031.1102/9–2854: Circular telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in New Zealand1


164. Following draft White House statement tentatively scheduled for release 6 p.m. EST Friday October 1 for Saturday a.m. papers.

“As a result of recent consideration of Antarctic matters in the Congress and in the Executive Branch, and in recognition of the continuing U.S. interest in the region, it has been decided to send an icebreaker to the Antarctic during the 1954–55 season. This small expedition will be carried out under the leadership of the U.S. Navy and will remain in the Antarctic for a period of four or five months. The latest previous American expeditions were effected in 1946, ’47, and ’48.

The expedition will be in the nature of a survey. It will not attempt to establish any permanent bases ashore. The expedition will make preliminary investigations of conditions in preparation for the necessary logistic support of the International Geophysical Year, 1957–58. This program is a major research undertaking in the earth sciences to be carried out, so far as the U.S. is concerned, under the joint auspices of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation.

As time permits, the expedition will continue the kinds of activity pursued by past U.S. expeditions, including mapping and collection of information concerning the characteristics of the region.”

Foregoing will be handed to missions of Argentina, Chile, Australia, France, New Zealand, Norway and U.K. Friday October 1 prior to release.

Not more than 12 hours before release you may in your discretion also inform appropriate officials provided you satisfied leaks will not occur to distort first press accounts from U.S. source.

Any significant changes in text or release time will be cabled. Joint State–USIA guidance will follow for use replying queries.

  1. Also sent to Canberra, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Oslo, Paris, London, and Pretoria.