The oldest general international agency established by independent states is the International Telecommunication Union, formerly known as the International Telegraph Union. As early as 1850 Austria, Prussia, Bavaria, and Saxony had joined in forming a telegraph union to which other German states later adhered.1 Other conventions between various states were signed from time to time. In 1858 there were signed three multilateral conventions governing interchange of telegraph business --that of Brussels of June 30, that of Berne of September 1, and that of Friedrichshafen of October 26.2
As the telegraph systems in all the countries concerned were operated by the governments, these conventions embodied regulations for the interchange of traffic and the division of rates, but created no central administrative office.
As the provisions of these conventions were largely the same and as some of the states were signatory or adherent to all the conventions, a single convention was the next step. This was the subject of a conference which met in Paris on March 1, 1865 and resulted in the general convention of May 17, 1865.3 The convention signed at Vienna in 18684 provided for the establishment of the International Bureau of the Telegraph Union, called the International Bureau of Telegraph Administrations____________________