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on upon the long-undisputed principle of international law
that effective occupation (especially when strengthened
by original discovery) gives ownership. I stated this
frequently, both in conversations and in writing, to the
Canadian Cabinet, and so did several others of whom
I know. Doubtless the Government would have seen
the point without our urging. What matters is that they
did see the point and quietly outfitted a ship, the Arctic,
to plant Royal Canadian Mounted Police posts on Elles-
mere in 1921. That committed the Government of
Canada to the principle that occupation and not con-
tiguity should determine the ownership of Ellesmere
Island, and, therefore, of all islands. From that moment
it became certain that if they ever renounced Wrangel
Island it would not be because of the legal force of its
being nearcontiguity to Russian territory than to British.

The commotion was not confined to the English-
speaking press. Editorials began to be published in
Russia and news dispatches to circulate to the effect
that Russia had “always” claimed Wrangel Island, that
the claim had always been undisputed, and that the Rus-
sians were the original discoverers. Most extraordinary of
all was the Russian assertion that the discoverer had been
Lieutenant Ferdinand Wrangel, who had landed on the
island “between the years 1821 and 1824.” It is inter-
esting to speculate whether these Soviet documents were
based on actual Russian ignorance or merely upon their
cynical assumption of complete British and American
ignorance not only of the history of British and American
exploration, but also of the history of Russian explora-
ation and development. I incline to the latter view.
Some of the statesmen of the Russian Revolution are

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