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Australian Sector in the Antarctic

Nature volume 131, page 577 (22 April 1933) | Download Citation



THE Australian National Research Council is very much gratified at the announcement that an Order in Council has been issued by the British Government affirming that His Majesty the King has sovereign rights over the antarctic territory, other than Adelie Land, south of lat. 60° S., between long. 160° and 45° E., and placing such territory under the authority of the Commonwealth of Australia from the date on which the necessary legislation is passed by the Commonwealth Parliament. Seven years ago, during the presidency of Sir David Orme Masson, the Research Council urged that sanction be sought for Australian administration of that part of the continent between long. 160° and 90° E. The matter was discussed at the Imperial Conference in 1926 when it was placed on record that there were certain areas to which British title existed by virtue of discovery. More thorough exploration of this ‘Australian sector’ was, however, obviously desirable and to that end the Governments of Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand, with liberal financial aid from Sir MacPherson Robertson of Melbourne, fitted out the “Discovery” expeditions under Sir Douglas Mawson in the seasons 1929–30 and 1930–31. These explored the greater portion of the sector between long. 160° E. and 45° E. including Enderby Land, Kemp Land, Queen Mary Land, King George V Land and new areas to the east of Kemp Land which were named MacRobertson Land and Princess Elizabeth Land. Australia will now presumably assume a measure of responsibility for developing and regulating existing and possible industries in the sector, including the enforcement of the International Convention on Whaling.

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