1919: France Finds 1000’s of Telegrams Not Despatched Throughout WWI

It’s no secret that the French telegraphic service handled the general public with scant courtesy throughout the conflict, delivering despatches when and to whom it happy, however the extent of its abuses as elicited by the committee appointed by the Chamber of Deputies to analyze into State contracts throughout the conflict will nonetheless astonish all people.

This investigation — the outcomes of that are revealed within the “Temps” — exhibits that the Telegraphic Management Part, of which M. Tannery was the top and Captain Ladoux and M. Pierre Lenoir have been energetic members, was liable for scandalous abuses.

For example, in the middle of the investigation M. Tannery acknowledged that on a median on the Paris Telegraph Bureau 40,000 despatches have been held again every day. The vast majority of them have been by no means delivered and the others have been distributed after nice delay. The despatches which have been retained have been in the principle thrown right into a basket and when the buildup had turn out to be too nice they have been destroyed. The Management Part by no means made any inquiry and neither the senders or these to whom the despatches have been addressed have been ever knowledgeable.

It have to be admitted that these telegraph authorities have been no respecters of individuals. Telegrams despatched by or to overseas sovereigns, princes, and diplomatists have been handled just like the despatches of Tom, Dick or Harry. Actually, the shut consideration and all of the endurance of the Delegation of Overseas Affairs was wanted to stop the systematic holding up of those State telegrams.

The Overseas Affairs Division, in assist of a protest, acknowledged that the Telegraphic Management Part, unknown to it, stopped all telegrams for Spain, notably these of Ambassadors in Rome and London. Telegrams additionally from brokers of the French Ministry of Overseas Affairs have been stopped, significantly these from M. Bapst, Minister at Copenhagen.

And the Management Part was simply as ruthless in regard to the nation’s monetary pursuits, for, on the event of the final nationwide mortgage, it stopped or suppressed a substantial variety of Inventory Alternate orders and stopped despatches of funds destined for the mortgage.

And this isn’t the restrict. The claims of the Nationwide Defence obtained no consideration. The report states that orders of Le Creusot and Firminy have been stopped in addition to these of different factories working for the conflict. One of many latter was obliged to shut down owing to its lack of ability to ahead its calls for within the needful time.

The report of the Ministry of Overseas Affairs concludes as follows: “Below its current head, the part of Telegraphic Management is an organ of confusion and dysfunction, which has engendered extraordinary abuses and risked compromising the Authorities significantly and hampering its common coverage.”

As a consequence of those revelations, M. Tannery has been relieved of his features on the Telegraphic Management. However retaining his submit on the Cour des Comptes, he was appointed to the change fee by the Minister of Finance after which despatched to characterize the latter in Alsace and Lorraine. The Premier has eliminated him from the final place.

Captain Ladoux and M. Pierre Lenoir are carry prosecuted on the cost of coping with the enemy in reference to the acquisition of a Paris newspaper, with which Senator Humbert can be the topic of prosecution.

This gorgeous scandal comes as a sorry satisfaction to the newspapers, whose despatches have been so usually held up, misplaced, or delivered to their rivals, with out the slightest excuse or apology.

— The New York Herald, European Version, March 22, 1919

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