SPITSBERGEN (ORE 25-50)

Created: 6/26/1950

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SSftyRET

SPITSBERGEN

SUMMARY

Spitsbergen archipelago is situated on the great circle route from northern Russia to Greenland and the east coast of tbe US. It furnishes potential sites for air facilities, guided missile emplacements, weather and Loran stations, and radar posts.ew months of the year, it could be used as aand emergency submarine base. Longyearbyen, Its main settlement.0 statute miles from New0rom Point Barrow, Alaska,rom Murmansk.

In accordance with an agreement signed0 by all Interested powers and adhered to5 by the USSR, Spitsbergen Is aof Norway. The treaty provides that no military Installations of any kind will be allowed, and that foreign nationals, under regulations set forth by the Norwegianwill be granted concessions for Uie economic exploitation of coal and otherfound in the islands. Tbe UK, USSR, and Norway arc currently taking advantage of this arrangement, and the latter twoare actively exploiting claims. Shortly before thc end of the war, however,ime when Norway wasosition to be mtlrni-datedoviet army of "liberation,"manifested additional Interest inin the form of Such demands as for outright cession of Bear Island and awith Norway over thc archipelago in place of the existing treaty agreements. All Soviet proposals for greater Influence In Spitsbergen were later rejected by theparliament, and thc Issue has not been

raised again by the USSR to date. The matter cannot be considered closed, however, because the Soviets cantheir demands whenever lt suits their purpose.

Although Spitsbergen contains several minerals of strategic Importance, none of them to date has been profitably minedcoal. To Norway, the archipelagoon-foreign producer of coal which can supply aboutercent of Its domestic needs. The USSR, however, has had no real need of Spitsbergen coal since theof mines and railway transportation In northern Russia, and none of tho other known resources of the Islands would be ofto the Soviet Union even If theirshould prove physically practicable. The USSR, nevertheless, maintains four claims,quare miles (less than Norway but more than theurrently employseople there, andto be constantly expanding ItsNumerous loaded ships leave theclaims but the Soviets have not as yet reported on production for9 season.

In accordance with treaty provisions, aInspector of mines visits the Soviet concessions, but the Russians request advance notice of his arrival and hc is not permitted to survey any activities other than the mines themselves. Although no indications ofactivity on the part of the Soviets have been seen, and there ls no hnmedlate evidence of construction of air or seaplane bases. It would be possible to conduct fairly ccnsider-

S?.rCPOrl 'Vsprcpared on toe Initiative ot thc Central tateUisence Awncveedthich hTbeet at

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It contains information available to CIA as ofunempapci

operatlona In areas not normally exposed to observation. Air reconnaissance has not revealed any activity not connected withbut equipment and material could be stored ln fairly large quantities which would not be observed from tbe air and would not be seen by the inspector. Tbe Sovietsa radio station at Pyramid ro and aretoeteorological station there.

Despite prewar failures to exploiton Spitsbergenritish firm has renewed Its claims and ls attempting to raise tho capital required to begin work. This venture, welcomed by Norway because itprevented the Soviets iromclaims and thus further frustrating observation, was motivated not only byeconomic advantage but by BritishIn main tainoothold lnto observe Soviet activities In the area and to deter possible Soviet violations of the treaty. To date, thc company, whose claims will lapse unless It commences actualhas neither been able to attractprivate capital nor to interest the UK

or US Governments in subsidization of the venture.

Several factors Indicate continuing Soviet exploitation of the resources Id their claims. Even though rp*Trfflnm, possible production of coal will notignificant contribution to tbe Soviet economy, coal mining affords an Incontestable reason for the presence ofpersonnel. Development of claimsconstruction and related activities can all be Justified as essential to miningCommunications faculties, similarly justified, serve the additional purpose ofweather data which are useful m

meteorological studies and ln weatherfor the European continentInterest in the strategic potential of the archipelago makes It unlikely that thc USSR will abandon this observation post from which It canatchful eye upon the activities of other nationals Inorwegian exploitation of the resources ln

their claims will also continue at about the

present rate.

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ET

SPITSBERGEN

1. and asbestos hare been reported but

to Norway, liesiles _? ' ., *

north coast, enables ships to navigate

fromN toIt conslsUand IMm Karls Forland the

fire largeumber of smallereconomic exploitation.

Squareeast coast and the eastern half of the

Vestspltsbergencoast arc for the most part Inaccessible

Nordaustlandet of the drift Ice.

Hitforicol Bockoround: Claims of Sover-

Is said to have been discovered

Smaller Norsemenut knowledge of the

hereafter faded until Its rediscovery by

Duringn

When the following Islands are added,Dutch and English whalers, as well

Norwegians call the entireolDanish-Norwegian craft, plied the sur-

meanlng "Cold Coast" In oldwaters, and the Danish kings

claimed sovereignty over the Islands. After

Squareend of whaling in these waters in the

Kvitflya century the question of sovereignty be-

Kong Karls less important, since the resources of

Islands themselves were meager. The

BJurnpya (Bear Island) were the first to winter In the archl-

and were reported0 to have

Svaibardor four settlements there. Russian

hunters were also active on Bear Island, but

Thc location of Spitsbergen gives itNorwegian hunters commenced to win-

tial strategic valueite forussians had gone,

guided missile emplacements, weatherin7 the Norwegians and

Loran sUUons, and radar posts. It couldundertook scientific expeditions to the

usedestroyer and emergencyand eventually In

rine baseew months in the year. explorer sought royal protection for

its present undeveloped state, however,establishmentolony. The UK.

valuease for offensive operationsGermany, Denmark. Holland, and

were consulted, and Spitsbergen's

Spitsbergen's chief economic resourceas "terra nullfus" was reaffirmed,

coal. The most valuable fields, located inthe last years ofh and first

central basin of the west coast,h century, increasing attention was

toillion metric tons. to the islands partly for strategic rea-

sldcrable deposits of gypsum. Iron ore,but also because profitable working of

pyrites, molybdenite, and lead arc alsoSpitsbergen coal deposits had become pos-

to exist, but only gypsum and coal arc Norwegians and Swedes were alarmed

2

available. Deposits of marble,one or another of the great powers should

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the area; their fears were Intensifieda short but sharp conflict of Interest over Bear Island between Russianternational negotiations concerning the status of the Islands wereand conferences were held4 without satisfactoryAfter the separation of Norway from .Sweden5 there was some rivalrythe two countries with respect toand between both Scandinavianand Russia. In fact, all nations which bad any platen or interests In the areathe US, Germany, and the UK as well as the three northern powers) feared that the firm establishment of sovereignty by any one power would prejudice the rights andof others. Yet all admitted theof an orderly settlement of theThe outbreak of Worldemporary end to negotiations.

After the war tbe problem was taken up by the Norwegian Government ba ato the President of the Peace Conference asking that the Spitsbergen Islands, including Bear Island, be placed under the Jurisdiction of Norway. The Supreme Council of theand Associated Powersour-man committee to handle the problem and to consider such claims on Spitsbergen as might be made by powers other than Norway. The report of this committee, recommending full Norwegian sovereignty over the archipelago, was accepted by the Supreme Council onreaty was draftedthe rights of non-Norwegians, and Its content was approved by the Norwegian Government It was signed0 by the authorized representatives of the US, Great Britain. Canada. Australia. New Zealand, Union of South Africa, India.France, Italy, Japan, Norway,and Sweden. After those nations had effected formal ratification, thc treaty was proclaimed in eflectnd the Norwegian Government took formalof the archipelago onugust of thc same year.

Russian nationals and companies werethe same rights under the treaty as nationals of the signatory powers, and pro-

vision was made for Russian adherence to the treaty after such timeussianshould be granted recognition by tbc signatories. In accordance with thisthe USSR ratified thc treaty with effect as

Sovereignty over the archipelago, Including Bear Island, was given to Norway, which"not to create nor to allow theof any naval base innd not to construct anyln tbe said territories, which may never be used for warlikehe nationals of the signatories (and of Russia) wereequal liberty of access and entry for the purpose of conducting maritime. Industrial, mining, or commercial enterprises, subject, however, to regulations made by theGovernment in accordance with the terms of tbe treaty. Tbe same rights ud privileges were to be accorded to all countries subsequently adhering to tbe treaty. *

3. Developments during World Wor II.

0 only Norway and the USSR had companies exploiting the coal resources of Spitsbergen;orwegians0 Russians were in the Islands. Thesewere evacuated latend the mines were put out of operation by allied combat engineer troops. Subsequently the Germansarrison ofen. Inhe Norwegiansmall force; and somewhat later the GermansA German naval force shelled Long-yearbyen and Barentsburg in3 and severely damaged the installations; the Norwegian garrison escaped destruction,and stayed on until after Norway'sNorwegian coal mining activities were renewed lninter season.

Soviet strategic Interest in Spitsbergen was demonstrated4emand uponfor outright cession of Bear Island and the establishmentondominium over Spitsbergen, in order to protect lines ofvital to thc Soviet Union.as Soviet troops were then occupying northern Norway, the Norwegian Government felt constrained to propose that negotiations for joint military defense of the islands be

a KCJTET

initiated, with final plans to be submitted to tne Allied Government. In agreeing to this proposal, the USSR further suggested that negotiations be carried on at the same time regarding the exploitation ot coal deposits and other resources on Spitsbergen and about the possibility of abrogating the Spitsbergen treaty.

The Norwegian Government accepted the Soviet proposal but with four qualifications: (a) the Storting must approve the final(b) any defense measures adopted would be on an equal basis between the two states and should be designed to fit whatever international security organization was to be established; (c) the Soviets were to furnish additional Information concerning their views on the exploitation of resources; andf the Spitsbergen Treaty should be carried out In accordance with international law, with consent of all signatories exceptadherents to the Axis. Inorway presented to the USSR the draftoint declaration stating that theot Spitsbergen was Unpractical and expressing the desire of the two nations to utilize the Islandink In an international security chain andeans of protecting then* own Interests. To this proposal the Norwegians received no reply.

The Soviets brought the Spitsbergen matter up twice verballyugust at the Paris Peace Conterence and again at the November meeting ol the UN GeneralBoth times they suggested to thea meeting to settle the matter, but on the second occasion they indicated athat the USSR be given preference In the exploitation of Spitsbergen's naturaland they gave the Impression that the USSR would now expect exclusive ownership and control of any airbases to be established In the Islands.

Onhe Storting1 against further bilateral militarywith the USSR concerningand Bear Island, and this resolution was formally transmitted to Moscow. Norway cftered to continue bilateral discussions with the USSR on economic aspects of the treaty, this being regardedesture designed lo

soften the Storting's relatively harsh refusal to discuss military aspects. The Soviethas not replied to this note; thefor renewed discussions lies with it. since Norway ls satisfied with the existingprovisions.

4. Strategic Location and Importance.

Spitsbergen Is situated on the northern flank ot tbe ocean route to the Soviet ports of Murmansk, Archangel, and Pctsamo; BJur-miya (Bear Island) is on the great circle route from Northern Russia to Greenland and the cast coast cf the US. Longyearbyen, the most Important settlement In Spitsbergen, Isfrom certain points as follows (In statute miles):

Petsamo

Murmansk

Oslo,

Narvik,

Jameson Land, Greenland

Point Barrow,

New

The location of Spitsbergen gives Itstrategic valueite for air facilities, guided missile emplacements, weather and Loran stations, and radar posts. It could be of valueestroyer and emergencybase.eteorological station it could be an Important linkreenland-Iceland-Jan Mayen-Spitsbergen chain of polar reporting stations. In Its presentstate Its valuease for offensive operations Is negligible.

Navigation ba Svalbard waters isexcept during the summer months. Pack ice. which Is the principal hindrance to shipping, arrives from the east and northeast, rounds the south cape of Spitsbergen, and moves northward up thc west coast The most southerly fjords ofHomsund andoften ice bound until July and may freeze over early in the fall; neither is considered as practicable for bases as Isf jorden which is located about half way up thc west coast. Isf jorden also has flat

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along much of its shore, many natural harbors and waterside areas suitable forand the longest navigation season-It ls generally free of pack ice from June to October. BJorniya Is normally Ice free the year round.

There are no established airfields InExcept In the fjords, where low binds He at the mouths of thc rivers, mountain ranges rise precipitously, close to the shore of the island. Airfield possibilitieshe narrow belts on thepart of the westlluvial land In the Interior of the three deep bays which Indent the west coast;he plateaus adjacent to the Wljdefjord In the northeast. Air and ground reconnaissance has been and ls being made to determine facilities for land-based aircraft and seaplanes; to dateare largely confined to the Isfjorden and BeUsund areas. Several natural sites exist on the coasts of these fjords which, with slight preparation, could probably be used for light and medium aircraft during the summer and early fall (August throughut would often be unusable during the period of maximum thaw (June andt afield in Advcntdalen, which was used by the German Air Force during World.s, HE-lll's. ands landed and took off during September and October and even In May and June. At thisravel terrace offers possibilitiesunwayeet. Considerable engineering work would be necessary toield for anything but occasional use. and any runway would have to be constructed to resist damage by frost heave. When frozen (October through May) il would be serviceable, but darkness and unfavorable dying weather at that season would limit its usefulness. In the Gipsdalcn area there are two sites where, with slight surface leveling, it would be possible to construct runways00 feet, nicy would be serviceable in winter when frozen and in summer except during thc thaw (June and July) for Ught and mediumIt Is doubtful that any usable field could be constructed at Sveagruva, although some other site in BeUsund might prove

The four principal bays (BeUsund,Hornsund, and Kongsfjorden) on the west coast of Vestspltsbergen offer landing areas lor seaplanes In tbe summer and landings on Ice In tbe winter. Hornsund and BeUsund frequentlyhorter Ice free season than Isfjorden; Kongsf jorden ls often Ice free thc year round. Drift Ice and Ice from glaciers are the greatest hazard to seaplane landings In the bays, but AdvcnUJordcn and Gntn-fjorden In the Isfjorden area have been used for the purpose. In April and May thewere able to land on the smooth bay Ice of Advenlfjorden. The British andhave made seaplane landings to these fjords.

5. Economic Importance.

The natural resources of Svalbard are of little economic Importance. For Norway, Spitsbergenseful non-foreign source of coal, and has supplied morehird of annual Norwegian lequlrements. The USSR has had no real need of Spitsbergen coal since the development of mines and railwayIn northern Russia, and none of the other known resources of Svalbard would be of Importance to the Soviet Union even if their exploitation should prove physlcaUy practicable. Up to the present, coal Is the only resource which has been profitably

Svalbard has no indigenous population and Is not economically self-sustaining.established there must Import virtually all necessities.

a. Coal

Coal resources are estimated atillion metric tons, consisting mostly ofdeposits in the Isfjorden and Kongs-fjorden areas. Since World War ISwedes, Dutch, Russians, and British have mined them at one time or another, but aU except Norwegians and Russians hadtheir operations by thes.verage annual coalfrom Spitsbergen wasons, Norwegian and Soviet minesabout equal quantities. The Soviets operated mines at two of their fourand1 were planning to commence

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operationshird claim. Prewar Soviet operations involved00 Soviet nationals. During the sameorwegians were employed at the three Norwegian tBtOtat

Most of the mining facilities were destroyed during the war, and both Norwegians, and Russians undertook reconstruction of then* properties soonhe British have renewed their claim but have not commenced operations.

The Norwegians plan to getons ofear from Spitsbergen. This would satisfy aboutercent ofcoal needs and In so doing reduce appreciably the expenditure of foreignOfons minedalf was used In North Norway while the other half was divided between state railways and steamships which bunkered In northernports,

Spitsbergen coal ls not well suited for use In many types of coaJ-bumlng installations. Its extreme friabilityargeof It to fall through the fuel grates or be carried out the stack, while Its relatively low melting point and alkaline reaction produce abnormally rapid deterioration of silica fire brick. Moreover, in the customary coking processes ltery porous andweak coke, which crumbles whenor stored. The Norwegian Government, in cooperation with Industry, Is trying looking process suitable forcoal. Good results have been achieved In pilot plant operation, but extensive plant facilities and considerable electric powerwill be required to advance the process beyond Its present stage. PetroleumIncluding gasoline, can be extracted in thc process, but preliminary estimatesthat the cost of production would be double the cost of equivalent productsfrom abroad. It therefore appears doubtful that any early Increase Indemand for Spitsbergen coal will result from these developments but the capability exists If future economic conditions should warrant the costs.

Soviet production was and ls shipped to the northern Soviet ports of Murmansk, Arch-

angel, and Pctsamo. Prewar production was of considerable value for bunkering ships In these northern ports and for coal needs of the northwest area. The demand forcoal has decreased with postwarand transportation expansion in north-em USSR and ft ls probable that the major portion of tbe coal requirements of thearea is now supplied by the Pechora fields.

b. Other Resources.

There are large gypsum deposits at the eastern end of Isfjorden. Past Britishat exploitation did not provealthough the quality of gypsum Isand loading of ships presents no serious obstacle. To date no other resources have been exploited.

Oil shale has been reported but development has not yet been deemed practicable. Rich and extensive deposits of magnetic ore arc found near Recherchef jorden In BeUsund. The field ls someiles long and the ore has testedercent Iron. Phosphate beds are known to exist. Deposits of coppermolybdenite, and lead have been

6. Current Activities.

Nationals of Norway, the UK, and the Soviet Union are engaged in operations In Svalbard. Pursuant to Its obligations under the treatyhich accords to nationals of thoseadhering to the treaty equal rights in the exploitation of the resources of Svalbard, the Norwegian Government has establishedregulations governing thc acquisition and working of claims. Any party desiring tonatural resources in Spitsbergen must firstwo-year search license from the Norwegian authorities. Ifatural deposit, hc acquiresight to the discovery and ls entitledlaim on the discovery point Iflaim is made within five years, tho right lapses.

After filing notice of discovery, the party may applylaim survey, paying alee. Notice of tune of survey and other pertinent data are published In the Official Svalbard Gazette in Norway and serve as no-

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to any who mayetter right to tho land to contest the claim. Thcof Mines determines the applicants right to the claim chiefly on the basis ofand if within six months there Is no opposition by an Interested party, tho claim is finalized and the holder has the sole right to extract the minerals. There ls no specified time of expiration, but the holder must begin operations within four years after the claim has become tBmH and conduct them so that In each succeeding period of five yean atman-days-work are performed; failure to fulfill the work requirement causes the claims to lapse. Dispensations from thiscan be obtained if sufficient impediments to Its fulfillment, beyond the claim-holder's control, arc shown.

A British company, thc Scottish Spitsbergen Syndicate, has four claims covering an areaquare kilometersquarehe USSR,tate-owned companyaintains four claims consistingquare kilometersquare miles).through both private and goremment-owned companies, have claimsquare kilometersquareIn addition Norwaylaimthe whole Island ofre operating three of their claims, and the Norwegians operate at three principalBesides those where coal is presently mined, Norwegian nationals hold numerous claims which are presently not being worked. Of thc four Soviet claims there is no evidence of exploitation at

a. Norwegian Activities.

Mining. Coal mining operations areon at threealong the southern coast of Isfjordcn. from the eastern shore of Adventfjorden and Adventa-dalen southwest to the Russian concession atthe eastern end of Bellsund;ythe southern coast of Korigsfjorden. The most extensive operations are at Longyearbyen, the largest community and the seat of thefor Svalbard, where two minesto the Store Norske Spitsbergen Kul-kompani produced andetric

tons of coal to Norwayopulation, of whomre miners, lives at Longyearbyen. Mining operations continue throughout the year, but theseason extends from about May toThere Is an unloading Jetty at the end of Adventfjordenood weather of taking ships up0 tons. Arriving ships go first up the fjord to the unloading Jetty to discharge cargo and then return to Hotellneset at the mouth of tbe fjord, where there are two berthing quays to load coal One quay can accommodate ships up0 tons, the other not.

At the Sveagruva claim, also owned by thc SNSK, whereiners are7 tons of coal were minedhe coal at Sveagruva is of poor quality, and the ice conditions In Bellsund make the shipping season short. SNSK therefore plans tooperations at Sveagruva and toon mining at Longyearbyen, where the annual production capacity of0 tons represents the maximum thatwishes to Import from the company under normal conditions.

At Ny Alesund in Kongsfjorden, the two mines are operated by the government-controlled Kings Bay Coal Company and the normal annual outputew mine ls projected, with operationshipsons can berth at the jetty in Kongsfjorden; annualnumber abouturing the May-October season.

The Norwegians are no longer operating their coal mining claim on Bear Island.

Meteorological and Communications. Thc Norwegianstation,Radio, at Longyearbyen which handles all traffic between Spitsbergen and Norway through Harstad Radio.are maintained throughRadio and stations at Kapp Llnne.and Nyew radio station at Longyearbyen is planned.

The Norwegians maintain fourstations in thesfjordcnjflrnp*ya;an Mayen. There are four radio and eleven light beacons in Spitsbergen waters.

Administration' Svalbard falls under the Jurisdiction of the Polar, or Svalbardorwegian Government Institution for the exploration, development, and administration of arctic areas. The Governor of Svalbard Is Haakon Balstad, who resides atining Inspector oversees the miningto Insure conformance with Norwegian regulations; he also Inspects the minesby non-Norwegians In Spitsbergen. The Svalbard Institute has Inaugurated andvarious special expeditions to Svalbard, mainly for topographical, geological, andresearchydro-graphic expedition has been chartingwaters for navigational purposes.radio beacons and servicing extant beacons and, lights. These operations are carried on In conjunction with the Norwegian Navy, and the'Norwegian Air Force was asked to aid in making map surveys.

b. Soviet Activities.

In6 the Soviet Union askedto reopen Its coal mining concessions. In the same month the Soviets sent toone corvette, three steamers,eaplane. This expedition brought in specialists, work crews, and

The Soviet claims on Spitsbergen, operated byre locatedthe northern end and on the west coastofthe southern shore of Isfjorden extending east from Gronfjorden along the coast toon theshore of Isfjorden just east of Barentsburg claim, extending from Colesbukta and Colcs-dalen northeast to the Norwegian Longyear-byen claim; (the Barentsburg andclaims are surrounded by Norwegian claims, of which only Ix>ngyearbyenthc northern coast ofoint at the mouth ot Nordf jorden on its eastern shore.

Coal mining ls In progress at Barentsburg, Grumantbyen. and Pyramiden. The Russians have apparently decided to concentrate their efforts and locate their largest settlement at Pyramiden, but they have also reconstructed the settlements at Grumantbyen and Barents-

burg (which were totally destroyed by the Germans) even though the originalcoal seam ls said to be depleted

In the summer7 thereintt Barentsburg,t Grumantbyen. The population has increasedwork has been extensive, and there appears toonstant flow of equipment to the areas In the summer months. It0 Russians spent the wintern Spitsbergen and that there00 working there In the winter. Coal shipments were resumed from the Russian minest the end of8 navigation season the Soviet Minereported0 tons had been mined. During July and9 one shipons passed through BUlefjorden each week, arriving light and leaving full. To date the Soviets have not reported on production for9 season.

The exact harbor and berthing faculties at the Russian concessions are unknown. At Hceroddcn, which could serve both the claims at Grumantbyen and Barentsburg, shipsons can be accommodated. It Is thought that supplies for Pyramiden are transshipped to lighters at Barentsburg, and although there are apparently coal-loading facilitieson ships at Pyramiden, it is possible that Ughters and barges are also used to load ships in Pyramiden harbor.

The Soviet Consul forice consul, mining director, and mining engineer are located atining director is at Barentsburg.

The Sovietsain radio station at Pyramiden for traffic with the USSR as weU as for messages to and from Barentsburg and Grumantbyen. They are reported toeteorological station at Pyramiden. It isestablished that the Soviets haveno airfields at any of theirNo extensive operation of seaplanes in thc area has been observed,

The Norwegian inspector of mines visits the Soviet concessions to inspect their miningRelations are cordial, but thedo not permit him to survey anyor installations other than the mines

10

and they insist upon advanceof his trips. It is not known whether the USSR Is planning exploitation of anyother than coal; reports of prospecting for oil are not connrrned. Although noof unusual activity on the part of the Soviets have been seen, it would be possible for them to conduct (airly considerableIn areas not subject to observation. Air reconnaissance indicates extensiveactivities In the area of their concessions, but so far these seem to be connected with mining operations. Equipment and material could be stored ln fairly large quantities,which would not be observed from the air, and of which the mine Inspector would not be cognizant

Meteorological installations are not Inof the treaty, and it is likely that the Soviets have established weather reporting stations In thc archipelago. It is not known whether the Soviets have any radar

c. British Activities.

A British concern, the Scottish Spitsbergen Syndicateas four claim areas on Spitsbergen. One of these is at the northern end of Prins Earls For land and two others are at the northeast end of Isf jorden ln Gtpsdalen, extending inland north from the coast of Bllle-(jorden to Nordenskioidbreenhe fourth area ls on Petunlabukta at the northern end of Billef Jorden close to the Russian claim. Only the latter of the three claim areas on Isfjordcn has an outlet to the fjord.

Prewar British nttcropts at exploitation of Spitsbergen's resources proved unprofitable, and the claims lapsed. In the summerowever, an expedition directed by the former British naval attache to Norway and sponsored by the SSS visited the Island toproceedings for their re-establishment. New British applications for claims in the Billefjorden-Glpsdalen area and Prins Karls Korlond were finally put throughorwegian Company. Jacob. from Bergen, hadlaims on the northeastern coast of Tcm-plefjorden. extending all the way along the northern coast of Sassenfjorden and thc full length of Blllefjorden on its eastern shore up

to Ebbadalen ln Petunlabukta at an average depth of about one mile. The British. SSS claims previously had Included this area, but its new claims have water frontage only at the head of Petunlabukta.

In the summereologicalfrom Cambridge University set up bead-quarters at Brucebyen and has since beengeological features of the area. It Is doing some work toward location of additional coal fields, and on the geological formations In connection with possible airportand harbor facilities. There is noto date that the SSS has commenced construction at Brucebyen-Olpsdal.

The Scottish Spitsbergen Syndicate venture. In re-attempting exploitation of Spitsbergen, ls motivated not only by possible economicbut by British Interest Ina foothold In Spitsbergen to observe Soviet activities In tbe area and to deter possibleviolations of the treaty. The company's participants feel that the mineral rightsa cover for useful work ln relation toactivities and to the strategic utilization of the area; but the SSS hasthat It Is having dlfOculty In Interesting capital. Whereas expeditions have concluded that should coal deposits prove to Include quantities suitable for coking, the commercial prospects would be fair, the expense of the initial outlay apparently laepresentative of the SSS, who wasln getting the Syndicate to re-establish its claims, has attempted to determine theof interesttrategic andstandpoint which the British and US Governments have in retention of lands hi Svalbard.

The Soviet Union Is reported lo have shown interest in acquiring claims ln the area since leased by SSSf the British company falls to exploit ils claims, they will lapse. The Norwegians were pleased, therefore, to have the British renew the lease, for they did not wish the Soviets to acquire claims along Bille-fjardrn, opposite the Soviet claim at Pyra-miden. thus further isolating the Sovietin Svalbard. Norway cannot legally deny thelaim in this area If British claims lapse. Likewise it Is probable that

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Kjode's application for claims on tbe coast was welcomed for thc same reason, since Norwegian authorities were not then certain of Britain's desire to renew activities.

The claims In this area, both Mr. KJede's and those of the SSS. are secure for at least four years before the requirement of man-hours of development work becomes operative. Actually another five years, leeway Is then given. However, the SSS may not havepractical Interest to pay the annual fees on Its present area.

7. Probable Future Development!.

Several factors Indicate continuing Soviet exploitation of the resources in their claims. Even though maximum possible production of coal will notignificant contribution to thc Soviet economy, coal mining affords an Incontestable basis for the presence of Soviet personnel. Development of their claims.construction and related activities, can all be Justified as essential to miningCommunications facilities, similarly justified, serve the additional purpose ofweather data which are useful Instudies and in weather forecasts for the European continent. Demonstrated Soviet Interest in the strategic potential of the archipelago makes it unlikely that lhe USSR will abandon Its present convenientpost from which it canatchful eye upon the activities of other nationals InAlso, since the archipelago lies on the route from thc Atlantic to thc Barents Sea, ltubstantial factor in influencing Soviet

plans for future development of the ports of Murmansk, Archangel, and Petsaxno. Thc presence of hostile forces on Svalbard could restrict, if not deny, the egress of Sovietfrom the Barents Sea Into the Atlantic and conversely, Soviet bases there wouldthe movement of hostile vessels.

Norwegian exploitation of Spitsbergen's coal resources will continue at about the present level Domestic consumption of Spitsbergen coal appears to have leveled off, and anwould require processing to permit Its efficient usereater variety of coolInstallations. An attempt Is being made to extend the shipping period by providing additional Icebreaker service, but thopossible extension will not greatlycurrent totals.

British exploitation of Spitsbergen solely for economic purposes appears Improbable. The British claims contain extensive gypsumbut the representatives of the Scottish Spitsbergen Syndicate have been reluctant to resume operations. According to latestInformation, attempts to Interest theof the US or the UK In subsidizing those operationseans of Insuringaccess to the area have beenBut Norwegian officials haveBritish renewal of expiring prewar claims ond probably will encourage future operations.

eather observation post Spitsbergen will continue to be utilized by the Norwegians and almost certainly by the Russians.

11

"TLULI

Original document.

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