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Plenipotentiary Conferences

International Telegraph Conference (Madrid, 1932)

3 September - 10 December 1932 - Madrid, Spain

In 1932, in Madrid, a plenipotentiary Telegraph Conference and the International Radiotelegraph Conference met simultaneously and decided to merge into a single entity, the International Telecommunication Union. The Telegraph Convention of 1875 and the Radiotelegraph Convention of 1927 were combined into a single convention embracing the three fields of telegraphy, telephony and radio. The new International Telecommunication Convention served as the Union’s charter and constitution, establishing its legal existence and setting forth its purposes, compositions, structure and functions.

It was decided to separate the Telegraph Regulations from the Telephone Regulations, and to create three distinct sets of Telecommunication Regulations: Radio, Telephone and Telegraph Regulations. These regulations were annexed to and supplemented the Convention.

Further to the integration of the two Conventions, a new name was chosen for the International Telegraph Union: the International Telecommunication Union.

The new term “telecommunication” was defined in the Convention as follows:

any telegraphic or telephonic communication of signs, signals, writing, facsimiles and sounds of any kind, by wire, wireless or other systems or processes of electric signaling or visual signaling (semaphores).

On 10 October 2007, ITU, the Spanish Government and the Asociación Española de Ingenieros de Telecomunicación (Spanish Association of Telecommunication Engineers) held a ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of the 1932 International Telecommunication Convention signed at Madrid. For more information on this event please visit the event page on the Asociación Española de Ingerieros de Telecomunicaciones website [in Spanish only].

In addition, two articles were published in ITU News (Issue 10, 2007) to recognize the 75th anniversary event:
International Telegraph Conference (Madrid, 1932)
    • International Telecommunication Convention (Madrid, 1932)
      (English)
    • Telegraph Regulations and Final Protocol (Madrid, 1932)
      (English)
    • Telephone Regulations (Madrid, 1932)
      (English)
    • Convention internationale des télécommunications (Madrid, 1932)
      (Français)
    • Règlement télégraphique et protocole final (Madrid, 1932)
      (Français)
    • Règlement téléphonique (Madrid, 1932)
      (Français)
    • Documents de la Conférence télégraphique internationale (Madrid, 1932): Tome I
      (Français)
    • Documents de la Conférence télégraphique internationale (Madrid, 1932): Tome II
      (Français)

Chairman

Mr. Santiago Casares Quiroga, Minister of the Interior (Spain)

Countries participating

68

Observers

64

    List of participants

    • Liste des participants de la Conférence télégraphique internationale (Madrid, 1932)
      (Français)

Further Reading

  • "50th Anniversary of the Madrid Conferences." Telecommunication Journal 49, no. 9 (1982): 510-511.
    (English)
  • Miralles Mora, V. "The Plenipotentiary Conference, Madrid 1932: Historical Perspective." Telecommunication Journal 49, no. 12 (1982): 811-813.
    (English)
  • "ITU Milestone Commemorated in Madrid." ITU News, no. 10 (2007): 35-36.
    (English)
  • "Remarks by His Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain on the Occasion of the 75th Anniversary of the Holding in Madrid of the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference." ITU News, no. 10 (2007): 37-38.
    (English)
  • "Les Conférences télégraphique et radiotélégraphique internationales de Madrid." Journal télégraphique 56 (1932): compte rendu partie 1-3.
    (Français)
  • "A la veille de la Conférence de Madrid : La fusion des Conventions télégraphique et radiotélégraphique." Journal des télécommunications 56, no. 6 (1932): 153-163.
    (Français)
  • "Les décisions de Madrid appréciées par la VIIe Congrés de la Chambre de commerce internationale." Journal télégraphique 57, no.9 (1933): 241-245.
    (Français)
  • "Les décisions de Madrid et la Chambre de commerce internationale." Journal télégraphique 57, no. 11 (1933): 312-314.
    (Français)
  • "Les règlements intéreurs des Conférences télégraphique et radiotélégraphiques internationales." Journal des télécommunications 1, no.1 (1934): 35-42.
    (Français)
  • "Quelques observations au sujet des réglements de Madrid." Journal des télécommunications 1, no. 4 (1934): 101-103.
    (Français)
  • "Les réformes de la Conférence de Madrid : le point de vue des hommes d'affaires." Journal des télécommunications 1, no. 4 (1934): 109-113.
    (Français)

Library Catalogue

  • Link to the ITU Library Catalogue (Madrid, 1932)
    (Multilingual)