stefansson-wrangel-09-37-045

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potential value of Wrangel Island to the British Empire
for the purposes of a flying base, and I had little
doubt that the Japanese recognized it too. The British
flag had been planted there by my expedition in 1914;
but we did not stay long, and the British claim might be
said to have become a little shabby. I wanted to have
the British flag hoisted there again, and to have it
done before the Japanese could hoist theirs. The Canad-
ian government of the time was considering sending an
expedition the following year; but in my view the matter
could not wait. Knight, Maurer, and Galle, were of course
Americans: but the appointment of Allan Crawford, Canad-
ian, as leader, entitled the expedition to be considered
British.”

Crawford was twenty-two years old in February, 1922.

London Times, , p.7: "We learn that
there has been a short exchange of notes between the
British government and the Russian Commisar for Foreign
Affairs in regard to the recent relief expedition to
Wrangel Island.

The Soviet Government, on learning of Mr. Noice's
journey to the Island, inquired the nature of his mission,
and was accordingly re-assured by the Foreign Office in a
note stating that the expedition was a friendly one, or-
ganized for a humanitarian purpose, and without political
significance.

According to a Reuter message received yesterday
from Moscow, this note was delivered last Tuesday, aiid
has been acknowledged by the Soviet government."

New York Times, : "Stefannson Claims
Wrangel Island for Great Britain. The expedition he sent
out last fall has established possession, says explorer.
Timed to Forestall Japan. Any previous claims of America
or Britain had lapsed, he holds. Now offered to Canada.
Stefannson denies that Russia to whom land is allotted in
maps has any right to it.--

The British flag has been raised by a party sent out
by Vilhjalmar Steffansson on Wrangel Island, one of the
most important islands of the Arctic region, because strat-
egically it dominates N.E. Siberia. The explorer now
admits that when the little vanguard of his fifth and
latest expedition, including citizens of the United States,
landed on Wrangel Island on Sept.21, last, its mission
was political as well as scientific.

Wrangel Island, which is about the size of Jamaica,
lies 100 miles off the N.E. coast of Siberia and 400 miles
west of Bering strait, in latitude 71° and longitude 180°.
For the most part It is a typical grass covered arctic

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