Thursday, August 18, 2016

Introduction of 1.5d postage for newspapers in 1880

Two articles on the short-lived introduction of 1.5d postage for newspapers to England in 1880

Capricornian (Rockhampton), Saturday 28 February 1880, page 10

Our cable news from London contains the important item that the increased rates of ocean postage recently brought into force have been abandoned by the Home Government; and from the 1st March next letters either to Brindisi or San Francisco will only be subject to a charge of sixpence and newspapers one penny. This decision bus been probably arrived at in consequence of the protest sent home by the Governments of New South Wales and New Zealand against the assimilation of the San Francisco rates to those newly established in reference to mails via Brindisi. Assuming the protest was based on substantial grounds, the Imperial authorities must have felt the inexpediency of making different tariffs for the different routes, and to avoid this difficulty they probably decided to fall back on the old rates.  In saying the old rates, we are not quite correct, so far as regards the Torres Straits and Melbourne – Galle service, for they are really the rates hitherto charged on letters and newspapers via Southampton adopted for the more direct and speedy route via Brindisi— the Southampton end of the ocean line being abandoned. The San Francisco route win bear the same charges as heretofore. It must be understood, however, that in the interval between the present date and the 1st March, the recently imposed increased rates will continue in force until the Colonial Governments issue instructions to the contrary. Indeed, the notification in reference to ocean mails gazetted last week will as a matter of coarse hold good in this colony until formally rescinded by the authority which issued it. All the information as yet to hand relative is the abandonment of the increased rates is contained in our special telegram from London. We may expect to hear from Brisbane on the subject before the end of the current week.

Capricornian (Rockhampton), Saturday 28 February 1880, page 11

A notification appears in our advertising of the Southampton service and the adoption of that via Brindisi as the only route for the transit of mails for the United Kingdom and the continent of Europe in connection with the Torres Straits and Melbourne - Galle lines, the rates of postage on correspondence for the United Kingdom by those lines have been altered. The charge on letters will in future be 7d. per half ounce, and newspapers 1.5d. each, not exceeding 4 ounces, and 1d. for every additional 4 ounces or portion thereof. Packets will be charged 2d. for every 2 ounces or fractions thereof. It is further notified that the rates via San Francisco have been assimilated to those via Brindisi These changes have been some time in contemplation, and have not been adapted by the home authorities without much deliberation and correspondence with the various Australian Governments. Our telegrams state that the assimilation of the rates via San Francisco to those via Brindisi bas been protested against by the Governments of New South Wales and New Zealand, and the enforcement of the increased postage on letters transmitted via San Francisco has been delayed to admit of further consideration. We presume, however, that the colonies which have not joined in the protest will have to pay the extra rate from this date forward. The notice now given by the Queensland postal authorities embrace correspondence by both routes. But this will not be of much consequence to Queensland, as with the rapid fortnightly service established via Melbourne, Galle, and Brindisi, the American route will scarcely be used for postal purposes between this colony and the United Kingdom. It will be observed that the new postage rate of 7d. on English, letters, is the mean between the old charges of 6d. via Southampton and 8d. via Brindisi, and all mails by the Melbourne service will in future be sent via Brindisi. The increase of the postage on newspapers for the United Kingdom from 1d. to l.5d. will be vexatious, not only because the charge will be so heavy as to restrict the number of newspapers posted, but the odd halfpenny will cause much inconvenience. There is at present no halfpenny stamp is use in this colony, and the postage cannot therefore be completed in stamps. On application to Mr. da Costa, postmaster, we have ascertained that the extra halfpenny postage will have to be paid in coin pending the issue of halfpenny stamps, which are in course of preparation by the Government. The advertisement on this subject says that the alteration of rates postal rates necessitates a re-arrangement of the foreign postal rates generally, and the full particulars of the new scale are to appear in the next issue of the Postal Guide. Meanwhile all information required can be obtained at the various post offices throughout the colony.