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The Reith Mission: Global Telecommunications and The Decline of The British Empire

Collins, Richard (2012) The Reith Mission: Global Telecommunications and The Decline of The British Empire. Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 32 (2). pp. 167-185. ISSN 0143-9685

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In 1945, the established British imperial communications system, based on the Cable and Wireless network, was re-structured. The imperial partners agreed to break up the hitherto integrated system and re-establish it as an interconnecting network of networks based on separate, nationalised, entities. Co-ordination began to shift from a consensual system to one based on prices and the hitherto largely self-contained system began to interconnect with other global telecommunication networks, notably those of the USA. John, Lord Reith played an important role in these transformations and his January 1945 “Mission” to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and Southern Rhodesia epitomises both the mutuality and the London dominance that characterised the imperial system and which were to fall away following the Commonwealth Telecommunications Conference held in London in mid 1945. Reith’s Mission exemplified the swan song of a distinctive manner of imperial governance.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Schools: School of Music, Humanities and Media
Depositing User: Cherry Edmunds
Date Deposited: 07 May 2013 11:11
Last Modified: 08 May 2013 10:04


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