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first inquiries of the Minister of the Interior was what
financial return I would expect if the Government decided
to stand on its legal rights with regard to Wrangel Island.
After making it clear that retaining this originally and
still British land within the Empire was more important
to me than any money that could be involved, I went on
to say that I hoped the Government would return with-
out interest, or with bank interest, the money my friends
and I had put into the enterprise. In this connection we
would want our books carefully audited to make it clear
beyond question that we had neither profited nor tried to
profit through doing what we thought foresighted and
patriotic. But if the Government preferred, either for
economy or to demonstrate the value of the island, we
would take a long lease and get our money back by sub-
letting the island to some one of the many arctic com-
mercial companies. I made it very clear that we would
much prefer the refund of what we had actually spent,
for a lease would expose us to newspaper allegations that
we had been working for money all the time. The very
papers that were now protesting against the retention of
Wrangel Island on the ground that it was worthless,
would be the first to accuse us of fattening at the public expense if we
were given a lease of it.

When pleading with the Canadian Government the
spring of 1922 for help (since my money and borrowing
power were exhausted) so that a supply ship could be
sent to Wrangel, I had made the alternative proposals
that they should send in a ship themselves, give us money
to send in a ship, or give us a lease of the island which we
could sell or otherwise use to raise money for a ship.

While negotiating with the Government I had been
negotiating also by cable with Nome and had found

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