Draft Declaration on Antarctica, Prepared by the Department of State2

Assembled in the city of ______, Messrs. ______, duly authorized representatives of the Governments of Argentina, Australia, Chile, United States of America, France, Norway, New Zealand and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland have examined the Antarctic problem and having regard to the following points:

That in the Antarctic continent there still exist vast regions not yet well explored or mapped;

That the scientific data which may be obtained from the Antarctic on meteorology, terrestrial magnetism, cosmic rays, geology, marine biology et cetera, are or can be of great value for marine and air navigation, in the use of telecommunications, the development of agriculture and many other human activities;

That it is the desire of the respective Governments to maintain close and friendly relations and avoid any cause for international disagreement, and that it is desirable, therefore, to prevent conflicts of sovereignty or of any other kind from disturbing such friendly relations; and

That their Governments are engaged in conversations and exchanges of views looking toward an amicable, mutually satisfactory solution of the territorial problem of Antarctica;

Declare the following on behalf of their Governments:

That they are disposed to consider and discuss suggestions for methods of settling the territorial problem of Antarctica.
That, in the area south of 60° south latitude, the establishment of new stations, the dispatching of expeditions or like activities carried out during the period of this declaration shall not during the period of this declaration or thereafter prejudice the rights, as they now exist, which any of the signatories may possess, and that the maintenance of present stations, the establishment of new stations, the dispatch of expeditions or the carrying out of other activities during the period of this declaration shall not be invoked against other signatories of this declaration as a basis for claim to sovereignty in the region.
It is agreed between the governments concerned that each of them and their nationals may conduct exploration and scientific research in any part of the area.
That their Governments will carry out an exchange of scientific information regarding Antarctica, including the regular exchange of books, pamphlets, magazines, maps, navigation charts, photographs, schedules, computations, and in general, scientific data which they may possess or obtain regarding Antarctica.
That their Governments will encourage the sending to Antarctica of technical and scientific expeditions and will furnish to expeditions under the flag of any other declarent country facilities for provisioning and other facilities in accordance with international usage.
That their Governments will create a committee consisting of one member from each declarent country to which each country will report projected activities in the Antarctic area and the results of scientific investigations and research upon the completion of such activities.
That the committee shall not have authority to request changes in the plans of any country, but will provide information concerning prior plans of any other country which may be duplicated by new projects or which may occupy expedition sites which would inconvenience the project.
The committee, on behalf of the signatory countries, shall consider and may in its discretion make recommendations to those countries with respect to any situation which may arise in the event that any country other than the signatory powers indicates any intent or desire to conduct exploration and scientific investigation and research in the Antarctic area.
The signatory countries agree not to authorize such expeditions during the life of this agreement except on condition that they will not be made a basis for territorial claims.
The signatories of this declaration will act in cooperation for the advancement and protection of their common interests in the area.

The present Declaration will take effect from this date and will remain in effect for a period of five [ten]3 years. Six months before the expiration of this time limit, the signatory Governments will consult one another regarding the advantages of meeting in an Antarctic Polar Conference. If none of the signatory Governments should notify the others that it wishes to terminate this Declaration on the date referred to, it will continue in effect for another like period.

Done in the City of ______, on the ______ day of the month of ______ in the year 19 .

  1. An earlier draft of this declaration was given to officers of the British Embassy on September 13, 1949. The draft printed here incorporated suggestions made by the British on that earlier draft. For the text of that earlier draft and related materials, see ibid., p. 806.

    A copy of this draft was given to representatives of the British Embassy on January 11. Regarding the transmission of this draft to the Chilean Embassy, see the memorandum of January 4 from Hulley to Mills, infra.

  2. Brackets appear in the source text.