800.014 Antarctic/7–148

The Under Secretary of State ( Lovett ) to the Secretary of Defense ( Forrestal )

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My Dear Mr. Secretary: I refer to Secretary Marshall’s letter of June 15, 1948 enclosing policy recommendations on Antarctica1 and to your reply of July 1, 1948.2 The Department of State has now worked out a definition of the area in Antarctica to be claimed by the United States. A copy is attached. It is desired to obtain the concurrence of the National Defense Establishment with this definition of the area. There is annexed also a map3 which shows the area contemplated by the textual definition. It is not expected, however, that any map will he issued or made public in connection with the announcement of the official American claim. It will be noted, of course, that the claim is not defined in terms of a sector.

In view of the conversations undertaken with the interested countries and the pending release of a commercial film on an American naval expedition to Antarctica, it is expected that there will be increasing publicity on this subject and I should like as soon as possible to be prepared to announce the American claim. It would therefore be appreciated if this matter could be given urgent attention. Mr. Samuel W. Boggs, the State Department Geographic Adviser, will make himself available if officers of the Defense Forces desire to confer with him on the subject.

Sincerely yours,

Robert A. Lovett
[Page 1001]
[Enclosure]

Paper Prepared by the Department of State

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U.S. Territorial Claims in Antarctica

The United States Government claims territory in the Antarctic regions which are described below, on the basis of activities of citizens of the United States who have participated in Antarctic expeditions over a period of nearly 130 years. These claims are founded upon numerous discoveries made by many expeditions, and upon extensive surveying and mapping operations by sea, land, and air, covering a great portion of the Antarctic coast and hundreds of thousands of square miles of hinterland. They include large areas which have been explored or seen only by members of expeditions supported from the United States, either by the Government or privately; they also include large areas already claimed by or on behalf of other countries, hut in which the achievements of expeditions supported from the United States afford a basis for territorial claims which are of such validity as fully to justify claims by the United States.

The Antarctic territories claimed by the United States comprise the following:

1.
Between the meridians 35° W. and 135° W. of Greenwich and between the parallels 68° S. and 81° S., all Antarctic mainland and adjacent islands which have been explored or mapped by United States expeditions, and areas completely encompassed within areas explored and mapped only by such United States expeditions, with the exception of those portions of the Palmer Peninsula and all adjacent islands (including Charcot Island and Alexander I Island), that had been previously actually seen and mapped by expeditions of nationalities other than the United States.
2.
Between the meridians 135° W. and 140° E. of Greenwich, all Antarctic territory which has been explored and mapped by United States expeditions, but excluding all the area around the south pole which was claimed for Norway by Roald Amundsen in 1911, and those coastal areas actually seen and mapped previously by expeditions of nationalities other than the United States.
3.
Between the meridians 140° E. and 13° E. of Greenwich, all Antarctic territory which has been explored and mapped by United States expeditions (all of which lies north of approximately 75° south latitude), but excluding all coastal areas actually seen and mapped previously by expeditions of nationalities other than the United States.

  1. See document PPS 31 and footnote 1 thereto, p. 977.
  2. Ante, p. 989
  3. Not reproduced.