Australia - Colonial: 927-19.
Delivery form: A-DO-12.

Details on the ??Cable are provided as follows:



The idea of a cable linking the United States to the East was a product of several factors:

  1. the proposals for the "All red" Pacific cable which involved links with the United States in the early versions;
  2. the decision by President McKinley on 10 February 1899 urging Congress to take action to lay a Pacific Cable;
  3. the acquisition of the Hawaiian Islands;
  4. the Spanish War and the consequent cessation of the Philippines;
  5. the economic advances being made in America and the development of international trade.

On 11 April 1900, the Senate passed a Bill authorising the construction of a cable across the Pacific which would be funded solely by the American Government. The House however deleted most of the Bill but left the enacting clause that the cable would be built from San Francisco to the Phillipines and Japan by private enterprise with a subsidy from the Government of $300,000 per year for 20 years. On 22 July 1901, an businessman experienced in submarine cables - John W. McKay - offered that his company The Commercial Pacific Cable Company would build the cable with no Government support or subsidy. That company had been formed on 23 September 1901 by the Commercial Cable Company which had laid and was operating four cables across the Atlantic. It also owned the Postal Telegraph company which had 14,908 offices.

Despite that offer, debate continued as to whether the US Government should also build a cable which would compete with McKay's cable.

The Commercial Pacific Cable Company pointed out that the rates in 1901 for a message sent from New York to the Philippines was $2.35 per word. In November 1901, the European cable companies reduced this rate to $1.66 per word - partly in the light of the potentially strong US commercial opposition. The Company undertook to charge:

The Company also undertook to reduce these rates to 35c per word within two years.

The estimated cost for the Company to build the cable to Japan was $12 million while the cost if the Government built it was estimated to be $20 million.

As discussion on the issue continued, the Commercial Pacific Cable Company announced that actually they had a contract already to lay a 2,814 mile cable from San Francisco to Hawaii, that the the first payment had been received and cable was being manufactured. The cable was expected to be completed in November 1902.


2 January 1903 Cable Day to Hawaii

Launceston Examiner
11 March 1895

Negotiations are just concluding in New York the result of which will probably be that Russia, France, Japan and Hawaii will join a United States company in the laying of a cable from San Francisco to Hawaii, thence to Japan and the French islands of the Pacific.

August 1895: Mr. Spalding, of San Francisco, intends to ask the United States Government to grant a subsidy of $250,000 for the laying of a cable from Hawaii to California. It is believed that President Cleveland and the majority of the United States House of Representatives will be in favour of the scheme.

Evening News (Sydney)
29 November 1902.

LONDON, November 28.— President Roosevelt has signed a cable contract with the Commercial Pacific Cable Company for the laying of a cable from San Francisco to China, via Honolulu, Guam, and the Philippines.