In 1912, Vice President P.A.S. Franklin of the International Mercantile Marine Company told the senate investigating committee how he had asked to have the earlier reports of the Titanic disaster held up to avoid unnecessary alarm. He denied any knowledge of the message addressed to Representative Hughes of West Virginia about the ship being towed to Halifax. Bit by bit, he contributed to the evidence the senate was seeking, to throw light on the catastrophe that sank the Titanic, the pride of the seas, sent almost 1,600 persons to their death and plunged the world into mourning. After denying that officials of the White Star line had any knowledge of the misleading telegrams for Mr. Hughes, it was acknowledged by Mr. Franklin that he had issued reassuring statements when he had no facts on which to base them.