for B.OT. He was a man not to take an officers word for it, but check for him and must see for himself. Got the heartily cursed in consequence. He did his job well, and certainly say he did it thoroughly through.
Yet landed up giving a seaworthy certificate for Titanic with a coal bunker on fire!
Was there a backhander or bribe here?


Very possible. Leading fireman Charles Hendrickson was asked about the coal fire and if they were common on ships.

Q - Do you remember a fire in a coal bunker on board this boat?
A - Yes.
Q - Is it a common occurrence for fires to take place on boats?
A - No.
Q - It is not common?
A - No.
Q - How long have you been on a White Star boat?
A - About five years.
Q - When did you last see a fire in a coal bunker?
A - I never saw one before.
Q - It has been suggested that fires in coal bunkers are quite a common occurrence, but you have been five years in the White Star line and have not seen a fire in a coal bunker?
A - No.
Q - Did you help to get the coal out?
A - Yes.
Q - Did you hear when the fire commenced?
A - Yes, I heard it commenced at Belfast.


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Mike Spooner

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If a smouldering coal bunker is a lite were is the smoke escaping to? Even the coal bunker No 10 is off set under the front funnel, I cannot see how the smoke can go up the funnel? If not up the funnel were to? A sharp eye Inspector like Captain Maurice Clark should of spotted some thing was quite not right after been on the ship for a few days!
If he had notice it, had he put his survey report?
 
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Aaron_2016

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Perhaps they opened the side hatch where the coal was put into the bunker and they left the side hatch slightly ajar to let the smoke out? The fire hose was pouring water into the bunker for a significant time. This might have accelerated the amount of smoke in the bunker. During the British Inquiry (which Lightoller stated was a whitewash) Leading fireman Fred Barrett was asked about the fire. At one point they were about to ask him where it had started - shortly after they left Southampton, or shortly after they left Belfast, but the question was quickly interrupted and diverted:

Fred Barrett
Q - Was there anything wrong?
A - Yes.
Q - What was wrong?
A - The bunker was a-fire.
Q - Shortly after you left Southampton.....(question is interrupted by the Commissioner)
The Commissioner - Now how is this relevant to this Inquiry?

The question was diverted. Although they did ask him:

Q - Do you think that the fire had anything to do with this disaster?
A - That would be hard to say, my Lord.
Q - Did you work out that bunker yourself?
A - I was in charge. There were between 8 and 10 men doing it.
Q - Was it fire or only heat?
A - It was fire.
Q - Did you play upon it?
A - The hose was going all the time.
 
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