Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Postal fraud in Queensland - 1895

Week (Brisbane), Friday 4 October 1895, page 11

Postal Evasions

According to the report of the Post and Telegraph Department for 1894, it has been observed with much satisfaction that the attempts to use stamps that have been officially defaced for the prepayment of postage have not been nearly so frequent during the past year as in 1893, but the instances brought under notice in which communications that can only be legally sent through the post office at the letter rate of postage have been sent as packets in open covers, and frequently with endorsements such as "Printed matter only”, "Commercial papers," &c., have been so numerous as to indicate that the revenue of the department has been seriously affected by the payment of the lower instead of the higher and legitimate postage. The majority of the mistakes referred to are probably tho result of ignorance or inadvertence. It must be obvious that every article purporting to be a packet cannot be closely examined when posted, and probably the greater number of the illegally posted packets escape detection; those that are detected are charged as insufficiently prepaid letters, and are therefore refused by the persons to whom they are addressed. This, however, is not sufficient to protect the revenue, and if the practice continues it will be necessary to take some more stringent action.