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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. These articles plus more information about the conference can be found by clicking on the "Further Reading" tab below.
International Telegraph Conference (Madrid, 1932)
Use the tabs below to explore the different publications, documents, and resources related to this event. The History of ITU Portal uses Persistent Identifiers for its digitized documents. To copy a Persistent ID, hover the cursor over the document link and then right-click on it.


International Telecommunication Convention (Madrid, 1932)(English)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Telegraph Regulations and Final Protocol (Madrid, 1932)(English)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Telephone Regulations (Madrid, 1932)(English)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Convention internationale des télécommunications (Madrid, 1932)(Français)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Règlement télégraphique et protocole final (Madrid, 1932)(Français)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Règlement téléphonique (Madrid, 1932)(Français)download PDF PDF (acrobat)


Documents de la Conférence télégraphique internationale (Madrid, 1932): Tome I(Français)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Documents de la Conférence télégraphique internationale (Madrid, 1932): Tome II(Français)download PDF PDF (acrobat)

List of participants

Liste des participants de la Conférence télégraphique internationale (Madrid, 1932)(Français)download PDF PDF (acrobat)


Mr. Santiago Casares Quiroga (Spain)

Countries participating



"50th Anniversary of the Madrid Conferences." Telecommunication Journal 49, no. 9 (1982): 510-511.(English)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Miralles Mora, V. "The Plenipotentiary Conference, Madrid 1932: Historical Perspective." Telecommunication Journal 49, no. 12 (1982): 811-813.(English)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
"ITU Milestone Commemorated in Madrid." ITU News, no. 10 (2007): 35-36.(English)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
"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)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
"Les Conférences télégraphique et radiotélégraphique internationales de Madrid." Journal télégraphique 56 (1932): compte rendu partie 1-3.(Français)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
"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)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
"Les décisions de Madrid appréciées par la VIIe Congrés de la Chambre de commerce internationale." Journal télégraphique 57, no.9 (1933): 241-245.(Français)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
"Les décisions de Madrid et la Chambre de commerce internationale." Journal télégraphique 57, no. 11 (1933): 312-314.(Français)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
"Les règlements intéreurs des Conférences télégraphique et radiotélégraphiques internationales." Journal des télécommunications 1, no.1 (1934): 35-42.(Français)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
"Quelques observations au sujet des réglements de Madrid." Journal des télécommunications 1, no. 4 (1934): 101-103.(Français)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
"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)download PDF PDF (acrobat)

Library Catalogue

Link to the ITU Library Catalogue (International Telegraph Conference (Madrid, 1932))(Multilingual) URL