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International Telegraph and Telephone Conference (Paris, 1949)
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International Telegraph and Telephone Conference (Paris, 1949)

18 May - 4 August 1949 - Paris, France

An International Telegraph and Telephone Conference was scheduled to be held in Rome in 1942; however, due to the continuation of World War II it was postponed. Therefore, the 1949 Conference in Paris was the first Administrative Telegraph and Telephone Conference held since the 1938 Cairo Conference.

Nearly seventy countries attended the Conference in Paris to amend the telegraph and telephone regulations drawn up at the Cairo Conference. Twelve plenary sessions and over one hundred committee meetings were held during the Conference. Approximately 700 proposals regarding telegraphy and 100 proposals regarding telephony were put forth.

Much of the work had been done in early 1949 in the months leading up to the conference. The International Telegraph Consultative Committee (CCIT) created the International Telegraph Regulations Revision Committee, which met in January and February of 1949 to draft proposals for amending the Telegraph Regulations so that they could be accepted by all members. Prior to this, several nations, including the United States, had telegraph systems operated by private companies rather than the government and had not signed the regulations because many of the provisions applied only to government operated systems.

The Paris Conference subsequently approved many significant and detailed changes to the Telegraph Regulations pertaining to letter codes, classes of telegrams, methods of accounting and priority levels of telegraphy services.

As for the Telephone Regulations, only minor changes were made. By 1949, through the development of radiotelephone circuits, a nearly complete intercontinental telephone system had been developed. This led to the request for a set of truly international telephone regulations, a suggestion that was passed on to the CCIF for consideration and review. The opinions of the CCIF on this matter were to be presented at the next International Telegraph and Telephone Conference. In the meantime, the International Telephone Regulations would continue to apply only to countries within the European system, whereas the telegraphy regulations were applicable throughout the world.

After 85 years of membership, the United States signed the Telegraph Regulations for the first time. This was one of the most significant outcomes of the conference because it was the first time in the history of its membership that the U.S.A. agreed to be bound to the Telegraph Regulations. However, both the U.S.A and Canada refused to sign the Telephone Regulations since they largely applied only to European countries.
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.
Telegraph Regulations (Paris, 1949)(English)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Telephone Regulations (Paris, 1949)(English)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Réglement télégraphique (Paris, 1949)(French)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Réglement téléphonique (Paris, 1949)(French)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Reglamento Telegráfico (Paris, 1949)(Spanish)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Reglamento Telefónico (Paris, 1949)(Spanish)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Telegraph Regulations (Paris, 1949)(Chinese)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Telephone Regulations (Paris, 1949)(Chinese)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Telegraph Regulations (Paris, 1949)(Russian)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
List of Documents of the International Telegraph and Telephone Conference (Paris, 1949)(English)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Document No. 1-100(English)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Document No. 101-200(English)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Document No. 201-300(English)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Document No. 301-400(English)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Document No. 401-468(English)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Blue pages (Telegraph Regulations)(English)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Blue and pink pages (Telephone Regulations)(English)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Liste des documents de la Conférence télégraphique et téléphonique internationale (Paris, 1949)(French)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Document No. 1-100(French)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Document No. 101-200(French)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Document No. 201-300(French)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Document No. 301-400(French)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Document No. 401-468(French)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Pages bleues (Règlement télégraphique)(French)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Pages bleues et roses (Règlement téléphonique)(French)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Lista de los Documentos de la Conferencia Telegráfica y Telefónica Internacional (Paris, 1949)(Spanish)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Documentos No. 1-100(Spanish)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Documentos No. 101-200(Spanish)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Documentos No. 201-300(Spanish)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Documentos No. 301-400(Spanish)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Documentos No. 401-468(Spanish)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Paginas azules (Reglamento Telegráfico)(Spanish)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Paginas azules (Reglamento Telefónico)(Spanish)download PDF PDF (acrobat)


Charles Lange, Director Genereal of Telecommunications, Ministry of Posts, Telegraphs and Telephones (France)

Countries participating


List of participants

Liste des participants de la Conférence télégraphique et téléphonique internationale (Paris, 1949)(French)download PDF PDF (acrobat)

Further Reading

"Contribution to the works of the Paris Telegraph Conference, 1949." Telecommunication Journal 15, no. 7 (1948): 226-241.(Multilingual)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
"Contribution to the work of the Paris Conference: (Position of air transport companies)." Telecommunication Journal 16, no. 2 (1949): 76-96.(Multilingual)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
"International Telegraph and Telephone Conference: Paris, 1949." Telecommunication Journal 16, no. 9 (1949): 386-402.(Multilingual)download PDF PDF (acrobat)

Library Catalogue

Link to the Library Catalogue (Paris, 1949)(Multilingual) URL


Gazette du Grand Palais (Paris, 1949)(English)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Gazette du Grand Palais (Paris, 1949)(French)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Gazette du Grand Palais (Paris, 1949)(Spanish)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
YearConference NameAcronymConference TypePlace


International Telegraph Conference (London, 1879)

Telegraph and Telephone ConferenceLondon


International Telegraph Conference (Berlin, 1885)

Telegraph and Telephone ConferenceBerlin


International Telegraph Conference (Paris, 1890)

Telegraph and Telephone ConferenceParis


International Telegraph Conference (Budapest, 1896)

Telegraph and Telephone ConferenceBudapest


International Telegraph Conference (London, 1903)

Telegraph and Telephone ConferenceLondon


International Telegraph Conference (Lisbon, 1908)

Telegraph and Telephone ConferenceLisbon


International Telegraph Conference (Paris, 1925)

Telegraph and Telephone ConferenceParis


International Telegraph Conference (Brussels, 1928)

Telegraph and Telephone ConferenceBrussels


International Telegraph and Telephone Conference (Cairo, 1938)

Telegraph and Telephone ConferenceCairo


International Telegraph and Telephone Conference (Paris, 1949)

Telegraph and Telephone ConferenceParis


Administrative Telegraph and Telephone Conference (Geneva, 1958)

Telegraph and Telephone ConferenceGeneva


World Administrative Telegraph and Telephone Conference (Geneva, 1973)

WATTC-73Telegraph and Telephone ConferenceGeneva


World Administrative Telegraph and Telephone Conference (Melbourne, 1988)

WATTC-88Telegraph and Telephone ConferenceMelbourne