[LB015292], Letter from Thomas Alva Edison to John Pender, Oriental Telephone Co Ltd, February 9th, 1883


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[LB015292], Letter from Thomas Alva Edison to John Pender, Oriental Telephone Co Ltd, February 9th, 1883

Editor's Notes

Referring to the cable correspondence confirmed elsewhere I would state that I have recently received several calls from a Representative of the Western Electric Co as to Australian Telephone matters. He showed me a correspondence which Mr Wells had with the Secretary of your Company some time since with reference to the Royalty due by the Western Electric Co to the Oriental Coy under my Agreement with them. From this correspondence I gathered that you have already received payments from the Western Electric & they state that they are ready to pay the Royalty right along. The impression I gathered from my various interviews with Mr Renshaw was that the Western Electric Company had failed altogether to comply with the terms of their arrangement with me, but from my conversations with their Representative such does not appear to be the case. The Western Electric [Co] claim that they have done everything possible to properly exploit the business and insist that their Agreement with me is perfectly valid. Of course this point can only be decided in a Court of Law. The Western Electric Co want me to give them a Power of Attorney to enable them to stop Sir Julius Vogel from selling telephones Of course if their Agreement with me is valid they have a right to claim this. In reply to their request however I informed them that your company owned all my Telephone rights for Australia, & that I could do nothing whatever without your authority. They say that Sir Julius Vogel will ruin the business by the course he is pursuing, that he is trying to force them into a [Fusion] on unequal terms, and that in as much as they have worked up the business in Australia they propose to make strenuous endeavors to keep it if Sir Julius pursues his present policy.##I think it would be far better for your Company to arrange some equitable basis of settlement with the Western Electric Co as no advantage whatever can be gained by a "war of Rates" such as inaugurated by Sir Julius Vogel. My position is a very awkward one and I am very anxious to see the matter settled on equitable terms to everyone concerned.##I understand that Sir Julius Vogel has written to one of the officers of your Company reflecting most unfavorably on my course in connection with the sale of my rights to the Oriental Company. I am [told] that he said in his letters that I sold nothing but rubbish to the Oriental Company & that I gave my first and best patents to the Western Electric Company. At the time your company entered into contract with me they were fully aware of the fact that I had a Contract with the Western Electric Coy and that what they were [buying] were my rights under that Contract. I therefore fail to see any cause for the charges made by Sir Julius & I would beg of you to represent to your Board that whatever I have done has been in entire good faith




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Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University
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