The Ambassador in Russia ( Francis ) to the Secretary of State

No. 479

Sir: I have the honor to enclose herewith, as of possible interest, a copy of a translation from the Kronstadtskii Vyestnik of October 16, 1916, relative to lands in the Arctic Ocean recently discovered by the Commander of a Russian surveying expedition.

I have [etc.]

David R. Francis

Declaration of Russian Government Concerning Newly Discovered Lands in the Arctic Ocean

After approval by His Majesty, the Minister of Foreign Affairs on October 3, 1916, informed the representatives of allied; and friendly powers to Russia in a circular notice as follows:

The large number of discoveries and explorations carried out in the Polar regions along the Northern Coast of the Russian Empire by Russian navigators and merchants during past centuries were recently added to by the new successes achieved by the activity of His Majesty’s Aide-de-Camp Commander Vilkitzky, Imperial Russian Navy, the Commander of the Surveying Expedition of the Northern Frozen Ocean.

This officer of the Imperial Navy in 1913 noted several vast territories along the Northern Coast of Siberia, and in latitude 75—45 North discovered an island, later named the Island of General Vilkitzky. Then to the northward of this was discovered a large body of land extending to the north from Taimir Peninsula, to which was given the name of Emperor Nicholas II Land, Tsessarevitch Alexis Island and Starokadomsky Island.

During 1914, Commander Vilkitzky made other new and important explorations and discovered another new island near Bennet Island, to which the name of Novopashennyi was given.

The Imperial Russian Government has the honor of notifying the Governments of the allied and friendly powers to Russia of the inclusion of these lands in the Russian Empire.

The Imperial Government takes the occasion to state that it considers also as composing an integral part of the Empire the following islands: Henriette, Jeanette, Bennet, Herald and Uiedinenia (Solitude), which together with the New Siberia Islands, Wrangel and [Page 279] others along the Asiatic shores of the Empire, form an extension to the north of the Continental expanse of Siberia.

The Imperial Government does not consider it necessary to include in the present notification the islands of Novaya Zemlia, Kolguev, Vaigatch and others of smaller dimensions, disposed along the European Coast of the Empire in view of the fact that they have been recognized for centuries as a part of the Empire.