Australia - International - Colonial: 1854-1900.
Reuters Telegram Company.

Reuter’s Telegram Company Ltd Reuters dates from a text news service founded by Julius Reuter in 1851 establishing an office to transmit information between the London and Paris stock exchanges. operated in Australia from 1860. It obtained exclusive rights to Australia and the Far East in 1869. It operated as a Telegraphic Company in Australia for a number of years after it ceased to use Greville’s as its agent. (Further background at ).

It was solely concerned with messages between England, other Reuter’s bases in the British Empire and Australia and not with domestic services.

In 1872, the cost of a cable to London was 10/- per word. An agreement to supply news to major Australian dailies took effect from 21 October 1872.

There was an exclusive arrangement between Reuters and Australian Associated Press which in turn allowed the Argus and the Sydney Morning Herald to be the only newspapers to receive the foreign news. John Byron who had formerly worked at Greville's, opened an office in 1877 in London to provide foreign news to those newspapers who had been excluded from the arrangement. Reuters offered to buy Byron out but he refused. Reuters soon began to regret the exclusivity of the arrangement and tried to modiy teir contractual obligations.

Reuters profitability in Australia depended not so much on the news services but on commercial activities, especially private telegrams.

The continuing dominance of the telegram over other forms of communication was reiterated when Reuters reported the Armistice which ended World War I in many places of the world before the British Government’s announcement.


Advertisements lodged in various newspapers (eg Adelaide Register 1 May 1906) show the services being offered:


REUTER'S free Cable Addresses embrace both sender and receiver.

Great economy effected by using Reuter's new code of half a million phrases. Messages in this code translated before delivery.

Mail and telegraphic remittances at lowest rates to all places within and beyond Australasia.

Phone 511.