Editorial Note

Throughout 1952, officials of the Departments of State and Defense intermittently considered and discussed the issue of national claims in the Antarctic area. In April 1953, the Department of State took the lead in inviting other agencies to participate in formal, ongoing discussions of Antarctic policy through the formation of two interagency groups. As a result, two groups were formed. The Technical Group on Antarctica was charged with arriving at an accurate determination and description, for use mainly within the government, of all Antarctic localities to which possible United States claims might plausibly be advanced. The Ad Hoc Group on Antarctica agreed at its First Meeting on April 23 that the central problem to be faced was to “determine precisely the nature and extent of U.S. objectives in the Antarctic.” Documentation on the development of interagency working groups on the Antarctic is in the basic Antarctic central file 702.022.