On the Orders of the Day being called:
Hon. J. D. HA2EN (Minister of Marine and Fisheries): My hon. friend from
Edmonton (Mr. Oliver) yesterday asked me what steps were being taken to rescue the men who had been on the Karluk, and who remained at Wrangle island. I told him I would give the information this morning. On the 30th May we communicated with Captain Bartlett, who had made his way from Wrangel island to the coast of Siberia, and from there to Saint Michael's, Alaska, and asked for his advice as to possible arrangements for the relief of the party on Wrangel island, and for information as to the time when ice conditions would allow of their being taken off. We received a despatch from Captain Bartlett the day before yesterday, stating that the only available vessels navigating these waters are the Russian Government ice-breakers Taiymr and Waigatsch, which make an annual exploring trip along the north coast of Siberia, and he suggested that the Russian Government be asked to allow these vessels to take off the members of the expedition. Captain Bartlett also suggested that the United States revenue cutter Bear, which patrols the northern Alaskan seas, might be able to undertake this relief trip. The United States and Russian Governments are being approached to ascertain if they could give assistance in this direction. Captain- Bartlett further states that navigation in those waters is not possible before the end of July or the beginning of August.