LONDON, March 7, 1912 (UP) -- Satisfied of the authenticity of the reports received from Wellington, New Zealand, that Captain Roald Amundsen admits his British rival, Captain Scott, has won the honor of being the first individual to reach "Farthest South", Great Britain prepared to-day for a period of general rejoicing. Scott's wife and closest friends are anxiously awaiting word from the English explorer whose, present position is not yet known.
A special to the London Daily Express from Wellington, New Zealand, to-day quoted Explorer Roald Amundsen as saying that Captain Scott, heading the British expedition, reached the South Pole.
The editor of the Express said this afternoon that his correspondent at Wellington was one of the most reliable men in the service and that he had complete confidence in the authenticity of his message. The message to the Express read simply as follows:
"Amundsen says Scott reached pole."
It gave no details whatever.
Why Amundsen should have admitted Scott reached the South Pole and made no statement of what he himself accomplished is a puzzle here, although it is rumored that the Norwegian explorer had contracts which forbade him saying anything for general publication regarding his own work in the unexplored southern territory.
Officials of the royal geographical society are especially anxious for word of the Scott expedition. They have feared all along that the Norwegian expedition, equipped as it was with many things Scott did not take along, might wrest the honors from the Englishman. Amundsen, it was explained, did not intend wasting any time in making scientific observations but planned a wild dash to the pole and a dash back again. That he admits Scott reached the pole is construed as meaning that the English expedition at least got there first.
Amundsen is the most noted of the Norwegian explorers and it was he that discovered the northwest passage. All of his time had been spent on the sea and he was with Dr. Cook for two years of the Belgica expedition in the Arctic. He is easily the most modest of modern explorers and when he located the north magnetic pole he made no very great fuss about it.
He sailed from Buenos Ayres late in 1910 and he was left near King Edward Land by the expedition. The Fram, his ship is Nansen's old Arctic ship. When the Scott expedition left England the British commander did not know he was to have a rival in the Norwgian but he found him in McMurdo Sound when he reached there. From that moment both sides strove desperately for the advantage and so close was the race that leading geographers here have said they would not have been surprised should the result prove a dead heat.
Captain Scott is 43 years of age. He served with distinction in the British navy. In 1901 he commanded the ship Discovery, built especially for a voyage into the frozen regions, and pushed into the Ross sea, discovering a new land to the east. The following year he led his party overland 380 miles to the south, established a new "farthest south" record. In 1903 he traveled 300 miles and returned through the land to the west, carrying on the most extensive explorations on record at that time.
Captain Scott's South Pole expedition left London in June, 1910. His ship is the Terra Nova, a Scottish whaler, which was remodeled especially for the trip. He took with him sixty men, picked from a list of 8,000 volunteers, 20 Siberian ponies, 30 dogs and two motor sledges. Only 25 men are understood to have accompanied Captain Scott on the final stages of the pole dash.