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further arctic exploration had become known that
Canada’s chief claim to the ownership of the islands
north of Canada was their contiguity either to the
Canadian mainland or to islands that were indisputably
Canadian through occupation. The reasoning was that some of the these islands
had been discovered or explored by Norwegians or Amer-
icans, and that these nations who might claim them as against Canada, if Canada
or Britain were to claim, on grounds of discovery, explora-
tion or occupation, an island (Wrangel) which was
nearer to Russian than to British lands. These argu-
ments, especially when made as speeches in Parliament,
were widely circulated. I did not try to meet them in
the press, but contented myself with emphasizing to the
Government their double fallacy.

The first answer to the contiguity argument was that
in most of the territorial disputes between nations that
have been arbitrated in modepr times, contiguity has
been urged as a claim an argument by one of the contending
parties, but has never been given weight by the arbi-
trators. It was, therefore, no more than a pious hope
on the part of Canadians that their surrender of dis-
covery and occupation rights in Wrangel Island to Russia
would induce other nations to surrender their discovery
or exploration rights in certain other islands to Canada,
thus establishing a wholly new principle in international
law—the revolutionary doctrine that contiguity should
rank above discovery, exploration and occupation.

The second answer to the contiguity fallacy is, to a
Canadian, more striking than the first. One of the islands
Canadians want to hold is Ellesmere. Like Wrangel, it
was discovered by British naval officers; like Wrangel,
it was explored by Americans (but also by Norwegians
and British); Canada had made several announcements

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