Status: Needs Review


week period mentioned by the Prime Minister of Canada was
from the first considered too short by the officers over
here. Later I understood from the Colonial Office that
the decision depended almost exclusively on the Foreign
. I was informed that memoranda had been submitted
by the Air Ministry and Admiralty and was given to under-
stand that these had been on the whole favourable. I had
several conferences with Amery and Hoare on the basis of
an anticipated decision by the Foreign Office but even-
tually the Foreign Office informed me that my general
recommendations, and especially the specific ones about
Wrangell Island, would be referred to the whole Cabinet for
action. This caused further postponement, especially in
view of the very difficult and absorbing questions (such
as the Ruhr) which were then before the Cabinet.

So far as I know Mr. Amery and Sir Samuel Hoare were
both strongly in favour of my recommendations. Their
advice to me was to the effect that insisting on a quick
decision was unfortunate tactics. We felt we were in the
right and consequently that time would fight on our side.
The longer the matter was considered, the more certain a
correct decision.

At this stage I became seriously embarrassed about
the position of our men in Wrangell Island. My best
London advice was that the longer decision could be post-
poned the better. I then cabled Toronto to see if it
were possible to get help from the Government at Ottawa
for the necessary supply ship that should sail from Nome,
, around August 1. As you know the reply from
Ottawa was to the effect that they could do nothing until
there was a favourable action on the part of the British
authorities. Thus we were in a hopeless dilemma. We
could get no help till action was taken and we could not
press for action without lessening the chance of success
in London.

Somewhat before this time Noice had started from
Nome, his expenses paid privately by A.J. Taylor of Toronto.
We wanted him in Nome so that he could take charge of such
ship as we might charter for the Wrangell Island work.

Towards the end of July my special friends in London
became greatly worried about the safety of the men on
Wrangell Island. They wanted to make an appeal through
the press but my best advisors were against that, fearing
not only an unfavourable effect on public opinion in
England but also increased excitement in Soviet Russia.
The authorities of the Foreign Office had concluded that
the British claim to Wrangell Island was far better than

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