March 3, 1956
Excerpt from Papers Prepared by the Historical Division on Antarctica
This document was made possible with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)
Antarctica, SECRET, Historical Division, Ministry of External Affairs, 3 March 1956
Folder: F 25(2)-AMS/56(S)
Under: Papers Prepared by the Historical Division on Antarctica
…But the problem of Antarctica, however hazy, is no longer a remote one. Apart from hopes of mineral wealth, whaling, resources yield an annual income of nearly £25 million. The area is also of importance for meteorological investigation, and there are already 18 weather stations located there. It may also prove useful as a testing ground for nuclear weapons and for the location of air and submarine bases. This explains to some extent the intense activity on the part of thirty countries, ostensibly in connection with the International Geophysical Year of 1957-1958. While the year was chosen by the International Council of Scientific Unions because sunspots are expected then to be large and to occur frequently, and there is need for scientific study of low latitude phenomena, the present interest in the Antarctic may not be wholly technical. The expeditions now in the region are accomplishing at least as much from the operational as from the geophysical viewpoint, and on 13 February 1956 the Russian flag was hoisted over the base in Queen Mary Land, claimed by Australia.
Antarctica is a strategic location with abundant natural resources and thirty countries are involved in research there.
The History and Public Policy Program welcomes reuse of Digital Archive materials for research and educational purposes. Some documents may be subject to copyright, which is retained by the rights holders in accordance with US and international copyright laws. When possible, rights holders have been contacted for permission to reproduce their materials.
To enquire about this document's rights status or request permission for commercial use, please contact the History and Public Policy Program at [email protected].