• U.S.

Business: International Communications

2 minute read

Now, upon all continents—since I. T. & T. stockholders at their meeting in Baltimore last week approved the long planned consolidation with the Mackay Companies (TIME, April 2)—birds may perch on I. T. & T. land wires. Now, under all the seas, along the lead-bound cables of the I. T. & T. fishes may snip and gulp their food of slimy algae, dainty shell fish. The International Telephone & Telegraph Co. is ubiquitous by telegraph, cable, telephone, wireless, radio.

Besides providing these addenda to earth’s natural equipment, the I. T. & T. stockholders provided for their own profit and comfort by re-electing directors who have supported President Sosthenes Behn in his amazing expansion of the business. Many financially conscious persons noted for the first time that two of the company’s directors are Spaniards, one count, one marques.

The Count, whose name is de Guell, is essential because he is a close friend of Spanish Dictator Primo de Rivera from whom the Compania Telefonica Nacional de Espana (dominated by the I. T. & T.) got an almost unrestricted concession to operate all the telephones of Spain, now and hereafter.

The Marques, Don Estanislao de Urquijo, is president of the Compania Telefonica and has inherited a close financial connection with the Bourbon dynasty (his father having given many a shrewd bit of advice to Alfonso XIII. in the King’s early days. The present Marques de Urquijo is rated Spain’s greatest banker (Banco Urquijo of Madrid).

Hitherto foreign directors of major U. S. corporations have represented foreign investment in the U. S. These Spaniards signify the opposite: U. S. interests in foreign countries. When the Marques de Urquijo’s heir came to the U. S. to learn banking, reporters captioned him as “Friend of J. P. Mor-gan.” The youth was not, in fact, on chitchatting terms with Mr. Morgan; it was merely that the House of Morgan, in the I. T. & T. and other affairs, was associated with the House of Urquijo. Just as Mr. Morgan had gone in his youth to London, then the world’s financial capital, to learn banking, so the Urquijo heir came to him.

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