Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Official postage stamps in Queensland - 1888

Articles on the introduction of official postage stamps in Queensland

Queensland Figaro and Punch (Brisbane), Saturday 3 March 1888, p. 15
Official Postage
The funny manipulation of postage stamps required by Government offices, as revealed by the Colonial Stores enquiry, brings up a few strong thoughts in connection with official postage generally. There can be no reason, and certainly no convenience in requiring official documents posted to be stamped with the same postage stamp as ordinary letters.
Many years ago "Victoria got a sickener of this system. It was discovered that Higinbotham's "turbulent Civil servants" of the Crown Law and Crown Lands Departments paid for their daily luncheons out of prigged postage. This game was stopped by the issue to each Government department of a frank stamp seal, with which all sorts of envelopes were stamped and then issued to the subordinate offices. This, however, did not stop the plundering, for, in 1870, a Superintendent of Police was dismissed for cutting out a frank stamp from a letter and affixing it to a newspaper.
In New Zealand an officer of a department franks letters with his name. In Fiji the franked stamp consists of crossed batons—something like the badge of a British military field-marshal. In England and France official letters are also franked. In America each department is supplied with envelopes, each having the following words printed on its obverse face:—"Any person using this envelope to evade payment of postage on private matter will be subject to a fine of $300."
Cannot Queensland improve on its old jog-trot style, and invent a stamp, or an official envelope, that will sufficiently answer all departmental purposes, and yet will be difficult to be nefariously used?
Week (Brisbane), Saturday 3 March 1888, p. 11
Colonial Stores Commission.
Recommendation 11.  The supply of special postage stamps for the use of the service.
Warwick Argus, Saturday 3 March 1888, p. 2
The supply of special postage stamps will do much to check possible speculation and an unfair use of official postage, and to ascertain readily the cost of postage to each department.