Foreign Office and Diplomatic Service Administration Office: Communications Department: General Correspondence from 1906 (Y and DSY series)

FO 850
Foreign Office and Diplomatic Service Administration Office: Communications Department: General Correspondence from 1906 (Y and DSY series)

This series contains records of the Communication Department of the Foreign Office (1936-1964) and the Diplomatic Service Administration Office (1965-1968), dealing with all communication matters between London and Britain's overseas embassy and consular posts in foreign countries and, from 1965, in the Commonwealth and with overseas trade missions.


From 1947, the Communications Department had the departmental code 'Y'. From 1947 to 1949, records were registered by subject under the numerical code 650 (where, for example, 650 = Communications, General, and 659 = Diplomatic Wireless). From 1950, records were registered according to the new Foreign Office filing system using the departmental letter code and subject letter, as shown:

  • Y - Communications, general
  • YB - Bag services
  • YC - Bag and contents
  • YE - Diplomatic wireless, engineers
  • YP - Diplomatic wireless, telephones
  • YT - Telegrams
  • YW - Diplomatic wireless

In 1965, the Communications Department was merged with its counter-part from the Commonwealth Relations Office to form a new Communications Department in the Diplomatic Service Administration Office, and the department code used in registering the files was changed from 'Y' to 'DSY'. A new subject letter was created at this time for the Communications Directorate, DSYH.

Related Material:
For records of the Communications Department in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office see FCO 19
For further records relating to messengers see FO 351
For earlier records of the Communications Department to 1926 see FO 366
Held by:
The National Archives, Kew
Former references:
in its original department:   DSY file series
Legal status:
Public Record
Physical description:
343 files, photographs and volumes
Access conditions:
Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:
Foreign and Commonwealth Office , from 1975
Series is accruing
Unpublished finding aids:
Indexes to this correspondence can be found in FO 409

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