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Exchange of Notes Regarding the Recognition by the Norwegian Government of the Sovereignty of His Majesty over the Sverdrup Islands

E102226 - CTS 1930 No. 17

I

The Norwegian Chargé d’Affaires, London, to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, London

Royal Norwegian Legation

LONDON, August 8th, 1930

No. 95/1930

The Right Honourable Arthur Henderson, P.C., M.P.,
etc., etc., etc.

Sir,

Acting on instructions from my Government I have the honour to request you to be good enough to inform His Majesty’s Government in Canada that the Norwegian Government, who do not as far as they are concerned claim sovereignty over the Sverdrup Islands, formally recognise the sovereignty of His Britannic Majesty over these islands.

At the same time my Government is anxious to emphasize that their recognizance of the sovereignty of His Britannic Majesty over these islands is in no way based on any sanction whatever of what is named “the sector principle”.

I have the honour to be, etc.,

Daniel Steen
Chargé d’Affaires a. i.


II

The Norwegian Chargé d’Affaires, London, to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, London

ROYAL NORWEGIAN LEGATION

LONDON, August 8th, 1930

No. 96/1930

The Right Honourable Arthur Henderson, P.C., M.P.,
etc., etc., etc.

Sir,

With reference to my note of to-day in regard to my Government’s recognition of the sovereignty of His Britannic Majesty over the Sverdrup Islands, I have the honour, under instructions from my Government, to inform you that the said note has been despatched on the assumption on the part of the Norwegian Government that His Britannic Majesty’s Government in Canada will declare themselves willing not to interpose any obstacles to Norwegian fishing, hunting or industrial and trading activities in the areas which the recognition comprises.

I have the honour to be, etc.,

Daniel Steen
Chargé d’Affaires a. i.


III

The British Chargé d’Affaires, Oslo, to the Norwegian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Oslo

BRITISH LEGATION

OSLO, 5th November, 1930

No. 122

Son Excellence Monsieur J. L. Mowinckel,
etc., etc., etc.

Monsieur le Ministre d'État,

At the instance of His Majesty’s Government in Canada and under the instructions of His Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, I have the honour to invite reference to the two notes addressed to His Majesty’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs by the Norwegian Chargé d’Affaires in London on August 8th last, in regard to the recognition by the Norwegian Government of the sovereignty of His Britannic Majesty over the Otto Sverdrup Islands, and to inform you that His Majesty’s Government in Canada has noted the desire on the part of the Norwegian Government that no obstacles should be interposed to Norwegian fishing, hunting, or industrial and trading activities in the area which the recognition comprises, and wishes to assure the Norwegian Government that it would have pleasure in according any possible facilities. It wishes, however, to draw attention to the fact that it is the established policy of the Government of Canada, as set forth in an Order in Council of July 19, 1926, and subsequent Orders, to protect the Arctic areas as hunting and trapping preserves for the sole use of the aboriginal population of the Northwest Territories, in order to avert the danger of want and starvation through the exploitation of the wild life by white hunters and traders. Except with the permission of the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories, no person other than native Indians or Eskimos is allowed to hunt, trap, trade, or traffic for any purpose whatsoever in a large area of the mainland and in the whole Arctic island area, with the exception of the southern portion of Baffin Island. It is further provided that no person may hunt or kill or traffic in the skins of the musk-ox, buffalo, wapiti, or elk. These prohibitions apply to all persons, including Canadian nationals. Should, however, the regulations be altered at any time in the future, His Majesty’s Government in Canada would treat with the most friendly consideration any application by Norwegians to share in any fishing, hunting, industrial, or trading activities in the areas which the recognition comprises.

I avail myself of this opportunity to assure you, Monsieur le Ministre d’État, of my highest consideration.

Kenneth Johnstone


IV

The Norwegian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Oslo to the British Chargé d’Affaires, Oslo

(Translation)

ROYAL NORWEGIAN MINISTRY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

OSLO, 5th November, 1930

Mr. Kenneth Johnstone, Esq.,
The British Government’s Chargé d’Affaires,
etc., etc.

Monsieur le Chargé d'Affaires,

I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 5th instant in reply to the two notes from the Norwegian Chargé d’Affaires in London to the British Foreign Minister of the 8th August last regarding Norway’s recognition of His Britannic Majesty’s sovereignty over the Otto Sverdrup Islands.

The Norwegian Government has noted that the Canadian Government would willingly have granted every possible facility to Norwegian fishing, hunting or industrial and trading activities in these regions, but that it is a leading principle in the policy of the Canadian Government to preserve the Arctic regions as hunting and trapping preserves for the sole use of the Aboriginal population of the Northwest Territories, in order to prevent their being in want as a consequence of the exploitation of the wild life by white hunters and trappers, and that they have drawn up more definite regulations to this end by means of several Orders in Council.

The Norwegian Government has further noted that should these regulations be altered in the future, the Canadian Government will treat in the most friendly manner any application from Norwegians for facilities to carry on fishing, hunting, industrial or trading activities in the areas which the Norwegian Government’s recognition comprises.

I beg to inform you that in these circumstances the Norwegian Government find themselves able to concur in this reply to the above-mentioned notes of 8th August last.

I avail myself, etc.

(for the Minister for Foreign Affairs)
Aug. Esmarch