The American Draft Convention, Arts. I. and II., proposes to recognize the principle that no exclusive concession for an international telegraphic line shall be made or renewed by any nation, without the consent of the nation with whose territory the concession contemplates a connection ; and that no telegraphic line shall be laid immediately connecting the territories of different nations, without the consent of each nation.

But it seems reasonable that all restrictions in this regard should be removed, and that the right of any persons having riparian access, to com. municate through the sea, should be declared.

Right of corresponding.

431, All persons, without discrimination, have the right to correspond by international telegraphs. Convention of Vienna, 1868, Art. I. Classification of dispatches. 432, Telegraphic dispatches are of three classes : 1. Dispatches of State ;

2. Dispatches relating to the telegraphic or postal service of the nations uniting in this Code;

3. Private dispatches. Convention of Vienna, 1868, Art. IV.

Dispatches of State. 433. Dispatches of State include those that issue from the chief executive office of a nation, from the ministers, from commanders of military or naval forces, from public agents mentioned in article 91, and messages in extradition ; and also, the replies to such dispatches, except that dispatches of consuls and commissioners who are engaged in commerce, are not considered dispatches of State, unless addressed to an official person, and upon official business.

Convention of Vienna, 1868, Art. IV., modified by adding “messages in extradition.”

It should seem necessary to include dispatches relating to the postal ser. vice in the second class, mentioned in Article 432, as the postal service is hardly less important than the telegraphic.

Authentication of dispatches of State.

434. Dispatches of State will be received as such only when bearing the seal, or other evidence of the authority of the sender.

Convention of Vienna, 1868, Art. V.

Authentication of private dispatches.

435. The sender of a private dispatch may be required to prove its signature. Convention of Vienna, 1868, Art. VI. Language of dispatches. 436. A dispatch may be written by the sender in the language of any of the nations, parties to this Code, or in any language that can be transmitted by telegraph.

The Convention of Vienna, (Art. VII.,) állows any of the languages used in the territories of the contracting States, and also Latin.

Dispatches in cypher.

437. Dispatches of State and of the telegraphic service may be written and transmitted in cypher, or secret letters, in whole or in part.

Private dispatches may be so written and transmitted, subject to the power of any nation to prohibit such dispatches from originating or being delivered within its territory. Convention of Vienna, 1868, Arts. VIII., IX. Preference of dispatches.

438. Subject to the next article, the transinission of dispatches shall be made in the following order :

1. Dispatches of State ; 2. Dispatches on telegraphic service; 3. Private dispatches. Telegraphic Convention of Vienna, 1868, Art. X. The same. 439. A dispatch commenced cannot be interrupted, to give place to a communication of superior class, unless in case of absolute necessity.

Dispatches of the same class and with the same destination must be transmitted by the original sending station, in the order of their deposits by the senders, and by the intermediate officers in the order of their reception.

Convention of Vienna, 1868, Art. XII.

By a convention between France and Great Britain, Feb. 1, 1855, for a telegraph from Bucharest to Varna, it was provided that for messages

arriving simultaneously, the rule of the alternat should be followed. 6 De Clercq, 493.

It has been proposed to allow the companies to depart from the provisions of this Article, in the interest of their service, on lines connecting several places separated by considerable difference of time in longitude.

Designation of route.

440. The sender of a unessage may designate its route, subject to the power of the telegraphic administration to depart therefrom, if required by the exigencies of the service, or by the instructions of the nation wbose territory is traversed.

Convention of Vienna, 1868, Art. XII.
Government scrutiny relinquished.

441. The proprietors of international telegraphic lines may receive, transmit, and deliver messages, without interference or scrutiny by the government of either nation, except as provided in the next two articles. American Draft of Convention, Art. III. Illegal dispatches.

442. A nation may authorize and require the telegraphic administration within its territory to stop the transmission of any dispatch of either class which appears to be dangerous to the security of such nation, or is contrary to its laws, to public order, or to good morals, under the obligation to give immediate notice, in the case of a dispatch of the second or third class, to the administration from whose bureau the dispatch originated ; and in the case of a dispatch of the first class, to both parties to the correspondence.

Telegraphic Convention of Vienna, 1868, Art. XIII., modified by including public dispatches, and requiring notice to the parties.

Suspension of service.

443, A nation may suspend the service, within its territory, of all or any of the international telegraphic lines connecting therewith, for any time limited or unlimited, either by a general suspension, or for special kinds of correspondence, under the obligation to notify the suspension immediately to all the other nations uniting in this Code.

Convention of Vienna, 1868, Art. XIV.

Sending false dispatches; violating dispatches, &c.

444. The following, when affecting the international telegraphic service, are public offenses :

1. Willfully originating, and tendering, or causing to be sent, false messages ;

2. Unlawfully hindering or delaying, by any act or omission, the transmission or delivery of a dispatch ; and,

3. Violating the secrecy of a dispatch, except disclosing illegal dispatches, in the cases and to the extent necessary in the enforement of article 442, and knowingly republishing, without authority, any dispatch the secrecy of which has been so violated.

This Article is intended to protect against wrongs which have not been adequately provided for.

Regulations. 445. Each nation shall make regulations to assure secrecy, accuracy, and rapidity in the transmission of dispatches, and communicate the same to each of the other nations, but is not otherwise responsible for the telegraphic service.

Convention of Vienna, 1868, Arts. II., III., adding “accuracy," and also adding the clause requiring communication of the regulations.







ARTICLE 446. Exchange of correspondence.

447. Classes of correspondence,
448. Rates of postage on letters. ·
449. Rates on other postal packets.
450. Registered correspondence.
451. Prepayment required.
452. Interior postage.
453. Certain official correspondence free.
454. Accounts.
455. Right of transit.
456. Relations with other countries.
457. Domestic regulations.
458. Internal regulations.
459. Central office.
460. Arbitration in case of disagreement.
461. Conference every three years.
462. Entry and departure of mail ships.
463. Private mails forbidden.
464. Dangerous substances.
465. Transit of closed mails.
466. Mail matter not to be detained.
467. Letters with contraband goods.
468. Violations of the mails.

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