|Description||In reply to the Under Secretary's letter of the 28th with enclosures concerning the International Geodetic Central Bureau, Foster is directed by the President and Council to make the following observations. |
The development of science has made it clear that certain scientific undertakings either cannot be carried out at all except by international co-operation, or can only be carried out by this means successfully, expeditiously and economically. Several such undertakings have been completed or are in progress such as the recently initiated compilation and publishing of an Index to Scientific Literature.
Discusses funding for such endeavours and notes that the International Geodetic Convention whose objective is broadly defined as the accurate determination of the figure of the earth, must appeal for aid to the Governments of the nations involved. Discusses why research in this area is expensive but invaluable, especially to astronomy. Briefly discusses the history of the Convention since 1861 and Great Britain's involvement with the International European Geodetic Association since joining in 1884. In 1886 the International Association became an International Convention which Great Britain did not join. It is now proposed to renew the Convention for another ten years and there is an opportunity for Great Britain to join.
Explains that the President and Council are fully convinced that the objects aimed at by the Bureau are of the highest importance and strongly urge Her Majesty's Government to join the Convention and thus remove Great Britain from its position of being almost the only county active in science which is not taking parts in a most important scientific undertaking.
In return for its contribution each country joining the Convention receives free a certain number of the publications in which the results of the Bureau's work are published and the Royal Society will be very glad should Her Majesty's Government decide to join the Convention, to draw up a list of institutions to which these might be given, with the view of their being rendered most useful for scientific inquiry.