stefansson-wrangel-09-28-011

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within the borders of the United States. The capitalists and managers are the
same and even the laborers can move without much inconvenience from their old
cottages in New England to new cottages made ready for them in the South by their
old employers. But when an English paper reported that simultaneously with the
closing of a mill in Lancashire, a new one as large and better equipped had been
opened in Czecho-Slovakia, the implication was a wholly different one. I could
easily understand that a Government worried with such problems had difficulty in
concentrating its attention on arctic developments which even I, their advocate,
admitted to be decades in the future. With more than a million unemployed at
home receiving doles from the Government to enable them to live and with famine
in neighboring European countries intimately known to Englishmen through travel
and daily exchange of news, it was difficult to get anyone to concern himself
about whether four young men might die on a distant island in case no ship could
be sent to them to end their second year of isolation.

I know there were several members of the Cabinet personally con-
cerned about the Wrangell Island situation but I suppose it to have been chiefly
due to the urging of the heads of the Admiralty and the Air Ministry that the
question finally came up. I never received a written communication about what took
place at the Cabinet discussion but I was given to understand that half a dozen or
more of the Ministers expressed themselves in sympathy with my views and with the
Wrangell Island undertaking, and that no one spoke in dissent. The general sense
of the discussion was that the things which I had done and was doing were the very
best possible and that it was desirable to continue the occupation through private
effort until the Government had more leisure to consider the case and especially to
consult with the Prime Minister of Canada who was expected to arrive about the end
of September to take part in the Imperial Conference of Prime Ministers.

On learning this decision I said to Colonel Amery that I agreed
with it exactly and that I would never have come to the governments of either

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