Report of the Consul General at Buenos Aires (Robertson)

Referring to reports of this office of November 13, and November 18, 1919 [1918],3 upon the subject of Concession for Cable from Buenos Aires to Montevideo, which was granted in 1918 to the Central and South American Telegraph Company by the Argentine Government, there is now transmitted herein, in quadruplicate, the translation of an Executive Decree of July 21, 1919, appearing in the Boletin Oficial of July 24, 1919, on page 455, containing the bases upon which the concession in question for extending one or more cables to Montevideo should be adjusted.

There is also transmitted herein, in quadruplicate, a translation taken partially from the Review of the River Plate, of August 29, 1919, of an article appearing in La Nacion of August 23, 1919,3 on the part of the Western Telegraph Company, a British owned concern here, asking Congress for the annullment of the Executive Decree of July 21, 1919.

In other words, those British competitors of the Central and South American Telegraph Company have used, and are still using, every possible means to overthrow the concession granted to the Central and South American Telegraph Company for a new cable to Monte-video.

W. Henry Robertson

Executive Decree of July 21, 1919, regarding Concession for Cable from Buenos Aires to Montevideo

In view of the papers in this case, and


That, by a Decree of August 1, 1918, the Central and South [American] Telegraph Company was authorized to extend one or more [Page 176] cables between Buenos Aires and Montevideo, the Department of Posts and Telegraphs being charged with formulating corresponding conditions, and that, after these had been formulated, the Company in its turn observed some of them, causing the intervention of the Attorney General of the Treasury, who pointed out in his decision the impropriety of some of the clauses on legal grounds, rendering their modification necessary, therefore,

The Executive Power of the Nation Decrees:

  • Article 1. The authorization conferred on the Central and South American Telegraph Company for extending one or more cables between Buenos Aires and Montevideo, granted by Decree of August 1, 1918, shall be subjected to the following conditions:
    The construction and use of this line will be subject to the provisions of the National Telegraph Law of 1875, the concessionaire being also obliged to comply with the laws and regulations previously dictated.
    The sub-fluvial line will consist of one or more cables, their point of grounding being fixed on the Argentine shore of the Rio de La Plata, in the spot called Atalaya.
    The line of communication between the office of the Central and South American Telegraph Company in Buenos Aires and the place of grounding can be aerial or subterranean, the Company being allowed for this purpose, after agreement with the respective municipalities, to utilize the public high-ways and streets necessary for the placing of the conductors uniting the offices in Buenos Aires with the sub-fluvial cables.
    In case the line of communication up to the point of grounding of the cable should be aerial and its conductors have to cross those of the National Telegraph, these latter will be raised so as to be at a height of not less than two metres above the former, the concessionaire paying the expenses caused for this purpose.
    The work will be supervised by technical employees of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs, and the maintenance and transportation expenses of the same shall be for account of the Company, for which purpose they shall pay in monthly to the Treasury of the Administration the sums that may be necessary for it.
    The Company shall be allowed to place with the previous authorization of the Executive Power the buoys and signals necessary for the protection of the cable to be constructed.
    In case of domestic or foreign war, or of the prospects of any danger to the peace or public order, the Executive Power shall be allowed to suspend the service of the new line and to utilize its [Page 177] conductors for communications that may be necessary, without any indemnification.
    In case of interruption of the communications with Brazil or the Republic of Uruguay in the lines of the National Telegraph, this latter shall have the right to utilize the new line of the Company, which will perform the service for a pro-rata amount of the Argentine tax stipulated in the special agreement entered into with said countries and that are now in force.
    This concession can not be transferred, nor can the concessionaire enter into any kind of arrangements with private or other telegraph or telephone companies, without the express authorization of the Executive Power.
    If the Executive Power for reasons of public utility should decide upon the expropriation of the new line of the Central and South American Telegraph Company, it can effect this by paying a just value at the time of expropriation, in addition to 15%, which is to be considered as the only indemnification and profit for the concessionaire.
    The appraisal shall be made at the time that the Executive Power decides to take charge of the installations, lines, and cables by experts nominated, one by each party, and the third in case of disagreement, by the President of the National Supreme Court.
    The concessionaire can not devote to the public service the new line authorized without previously presenting for the approval of the Executive Power complete plans of its installations and the corresponding descriptive report.
    The service for which this new line is intended is purely and exclusively international traffic and for the transmission of telegraphic characters, and in no case will telephonic communication of public service be permitted.
    The tariffs for telegrams sent by this new line shall be established always by agreement with the Executive Power, and in no case shall they be lower than those fixed by the National Government for its lines.
    State telegrams and official telegrams of authorized National Bureaus, which may be sent over this new line, shall enjoy a rebate of 50% under the tariffs for the public service. This rebate of 50% shall be applied solely to the trajectories of the line or lines belonging to the Company. By state telegrams are considered those that are thus classified by the international regulations.
    Of the employees in the service of the Company, at least 50% must be Argentines.
    This concession must be considered as of a conditional character so far that it can be anulled by the Executive Power when public interests advise this.
    The concession with its supplementary conditions shall be reduced to public writing within 90 days following the date of this Decree.
    The work of constructing this new line shall be terminated within the space of two years from the date of the approval of the present Decree.
    The concession granted shall expire of itself, if the concessionaire does not comply strictly with the provisions of the conditions of 16a and 17a proceeding.
  • Article 2. Let it be communicated, published, given to the National Registry, and passed to the General Government Subscription Office to be properly inscribed.

  • Irigoyen
  • R. Gomez
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.