031 Byrd South Polar Expedition/38

The British Ambassador (Howard) to the Secretary of State

No. 526

Sir: I have the honour to inform you, in accordance with instructions received from His Majesty’s Acting Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, that His Majesty’s Governments in different countries of the Empire have learnt that an American expedition, under Commander Byrd, has started on a voyage of scientific research in the [Page 1003] Antarctic regions. His Majesty’s Governments concerned will watch with especial interest the progress of this expedition on account of the interest which they themselves take in the regions in which they understand that the bulk of the research by Commander Byrd and his party is to be undertaken. It will probably be recalled that certain regions of the Antarctic formed the subject of discussions which took place at the Imperial Conference held in London in 1926. An account of these discussions is given on pages 33 and 34 of the Public Summary of Proceedings, a copy of which I have the honour to transmit to you herewith.81

I am to add that His Majesty’s Governments wish every success to the expedition, and that, if the United States Government so desire, instructions will be issued to the appropriate authorities to afford Commander Byrd every assistance in their power while the expedition is in the Boss Dependency and the Falkland Islands Dependencies.82

I have [etc.]

Esme Howard
  1. Not printed. Following is account referred to:

    xi.—british policy in the antarctic

    The question of Antarctic exploration was discussed between representatives of the Governments interested. There are certain areas in these regions to which a British title already exists by virtue of discovery. These areas include:—

    The outlying part of Coats Land, viz., the portion not comprised within the Falkland Islands Dependencies.
    Enderby Land.
    Kemp Land.
    Queen Mary Land.
    The area which lies to the west of Adélie Land and which on its discovery by the Australian Antarctic Expedition in 1912 was denominated Wilkes Land.
    King George V Land.
    Oates Land.

    The representatives of the Governments concerned studied the information available concerning these areas with special reference to their possible utilisation for further developing exploration and scientific research in the Antarctic regions.” Great Britain, Cmd. 2768, Imperial Conference (1926): Summary of Proceedings.

  2. In its reply of Nov. 15, 1929 (031 Byrd South Polar Expedition 65½), the Department stated in part:

    “The reference in the Ambassador’s note to the summary of proceedings of the Imperial Conference of 1926, containing an account of discussions concerning certain regions of the Antarctic, has been noted, but since it is assumed that this was merely brought to the Department’s attention for its information, no comment by the Department would seem to be called for at this time.”