Reference numberNLB/32/313
Alternative reference numberNLB/32 p164-166
TitleCopy letter from Archibald Geikie and Joseph Larmor, to the Secretary, His Majesty's Treasury, Whitehall, S.W.
Date16 February 1906
DescriptionLarmor and Geikie explain that the President and Council of the Royal Society have been considering the letter of Sir George Murray, 25 January 1906, reference 1149/06, concerning revision of the principal triangulation of the Trigonometrical Survey of Great Britain.

They acknowledge their debt to Sir George Darwin, representative of the British government on the International Geodetic Association, for his statement of the relation of the British Survey to those of other European nations. They forward Darwin's memorandum, noting their agreement with it, for the reference of the Lord Commissioners of the Treasury. They ask that the enclosed letters and papers, on which the memorandum is based, be returned for the Society's records.

The Society's belief in the importance of this revision work is stated, as it will ensure that the standard of accuracy of the British Survey matches those of other countries. The original French and German surveys have already been revised to correct defects, so they suggest it would be unfortunate to remain apart from the modern European system.

They highlight a major discrepancy of £6000 between the sum mention in Sir George Murray's letter and the estimate drawn up by Major Hills and Major Close for the Royal Astronomical Society, which suggests current proposals are more extensive. The improvements brought about by the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey in the speed and cost of fundamental triangulation are mentioned, supported by evidence from the Report of Eigth International Geographic Congress. The Society's Council believe these methods might be employed to reduce Murray's estimated costs considerably. A further reduction in net cost may be made by considering the fact that that much of the work work will be undertaken in the natural course by staff already organised for military topographical purposes.

Geikie and Larmor state that although the Society believe this to be important scientific work, they feel their small funds are better spent promoting new work for the public benefit, closely supervised by the Society, rather than by subsidising work that has already been organised.
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