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were believed to be penetrating eastern Siberia with a
view to wresting it permanently from the Soviet Govern-
ment of Russia. Some friends of mine who had returned
from northeastern Siberia confirmed the actual Japanese
penetration at the time and believed in its permanence.
With my great admiration for the Japanese I felt
certain that within a year or two they would realize
the coming importance of Wrangel Island and would
occupy it. Since they were at that time the allies of
Great Britain, it would have been all the more awkward
to ask them to leave the island. The most Britain could
have done would have been to suggest international
arbitration, whereupon it might have been decided that,
in spite of original British discovery, a present Japanese
occupation had more force in 1921 or 1922 than a half-
year of British tenancy as long ago as 1914.

By a curious accident an old friend, Mr. Alfred J. T.
Taylor, of Vancouver, turned up in Nevada the day I
received the heart-breaking telegram from Ottawa. I
was worrying over what appeared to me the short-sight-
edness of statesmen and troubled also because it
seemed I was going to be unable after all to provide
Knight and Maurer with a chance to go north. The
appearance of Taylor cheered me, and in an hour my
wrecked hopes had been replaced by a plan he and I
thought we could carry through.

Since Wrangel Island was already British, we could
keep it British by merely occupying it. As we under-
stood international law, it would make no difference
whether such an occupation had been specially ordered
by any government so long as the government in question
eventually confirmed it. I wired Knight and Maurer

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