Report of Subcommittee on International Gable and Radio Law and on Cable Landing Rights
To the Honorable Norman H.
President of the Preliminary Conference on Electrical Communications.
The Subcommittee on International Cable and Radio Law and Cable Landing Rights has held twelve meetings and has unanimously agreed to the appended regulations, which it recommends for adoption by the Conference.
The delegates of the principal Allied and Associated Powers, met in conference at Washington, unanimously agree to the following recommendation, with a view to its being examined by the forthcoming World Conference on Electrical Communications and, if accepted, embodied in a general convention.
- That hereafter no permit shall be granted or renewed for the landing of submarine cables or the erection of radio stations for international communications without it being expressly declared that the permission does not confer a monopoly or exclusive rights of any kind.
- That in principle they will not in future support their nations, diplomatically or otherwise, in seeking exclusive cable or radio concessions from nonsignatory states, provided that all the states adhering to the International Telegraph Convention undertake the same obligation.
- Nevertheless, the Powers do not intend to prejudice the development of communications by cable or radio by preventing the granting of exclusive or privileged concessions for a reasonable term of years in cases where the probable traffic would not be sufficient to yield a fair return upon the capital invested in more than one system for the operation of the service in question.
- If objection is made by one of the signatory powers to the granting or renewal of an exclusive concession within a reasonable time after such power becomes aware of such grant or renewal, or of an application for such grant or renewal, the question shall be submitted by the countries in interest to arbitration in accordance with the provisions of the International Telegraph Convention, or any convention of which it forms a part.
Status of Cables in War Time
Without prejudice to any action that may have been taken during the war, or to any disposition of the seized German cables, the representatives of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers, meeting in conference at Washington to consider problems of communications, recommend to their respective Governments that they should consider the desirability or otherwise of establishing an international code defining the status of submarine cables in war time; that the Principal Allied and Associated Powers exchange views upon the subject; and that a special conference be called of the Powers interested—to be held either at the Hague or preferably at the same time and place as the forthcoming World Conference on Electrical Communications—to consider the matter further if the Powers should agree in principle to establish such a code.
Prevention of Damage to Cables by Trawlers
The Delegates of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers, in view of complaints that have been received from certain cable companies regarding damage to certain cables by trawlers, desire to call the attention of their governments, and all other governments concerned, to the provisions of the Convention of 1884 in regard to the Protection of Cables, and to the recommendations made by the International Conference in London in 1913, in regard to the prevention of damage to cables by trawlers, with a view to consideration of the questions whether the provisions of this Convention and these recommendations adequately meet present requirements, and whether, if so, they should not be applied universally. They suggest further that this question should be discussed by a conference of experts to be summoned simultaneously with the forthcoming World Conference on Electrical Communications which will follow the present preliminary conference.
As regards the use of islands and other points for relay stations, no agreement was reached, but the American, British and Italian Delegations as a result of discussions between themselves outside the committee feel able to recommend to their respective governments the following agreement, the text of which is annexed as a separate document, simply for the information of the other delegations, because the question originally arose out of certain discussions in the committee.
The subcommittee also considered a proposal that all states, in granting concessions for any international cable or radio service, should impose a condition that the licensee should observe the [Page 161] International Telegraphic Convention and Regulations. A majority of the delegations favored this proposal in principle, but the subcommittee eventually came to the conclusion that the matter would be satisfactorily covered by the proposed convention, provided the United States and Canada adhered to it. The proposal was accordingly withdrawn.
In both cases the right was reserved to submit the proposal in question to the forthcoming World Conference on Electrical Communications if circumstances should render such a course desirable.