OK,As a lawyer, you of all people will understand that a convoluted "round-the-houses" answer is
usually indicative of an inability, or unwillingness to provide an answer. If it is unwillingness, then the witness being questioned has a reason for answering in such a way and that reason is for self-protection or the protection of others.
6934-5. If it was not a company’s signal, must it not have been a distress signal?
The simple answer could have been a Yes or a No, but the round-the-house answer was: "If it had been a distress signal the officer on watch would have told me."
6936. I say, if it was not a company’s signal, must it not have been a distress signal?
Again, the simple could have been a Yes or a No, but the round-the-house answer was: "Well, I do not know of any other signals but distress signals that are used at sea."
6937. You do not expect at sea, where you were, to see a rocket unless it is a distress signal, do you?
Again a round-the-house answer: "We sometimes get these company’s signals which resemble rockets; they do not shoot as high and they do not explode."
Finally, a little later on:
6944. Then if it was not that [a company signal], it might have been a distress signal?
- "It might have been."