800.014 Antarctic/1–2747: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom


490. For your info: In response press conference question on Jan 7, 1947, whether US favors international conference be called to settle various nations’ territorial claims in Antarctic, Mr. Byrnes1 replied that with all of the conferences that are being held about things of great importance in this world it would not be essential immediately to call a conference on Antarctic questions which are not very important (urtel 541 Jan 27).2

Although above statement doubtless reported Brit FonOff, Dept desires you seek appropriate opportunities discreetly to underline foregoing view.

  1. James F. Byrnes served as Secretary of State until January 21, 1947, when he was succeeded by George C. Marshall.
  2. Not printed; it reported that the British Foreign Office official charged with Antarctic affairs had stated that no decision had yet been taken by the British Government or the Foreign Office regarding policy in Antarctica. It was further reported that some Labor Members of Parliament were proposing that the United Nations be given jurisdiction over the area (800.014 Antarctic/1–2747).