No. 28.
Mr. Tree to Mr. Bayard .

No. 198.]

Sir: Referring to my No. 185, I have the honor to inform you that Le Moniteur of this morning publishes a copy of a convention just entered into between the French and Belgian Governments concerning the establishment of a service of telephonic correspondence between Brussels and Paris.

The Belgian King and the President of the French Republic yesterday had a conversation through the wires. I transmit herewith a copy of the convention and a translation of the same.

I have, etc.,

Lambert Tree.
[Inclosure in No. 198.—Translation.]

Convention concerning the establishment of a service of telephonic correspondence between Brussels and Paris.

His Majesty the King of the Belgians and the President of the French Republic, desiring to establish a telephonic communication between Brussels and Paris, and making use of the privilege accorded to them by Article 17 of the international telegraphic convention, signed the 22d of July, 1875, at St. Petersburg, have resolved [Page 31] to conclude a special convention to this effect, and have named for their plenipotentiaries, to wit:

His Majesty the King of the Belgians, Prince de Chimay, officer of the Order of Leopold, chevalier of the Order of the Legion of Honor, etc., member of the Chamber of Representatives, his minister of foreign affairs; and Mr. Jules Vanden Peereboom, chevalier of his Order of Leopold, etc., member of the Chamber of Representatives, his minister for railways, posts, and telegraphs; and the President of the French Republic, Mr. Granet, chevalier of the Order of the Legion of Honor, etc., etc., etc. member of the Chamber of Deputies, minister of posts and telegraphs, and Mr. Bourse, officer of the Order of the Legion of Honor, etc, etc., etc., envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the French Republic near His Majesty the King of the Belgians; who, after having communicated their full powers, found to be in good and due form, have agreed upon the following articles:

Article 1.

A service of telephonic correspondence will be established and worked between Brussels and Paris by the administration of posts and telegraphs of the two countries.

Article 2.

There will be made use of for this purpose copper or bronze wires of high conductibility, having at least three millimeters of diameter, and being placed in a manner to avoid in the greatest possible measure the effects of induction.

Each one of the two administrations will have performed on its own territory the work of placing the wires and will assure their repair, each at its own expense.

Article 3.

The administrations will remain free either to use only for telephonic service the circuits specified in Article 2, or to employ these circuits simultaneously for telegraphic service and telephonic service on the whole or on a part of their line. Nevertheless if experience demonstrates that the telegraphic use of the wires is prejudicial to the regular working of the, telephonic service these conductors will be exclusively reserved to this service.

Article 4.

At Brussels and at Paris the telephonic circuits will terminate at a central office.

There will be established sounding boxes, where the public may be admitted to correspond.

The two administrations will take besides, as far as possible, the necessary measures in order that private establishments, and especially the subscribers of the systems of Brussels and Paris, may be enabled to correspond among themselves through the means of the international line by the intermediary of the central offices.

Article 5.

The operation of the telephone between Brussels and Paris will be assured by the agents of the two administrations, each on its own territory, or by other agents agreed to by them.

Article 6.

The standard adopted as well for the collection of tolls as for the duration of the Communications is a conversation of five minutes.

The employment of the telephone is to be regulated according to the order of demands. There can not be accorded between the same correspondents more than two consecutive conversations of five minutes each, except when there is no other demand before or during the duration of these two conversations.

Article 7.

The toll for five minutes’ conversation is temporarily fixed at 3 francs.

The products will be divided between Belgium and France in the proportion fixed for the division of telegraphic tolls by arrangement concluded between the two countries July 22, 1836.

The toll is paid by the person who asks the communication. Each administration will keep account of the tolls and will exercise the method of collecting them which it deems most convenient.

[Page 32]

Article 8.

The telephonic service Brussels-Paris will he opened to the public in a permanent manner day and night.

Article 9.

The two administrations will decree in concert the rule of service which should be applied.

Article 10.

Each of the two contracting parties reserves to itself the right to suspend totally or partially the telephonic service for reasons of public order, without being held to any indemnity.

Article 11.

The two administrations are not subject to any liability by reason of the service of private correspondence in telephonic way.

Article 12.

The present convention will be put in execution at the date which shall be fixed by common accord between the administrations of the two countries; it will remain in vigor for three months after notice to terminate it, which may always be done by either of the contracting parties.

In faith of which the respective plenipotentiaries have signed the present convention, which they have witnessed with their seals.


[l. s.] The
Prince de Chimay.

[l. s.]
Vanden Peereboom.

[l. s.]
Granet.

[l. s.]
Bourée.

Certified by the secretary-general of the ministry of foreign affairs,

Baron Lambermont.