The Murman Fishery-Research Expedition, headed by the scientists N. M. Knipovich (till 1902) and Ludwig Gottlieb Breitfuss, was operating in the Russian North from 1898 to 1908. The goal of this expedition was “a comprehensive study of the sea and its life.” The Expedition was managed by the Committee for Aiding the Pomors of the Russian North, which, however, soon began to turn this scientific endeavor into a business enterprise. When, in 1907, Admiral Fedor Vasilievich Dubasov (1845–1912), General Adjutant and Member of the State Council, went on a mission trip to the North of Russia, he took stock of the Expedition’s state of affairs, after which he set about to save it.
When S. I. Timashev was assigned the new Minister of Trade and Industry of Russia, Dubasov prepared a draft letter with the proposals for saving the Murman Expedition. In 1910/1911, he suggested to Timashev to take financial, legal and organizational measures to ensure that the Expedition would continue to work. Dubasov believed that its liquidation would have also meant the “bankruptcy in relation to the obligations of conducting international studies, assumed by Russia – bankruptcy that closely touches upon our national self-respect and dignity.” This five-page draft letter, stored in Dubasov’s personal fonds at the Russian State Naval Archive, is published for the first time. This document allows to appreciate the significance of Dubasov’s activities as a statesman and patriot of Russia, caring about people’s needs and his homeland’s national prestige.
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Рис. 1. Вице-адмирал Ф. В. Дубасов. Фотопортрет с автографом – посвящением дочери Дарье: «Дарушке – Отец. 3/XII – 905 г.» (РГАВМФ. Ф. 9. Оп. 1. Д. 1184. Л. 7)
Рис. 2. Первый лист письма С. И. Тимашеву. Черновик с пометами Ф. В. Дубасова (Санкт-Петербург, ноябрь 1909 г.) (РГАВМФ. Ф. 9. Д. 592. Л. 8)