Add a Comment to this Note (list members only)
Dead medium: British Foreign Office Abandons Telegrams
From: (Charles Crouch)

Source(s): The Times, London, Monday August 17, 1998, page 17

(((Charles Crouch remarks: After almost 150 years, the UK Foreign Office is switching from telegrams to e-mail for notifying London of important local events.)))

"Stiff upper lips at the Foreign Office must have quivered yesterday at the news that the telegram is to be usurped by new technology. The Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, has ordered embassies abroad to use e-mail to inform mandarins back home of important events, rather than slower telegrams.

"The telegram from Our Man Abroad has long been an FO emblem. The first known example, sent from Paris in December 1852, recorded that 'Galliard is arrested' == the subject's identity and crime are unknown.(...)

"Using telegrams for matters of great import is now absurd. They can take 24 hours between dictation and delivery, by which time London already knows about issues thanks to the media.(...)"

Charles Crouch (