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Canada had any amount of undeveloped territory, and
that all her energies must be concentrated on developing
the lands nearer home before attention could be paid to
remote arctic islands. To a connoisseur in history-repeat-
ing-itself it is delectable to find that these editorials
read as if they had come out of the same editorial storm
that burst upon Secretary Seward fifty-four years earlier,
when he purchased Alaska on behalf of the United
States—in the days when Alaska went popularly under
the names of “Seward’s Ice Box” and “Seward’s Folly.”

In the United Kingdom the editorials were equally
condemnatory of our action, but on a different basis.
In substance they said that, while the value of Wrangel
Island was problematic, and in the distant future, the
value of the friendship of the United States was unques-
tioned and imperatively needed by the British Empire
at this very moment. They pointed out the consequent
folly of doing anything that might possibly irritate the
United States. By avoiding carefully the question of
whether the United States or Great Britain had the
greater legal right, these editorials produced an unpleas-
ant impression new for any large section of the Imper-
ial press. The Empire has occasionally been accused
of swaggering and taking things without even a show of
right. There are many recorded occasions when the
British Government has insisted with dignity that inter-
national questions of importance should be sifted to their
bottom and decided on their merits. You would certainly
have to go farther back than Elizabeth for historical in-
stances of the surrender by England of valuable territory,
to which the right was clear, on the ground that asserting
one’s rights might hurt the feelings of some other country.

No one would deny the great importance of Anglo-

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