Status: Needs Review


of her desire to own it, as compared with Russia’s one
announcement (in 1916) that she wanted to own Wran-
gel. So far the situations were almost parallel. But
the United States Government (the Army) had pub-
lished a map which I was able to show to the Minister
of the Interior which, by its color scheme, designated
as the property of no country not only Ellesmere Island,
but the next island south of it, North Devon. And the
Danish Government had just notified the Canadian Gov-
ernment that the Danes did not consider that the
Canadian law against the killing of ovibos (musk oxen)
applied in Ellesmere Island since it was not a part of
Canada. I pointed out that if Canada, through Wrangel
Island or in any other way, committed herself to the
doctrine that the claims of territorial contiguity are
superior to those of discovery and occupation, they would
lose Ellesmere to Denmark, if the Danes cared to claim
it. For Ellesmere Island is only ten miles from that
part of Greenland which was made indisputably Danish
by the St. Thomas purchase agreement between the
United States and Denmark wherein the United States
renounced to the Danes discovery claims to Northwest
Greenland based on the explorations of Kane, Hayes,
Hall, [Sreelj],Peary and other Americans.

If we argue that Wrangel belongs to the Russians,
who had never even seen it before 1911, just because it is
only a hundred miles from Russian territory, then surely
Ellesmere would belong to the Danes because it is only
ten miles from Danish territory. The only way to hold
Ellesmere Island was for the Canadian Government to
ignore the arguments of their orators and editors about
continuity giving ownership, and to plant settlements
on Ellesmere Island quickly, standing thereafter squarely

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