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EMPIRE COMMUNICATIONS

CABLE AND WIRELESS MERGER REPORT OF IMPERIAL CONFERENCE HUGE COMPANY OF 30 MILLION POUNDS

The report of the Imperial Wireless and Cable Con- ference which was released by the Prime Minister s Department last night proposes a new scheme of control for Imperial cable and wireless communications

A fusion of the interests of the Lastern Lastern Ex- tension and Western Telegraph Companies and the Mar- coni s Wireless Telegraph Company, and the formation therefrom of a Communications Company, is recom-

mended

The latter organisation is guanneed a standard net revenue of £1,865,000 from services, plus fifty per cent -of all additional revenue The other fifty per cent is to be applied to reduce cable and radio rates

The control of interested Governments is secured by the constitution of an Imperial Advisory Committee which shall have sole power over rate increases and matters of general policy

The report stales that the oILoct of i the Beam wireless service upon cable systems is that callie undertaking operating between the constituents parts jp the limpire \vould bo unable to eon t inue on a paying, basis in the 'face of Jitrostricted . competition Pom Beam .vireless. The Eastern and Associated Telegraph Companies would be, in

)0(Bition to go into voluntary liquidation and dispose of their assets lo the .ugliest bidder, but there are indica- tions that loreign enterprise" might be cady to soiüo nu opportunity lo acquire such part of the Eastern and Associat- ed sy.stoms as could be transferred to i 'foreign purchaser. Owing, however, to lack of coinjileto secrecy and cor ainty, wireless is not yet in a position jntlrely to supersede cables. Cables, therefore, still possess,., great value for ^ho maintenance ,qf, nupbb.vury com-, miinicutions between the constituent parts of the Empire for commercial and slatcg ¡c purposes. -ii "* "'>' . ' >Thc çohfetençe rqviewed possible courses of action by the Governments concerned,, Including the proposal to tmalgamato as lar as. possible ,m one undertaking all the cable- and wireless nlorest« conducting the uommunica

lions fotlwun tin v uious puts bf th<

Jutted l\in"doin so is to seine Hil

tmit\ ol lonttol uni unll\ of iliu^tion

B\ siich iusion it said lunn of con liol nnd din (lion uni tim continu un e ol the c ijïji s\slini -\\0Uld iii se«, in ed

lonoiiTiiMmuid la irtiklcd anti lih imu.linn ni fo\ loiei^n eompetitois, most l(<cti\ol\ nslstid wlul( thin should ht t pidspiu ol sicuiing a iLiliution in

tin tell (L, i -\ j > li i c lilies TJio lonlcicncc

believed thal (his was the li m1 chum ol connu vim, md nnpioving Hit com municutlon sei \ ici s of tin Luipitc willi-, out inliilllnt, conti ihutions fiom the iiulvhc -funds Moans and measui i could he devised which will muiiiuUci to tin tommunin concern«d an effectue si i ciu it i lcisonafolc cost '

To this end, the, conference /has re- commended ,the formation ol' a merger company which will acauire, ass, from April 1, last, all the ordinal,v shares of the Kastei n, Ku.storn Kxlonsion, and Western Telegraph. Companies, and all Hie ordinary and preference shiU'C.s and debentures (if any), of the Marconi

[ Wireless Telegraph Company.

The cable and Marconi groups have arge investment interests ,and manu facturing interests,» .respectively, which arc not directly concerned with com- munication services, and sp an, entirely

."4l5áVate' jupnipnny^/.íijú^lHihVij: utility

line's, is proposed to conduct the busi- ness of the merger, in, ho far as oom-' muujcatloii service)» arça'phcernud./n^h \\ 111' be known 'tis 'the /Communications

Company, and to this organlsatipn the cable and the Marconi's companies'hold lit April 1, 11)28, all their communication assets in exchange for shares. The Communications Company -will, theru tore, hold nil the communication ascott 'jf ,thc callie and merger companies, ex- cept in so far as tliebo belong- to thu uliHiiliary companies, ' In which the cablu und Marconi's Companies' hoki- ng- ih less than 100 pu,r cent. Tlie oniiiiunieut.un!^ Company, will acquire

the holdings of the cable and meigel companies in those eommuiilciillon com panics in which the cable and merge, companies' holding is loss than 100 pe cent. JVho Communications Compati: will also acquire the Government cables and hold the lease of the British Poa4 UfHce Hen ni. The capital of the Com- munications Company is not, to e.\cee« 130,000,000 *at its inception. .

' TRANSFER OF GOVERNMENT

ASSETS.

The Communications Company, it i:. suggested, should take as from April 3 last, the Pacific .Cable Board's cables the West Indian cable1 and wlrules; system worked by the Pacific Cabli Board, the Imporial Atlantic Cables

an,d' the Icase? of, trie, Post- Ofjjcivhear»,,»

service on terms to be arranged.

Tile, beam service, it is recommended.

íáliotíur'b'e,1,'íeaseJ.for 23, years, al a rchtni of £250,000 per annum, and a^ from April 1, 11)31. an addition equiv- alent, to 12 per cent on any inerciise in the company's profits from communica- tions services above the Mandari

revenue.

The Communications Company is to undertake to meet Hie annual service of the outstanding debt on the'Pacific Cable Board as on April 1 last, and tr pay in addition a capital sum ot £51Ï,000 to tAie Puclfic Camble Board, together with interest at five per cent as from April 1 last; to pay £30(1,lot for the West Indian cable and C l.r>(),00( lor the Imperial, cables. The renta' payable by the Communications Com pany and tilt» service ol' iho l'acifir Calilo Board debt will ho gua ra tit cot" fov the merger company.

DIRKCTldN AND MANAGEMENT

The board ol' directors of, the mer- ger company. Hie communipalioim, Ihr callie and Marconi's companies will foe identical. Two ol' the directors, one ol whom .shall lie' chairman of Hie eom' inunicatlons company, are ,lo be mor- sons approved foy Ills Majesty's Gov- ernment on the suggestion of the cabl«

companies. ' r '

A standard net revfiiue OJ I* 1,8(15,00f (exclusive ol jioii-lefo'giaplUe Invest inenl revenue) from the Conimunica lions Company's .services is', to ho-.tlxei lo Hie purposes of the company. Of al

net revenue from- the communication? service in excess ol' Hint, sum, 50. pet

ceiU.i will go lo J he eompiiny, and 50 per cent, to the reduction of rates oi suth, other purposes as the advi.sor\

committee »my approve.

, ' (JOVKUNMIiNT CONTROL.

J The ConiniunleiUion.s Company is t<

consult in regard to question« of pol- icy, including any alteration of rales ¿"n, advisory commit I co, which should Include representatives ol' tile Oov eriupenls participating in .this, confer- ence, to whom representativos ol' olhei paris of the Empire may lie added No increase of Hu» rales prevailing at the date ol' the formation of the Com- munications 'Company to hcimaoe, i»v copi willi the nssent ,of the advijorj

committee.

As additional safeguards'Il is 1o hi, agreed, ,111c report contiinles,, thal 11k British .control of all the compa.nie(

,miu/t,vhe giuiranlccdi; that -(¡he Coy-, crnmoiifisj íhay'assainie control of vt-h< caljie, anti "wireless ^systems in linjie o' war'or other'national emergency; ant thal the flghlhig,service/! .¡ne, entitlot

.lo' tlrtííld^and^work calilo 'for whales

stations for llioir own purposes, bul not lor commercial purpose».

The report concludes foy say- ing .thal the scheme is designed t« secure a comtntm basis for Hie con duel, of the telegraphic communication» of tlie various parts of (lie Empire. The lull benefits of the scheme cai mly be secured fov the wnoleheartoc corporation on the part of 'all tin I Governments eonccrnecl and of tin

I undertakings coiuluctlng tulegruplih I.communications throughout the Em

I pire.

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