Charles J. Acton



Was a Radio Operator in France during World War I. Continued as a Radio Operator after World War I. Became a Radio Inspector in 1930. Advanced to become Canada's Chief Radio Inspector. Retired from the Department of Transport in 1962.

A été opérateur radio en France pendant la Première Guerre mondiale. A continué en tant qu'opérateur radio après la Première Guerre mondiale. Devenu inspecteur radio en 1930. Il avança pour devenir inspecteur radio en chef du Canada. Retraité du ministère des Transports en 1962.



Charles James Acton

Internationally Recognized Radio Specialist Retires

Seen at a farewell gathering for retiring Superintendent of Radio Regulations and International Agreements Charles J. Acton (third from right) were, from left, H. R. Newcombe, superintendent of radio authorization and enforcement; W. A. Caton, controller of radio regulations; Mrs. Acton; Mr. Acton; Miss A. B. Warner, statistics and frequency records; and F. T. Nixon, director of the telecommunications and electronics branch.



Charles James Acton, a World War I radio operator who became one of the world's best known specialists in international radio regulations, retired at the end of July.


As superintendent of radio regulations and international agreements in the telecommunications and electronics branch since 1954, he has spent the past 25 years making sure that Canada receives its fair share of the use of the radio spectrum.


In 1959 Mr. Acton brought singular honor to Canada when he was unanimously elected chairman of one of the largest technical conferences in history, the 117-nation Seventh Administrative Radio Conference of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) at Geneva.


 Mr. Acton became a government radio operator in 1919 and spent the next four years at West Coast radio stations. He returned to Ottawa as a senior radio operator in 1923 and became a radio inspector in 1930.


At the beginning of World War II Mr. Acton assumed the responsibility for allied general frequency co-operation in the area of Canada and the Northwest Atlantic.


After the war the use of radio increased to a point where international regulations had to be revised. In 1947 Mr. Acton was a member of the Canadian delegation to the ITU conference in Atlantic City where these revisions were carried out.


He subsequently attended such international conferences as the Provisional Frequency Registration Board, Geneva, 1948-49; the High Frequency Broadcasting Conference, Mexico City, 1948-49; the Extraordinary Administrative Radio Con­ference, Geneva, 1951, and the Buenos Aires Plenipotentiary Conference in 1952.


He also represented Canada for many years on the ITU Administrative Council, which meets annually in Geneva, and was chairman of that body in 1954.

A native of England, Mr. Acton came to Canada at an early age and settled in Brockville. He now lives in Ottawa.


Mr. Acton received a portable television set as a farewell gift from his many friends and associates. Among those speaking on behalf of the department on his last day of work were F. J. Nixon, director of the telecommunications and electronics branch; W. A. Caton, controller of radio regulations; and H. R. Newcombe, superintendent of radio authorization and enforcement.


Obituary - Avis de décès

Charles J. Acton

1899 - 1992

Silent Key at Age 93

Contributed much to Canadian Amateur Radio

(c) The Canadian Amateur magazine

Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc.

CARF Publications

Reprinted with permission


Starting as a radio operator after service in France during World War I, Charlie advanced to become Canada's Chief Radio Inspector.


Following World War II, he was made responsible for looking after Canada's International interests in radio. He represented Canada at the Pleni­potentiary and Administrative Radio Conferences at Atlantic City in 1947 when the International Telecom­munications Union was reorganized and the ITU Radio Regulations (including the allocation tables) were completely revised.


Representing Canada during the'50s and '60s, he negotiated with the United States a number of bi-lateral agrreements regarding the use of radio. Two of these, which we Amateurs now take for granted, are the reciprocal operating and third party traffic agreements. During the same period, Charlie also negotiated reciprocal licensing and third party agreements with many other countries for the benefit of Canadian Amateurs.


In those years he also represented Canada at just about every radio conference held by the ITU including the frequent Extraordinary Adminis­trative Radio Conferences of the early 'S0s and the unsuccessful HF Broad­casting Conferences at Florence­Rapallo and Mexico City. He took part in many yearly sessions of the Administrative Council, once as Chairman.


ITU members honoured his abilities, knowledge and tact by selecting him to chair the 1959 Administrative Conference, called a WARC today, when the ITU Radio Regulations were again completely overhauled. He retired following the 1963 session of Council.


Really, it was Charlie who established Canada as a significant participant in the field of international radio negotiations and ensured that the rights of Canada in radio were fully secured by international treaties and regulations. We Canadians owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude.


Links   -   Liens

1960 - Major Reorganization of the Telecommunications Branch


1960 - Charlie Acton and the Canadian Delegation to the ITU in 1959