Weekly Telexes 1991–1996
From 1976 to 2008, the press service of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) wrote and sent «Weekly Telexes». They were designed to «improve the information of the diplomatic representations by the department on the main foreign policy events and the corresponding position of the head office towards them» and were declared «cornerstone of the new information media» (dodis.ch/49646). Since the 1980s, some of the information written for the weekly telex – for example on bilateral meetings of the Head of the department or the Secretary of State with foreign dignitaries – was written directly for the competent FDFA press and information service and was no longer filed in the corresponding thematic file of the directorates. The weekly telexes were therefore not only central files for the department, but they are also of great strategic importance for the study of Swiss foreign policy history.
In the course of its systematic research, the Dodis Research Center discovered that the weekly telexes from 1991–1996, which should have been classified under the reference «A.126.96.36.199» or «A.22.14.07.03» in the collection of the Political Affairs Directorate of the FDFA (E2010A*), were missing from the catalogue of the Swiss Federal Archives (SFA). Since the weekly telexes for all other years between 1976 and 2008 are systematically archived and duly indexed, it can be assumed, after extensive research in collaboration with the FDFA and the SFA, that the weekly telexes for the years 1991–1996 have simply not been kept. This is suggested by a systematic examination of the delivery lists as well as the analysis of the correspondence between the FDFA and the SFA at that time.
The Dodis research centre is striving to reconstruct, where possible, the weekly telexes for the period in question and to make them available for research, at least in fragments. For this purpose, extracts and copies found in the subject files and originally coming from the same weekly telex are subsumed under the same Dodis number and the key dates of the original weekly telex that can be reconstructed (such as the date or number) are recorded. The various facsimiles allow the various extracts and fragments reproduced to be viewed.
The fragments of the weekly telexes of the years 1991–1996 are regularly completed and thus made accessible to researchers and the public. Researchers and former members of the diplomatic corps who are aware of the whereabouts of other weekly telexes from the years 1991–1996 are asked to contact the Dodis research centre.
For the weekly telexes of the year 1991 collected so far, see dodis.ch/C1838.