1-16 May 1921

Friday 6 May 1921

Despite all Shackleton’s efforts, the Canadian government have not committed their support.  Seeking to force an outcome Shackleton cables the Prime Minister, Arthur Meighen: “Urgently awaiting your action. Please cable Government’s definite support and amount bearing in mind the Government’s Arctic Expedition would have cost approximately quarter million dollars

But the Canadians are concerned that supporting his plans for an Arctic expedition might mean that Stefansson decamps to the US or Denmark, plus that the colliding egos of Shackleton and Stefansson are too difficult to handle.

Monday 9 May 1921

Prime Minister Meighen cables back to Shackleton saying that the Government had never made a promise of support and that they had been advised that it was anyway now too late for Shackleton to mount the expedition this year.

Thursday 12 May 1921

Shackleton again cables Meighan, imploring him to reconsider. Meanwhile, his wife, Lady Emily Shackleton, arrives to stay with the Rowett’s at Ely Place, Sussex.

Also on 12 May, Shackleton is elected a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron, entitling Quest to be styled with the letters R.Y.S.

Monday 16 May 1921

Canada Prime Minister Meighen replies to Shackleton saying that it is not possible to make any promise of support. It is finally clear to Shackleton that he is flogging a dead horse for Canadian support, certainly for this year.

Shackleton immediately cables Macklin in Canada “Government postpones their project until next year. Return at once. Quest will carry out Antarctic coast survey and Southern Islands exploration. Elected Royal Yacht Squadron