Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Postal information - 1885

A really useful article explaining the various post office services in Queensland as of 1885

Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton), Wednesday 14 October 1885, pages 2-3
Postal Points
For town delivery, letters must bear a postage of 1d. for every half-ounce.

Town letters must be posted within the limits of the city or town, and be delivered within the city or town in which posted.

Inland letters must bear a postage of 2d. for every half-ounce.-

Letters for delivery within any of the Australian colonies, New Zealand, or Fiji must bear a postage of 2d. the half-ounce.
Inland letters, inadvertently posted, either unstamped or insufficiently stamped, will be forwarded to destination, but before delivery double the amount of deficient postage must be paid.

Insufficiently and unpaid letters posted for transmission to any of the Australian colonies, New Zealand, or Fiji will be forwarded, but charged with the deficiency and a single rate of postage as a fine.
Letters on being redirected are charged the same amount of postage, in addition to the original postage, as would be payable if such letter were originally posted at the place of redirection.

The Late fee on a foreign letter is 6d.
The late fee is paid by affixing to the letter the required amount in stamps.

Letters posted loose on board steamers, if for delivery within the colony, require only the ordinary postage-i.e., 2d. the half-ounce.
Letters posted loose on board steamers, if for delivery beyond the colony, must bear a late fee besides the regular postage in Queensland stamps.

Letters concerning goods sent and to be delivered therewith are not required by the Post Office Act to be posted, nor to bear postage stamps; but those sent by railway must, to avoid being taken for ordinary letters, have, besides the words "consignee's letter," the name and address of the sender legibly written or printed on the face thereof. Any such letters passing through the Post Office are charged ordinary rates.
Letters posted in a private bag for delivery at the nearest post-town must bear a postage at 2d. the half-ounce. The town rate does not apply to such letters.

Mailmen may receive and deliver letters at any place on a mail line before arriving at a post office, provided the letters are properly .stamped- i.e., with a 2d. rate per half-ounce -but they must obliterate the stamps before delivery.
Mailmen must not convey unstamped letters.

Mailmen are not allowed to take money in payment of postage for road letters or packets.
Letters posted for the United Kingdom will be forwarded by the long sea route, via Torres Straits, if bearing a postage of 4d. the half ounce.

Letters for the United Kingdom, via Torres Straits and Brindisi, via the Orient line, or via Melbourne-Galle must bear a postage of 6d. the half-ounce. Letters to be sent via San Francisco must be specially marked, or they will not be sent by that route.
Insufficiently prepaid or wholly unpaid letters will be forwarded via Torres Straits, but charged with the deficiency and a single rate as a fine.

Letters posted for the United Kingdom specially marked for a particular route, if posted too late for the mail by which they are intended to be forwarded, will be sent by first mail afterwards, irrespective of being specially marked.
No endorsement on letters for the United Kingdom is necessary. All letters are forwarded by the first route unless via San Francisco.

Letters containing gold may be sent by post within the colony bearing postage of 4d. the half-ounce.
Unclaimed and irregularly posted letters posted in Queensland, and which are returned through the dead letter office to the writers or senders thereof, are taxed with the usual town or country postage, as the case may be, in addition to any postage that may have been originally charged thereon, to be collected on delivery.

Letters, if not claimed, are kept at the post office to which they are directed for a period of one month. If not claimed at the expiration of that time they are sent to the dead letter office and then advertised in the Government Gazette.
Letters posted within the colony, if not claimed within one month from the date of such publication, are returned to the writer.

Intercolonial letters, if not claimed within three months from the date of such publication, are returned unopened to the colony from which they were received.
British and foreign letters, if not claimed within twelve months from the date of such publication, are returned unopened to the colony or country from which they were received.

Letters can be registered by affixing a stamp of the value of 4d in addition to the postage chargeable.
Receipts are given for registered letters, and every precaution taken for their safe delivery by entering them on the letter bills, and obtaining a receipt for them on delivery.

The Post Office, however, is not responsible for the loss of any letter whether registered or otherwise.
No letter, whether registered or not, containing either gold or silver money, jewels or precious articles, or any other article whatever, liable to Customs duties, is allowed to be conveyed by post to any of the countries comprised within the Postal Union, and no such letter will be received at any post office.

Letters containing articles liable to Customs duties passing through any post office in Queensland are detained until such Customs duties are paid.
No valuable letter should ever be posted unless registered,

Letters containing notes, coin, or cheques should always be registered.
Letters supposed to contain notes, coin, or cheques are registered, and the registration fee collected on delivery.

Never write an address on a letter in a careless manner.
In addressing a letter give the street and number as well as the town or country for which intended. This saves much time and is a sure preventive against errors of delivery,

Matter enclosed in a sealed envelope, though the corners may be cut or the ends notched is subject to letter rates.
Bank notes or coin should not be sent by post as remittances. It is much safer and cheaper in the long run to obtain a money order or a postal note.

When a letter is once posted it cannot be returned to the sender unless under warrant of the Governor.
Every counting house and merchant's office should be supplied with scales for weighing letters.

Post Cards
Post cards, with stamp affixed, may be obtained at any post office for ld. each.

On one side must be the address only of the recipient.
On the other side the communication, either in print or writing, or both, and the signature of the sender.
Post cards can only be sent within the colony. If post cards are addressed beyond the colony they are charged with letter rates of postage.

An unclaimed postal card is not returned to the writer, even though his address is given upon it, but is sent to the Dead Letter Office and destroyed.
The Dead Letter Office is a monument to the carelessness and stupidity of the people. Hundreds of letters find their way there without address.

The dead letter clerk might make some extraordinary and amusing revelations, but is bound an oath to secrecy.

Hints to the Public
Take care that letters are properly addressed. ,:i ' -1

In addressing letters to stations and places in the interior care should be taken to give the nearest post town.
Letters addressed simply to a station, farm residence, homestead, or settlement are apt to go astray owing to many instances of similar and corresponding names of places in various parts of the colony.

For instance, there are three places named Clifton-one on the Darling Downs, one near Marlborough, and another near Richmond Downs.
There are three places named Hermitage -one at Bowen, one at Rockhampton, and one near Toowoomba.
Many cases of a similar nature might be cited.

That letters are frequently addressed, say, John Jones, Clifton.
That the Post Office sorter had to despatch the said letter, and if he by chance sends it to the correct Clifton all is well, but if not inquiry is at once made respecting the missing letter, and the unhappy sorter is severely blamed for his stupidity.

In applying for letters to be readdressed always state where you expect your letters from, and how they are likely to be addressed.
Take care that letters are sufficiently stamped, or the persons to whom they are addressed will have to pay double the deficiency.

In posting letters see that they are dropped into the right box; neglect of this will lead to delay in delivery.
See that letters are always posted in proper time for despatch.

Don't post a letter at 8.30 p.m. for a mail closing at 8 p.m.
If you do so, don't lodge a complaint that the letter was not delivered in due course, and assert that the letter was posted in proper time.

Remember that the Post Office officials can detect whether you are telling the truth or not.
That letters immediately they are taken out of the drop box are stamped.

That the stamp has a mark indicating the time the letter is taken out of the box.
That the stamp is altered every time a mail is despatched, and an entry of the same duly recorded, giving an impression of the stamp, and the hour it is changed.

When letters go astray the fault generally lies with the sender, either through wrong or imperfect address.
Letters are sometimes missent by sorters, but in every case reported the sorter is fined for each letter.

That considering the haste with which letters have to be sorted, it is not strange that sometimes they are missent; the wonder is that more are not missent. A large number of letters are posted without any address, and often contain valuable enclosures.
Thus last year no less than 25,628 letters without address were posted at the London office, containing money to the value of £5158.

All money found in such letters is returned to the sender; but if the sender cannot be found it is paid into the Treasury to account of Consolidated Revenue,
If sending a complaint to the Poet Office respecting the delay or wrong delivery of a letter, always forward the envelope of such letter, as this simplifies and facilitates inquiry.

Changes of address should be duly notified to the Post Office.
These are duly entered in an address-book, when they are attended to for a period of twelve months, if not cancelled in the meantime.

If required for a longer period than twelve mouths a fresh application must be made.
Applications for letters to be intercepted -that is, for letters addressed to any part of the colony to be stopped and delivered at the office to which application is made are received and are attended to as far as practicable.

The Post Office does not undertake to intercept letters.
Newspapers cannot be intercepted.

Persons changing their addresses and requiring letters to be intercepted should at once advise their correspondents of such change of address.
Letters once posted no longer belong to the sender, and cannot be returned to him without a " warrant from the Governor ordering such return, or the written authority of the addressee.

In forwarding newspapers be careful that the covers are securely fastened.
On no account inclose newspapers in flimsy or easily-torn paper wrappers, or the wrappers are rubbed off in transit, which accounts for many newspapers never reaching their destination.

It is the better plan to write the address on the newspaper itself.
Large numbers of newspapers are received by every English mail with the covers torn off.

Those with the loose covers are sent to the Dead Letter Office, and any papers that can be traced by the covers are forwarded to the addressees.
In making Inquiries relative to missing newspapers the names of the papers, and the dates if possible, should be given, as by doing so they are sometimes found among those received without addresses.

Newspapers should not be posted in letter pillar-boxes.
Newspapers so posted are not forwarded, but are sent to the Dead Letter Office, and there destroyed.

Be careful to comply with the regulations forbidding any writing either on the newspaper or the wrapper other than the address, as any infringement thereof will cause the paper to be detained.

Newspapers, if posted within seven days of publication, are sent free of postage within the colony and to the other Australian colonies and New Zealand.

Newspapers for the United Kingdom are charged 1d. each.
Newspapers, if posted after seven days of publication, for delivery in Queensland or the Australian Colonies are subject to a charge of ld.

Newspapers from the other colonies, if re-posted in Queensland, arc subject to a charge of ld.
Newspapers received from beyond the colony (i.e., foreign newspapers) reposted are subject to a charge of ld. for each newspaper.

Newspapers are not forwarded unless the postage is fully prepaid-so don't imagine that you can cheat the Post Office officials by attaching a ld. stamp when a 2d. one is required.
Newspapers to pass through the post can only have the words "newspaper only," the printed titles of such newspapers, the printed names, occupations, and places of business of the printer, publisher and vender thereof, the name, occupation, and address of the person to whom it is sent.

Any newspaper containing writing or any article or matter in it is chargeable with the letter rate of postage, and the sender is liable to prosecution for evasion of the Postal Act.
A newspaper posted containing the initials or name of the sender, either in writing, print, or by rubber stamp, is sent to the Dead Letter Office and destroyed. This accounts for a large number of newspapers posted which never reach their destination.

Newspapers may be re-directed but are charged under the same conditions as letters.

Packets posted for delivery within the colony are subject to the charge of 1d. for 2oz., and 1d.. for every additional 2oz. or fraction thereof.

Packets posted for transmission to the other colonies and the United Kingdom are subject to the following rates :-Not exceeding 1oz., 1d.; 2oz., 2d.; 4oz., 4d-; and for every additional 4oz., 4d.
Packets posted for transmission to the United Kingdom can be sent by the long sea route, via Torres Straits, at reduced rates, namely: not exceeding 1oz., ld. ; 2oz., 2d.; 4oz., 4d.; and for every succeeding 4oz., 3d.

Packets must be open at the ends or sides, and must have the contents legibly endorsed thereon.
No packet must exceed 2ft. in length, and 1ft. in depth and width.

No packet must exceed 3lb. in weight.
Packets may be re-addressed, or forwarded if unpaid or insufficiently prepaid, subject to the same conditions as letters.

Packets are thus defined in the postal guide:
1. Bankers’ packets signed by an officer of the bank, containing notes, orders, cheques, pass-books, returns, or other periodical statements, sent by, or to any bank or banker Registered parcels containing notes to be completely enclosed in a strong cover, and the words " Bankers' packet" marked legibly or cover signed by an officer of the bank.

2. Packets containing process of, or proceedings or pleadings in any court, briefs, cases and instructions for counsel, and their opinion thereon respectively, deeds, affidavits, policies of assurance (including documents of insurance not being of the nature of a letter), letters of attorney, depositions, or recognisances. (Title deeds may be posted by the Registrar-General in fully enclosed canvas-bound covers but must be endorsed "Titles Deeds" by an officer of the Registrar-General’s Department.) .
3. Packets containing patterns or samples of merchandise not having a value of their own, apart from their mere use as patterns or samples, and either unenclosed or enclosed in transparent bags, or in bags tied round the neck so as to be easily loosened and refastened.

4. Packets containing prices current, and catalogues.
5. Packets containing Acts of the Queensland or Imperial Parliament, or Printed Votes and Proceedings of either House thereof respectively, or vouchers, or returns, or copies of returns, made by, or to, any officer in the public service.

6. Packets containing medical diplomas, certificates (partly written and partly printed), writing paper, envelopes, scrip, pamphlets, maps, plans, specifications, music, photographs (on paper), magazines, reviews, placards, almanacs, prospectuses, paintings, engravings, printers' proofs, or periodical publications other than newspapers.
7. Packets containing printed or plain books.

8. Printed circulars and circulars produced by the Papyrograph, Velocigraph, Multigraph, or any other process by which a number of facsimile copies can be made, may be sent by post as town, country, or foreign packets, within the meaning of the Postal Act of 187 ; provided they are open at the ends or sides, or in covers open at the ends or sides, and the contents legibly endorsed thereon.
9. Packets containing seeds in transparent bags or papers, tied so as to be easily loosened and refastened, not exceeding 16 oz. in weight.

10. Divisional Board notices of valuation and of rates and receipts for rates open at end or sides, and contents stated thereon.
Patterns must be of no intrinsic value,

A pair of boots cannot be sent at packet rate even though sent separately and to different addresses. Some people try to evade the postal regulations in this way, but they find out to their cost that they cannot deceive the Post Office officials, and must pay letter rate before they can obtain delivery.
Liquids, poisons, explosives and inflammable articles cannot be sent through the post.

A box with its lid nailed on is held as closed against inspection, and can only be sent at letter rates.
Animals, reptiles, live or dead, are excluded from the mails.

Animals or reptiles stuffed may be sent, but are chargeable at letter rates.
Wedding cake is not allowed to pass through the post, as it is liable to injure letters.

Don't forget that all parcels posted must be so wrapped that they can be examined without destroying the wrapper, otherwise letter rates are charged. .
Watches, jewellery, and articles of clothing having an intrinsic value of their own, can only be sent at letter rates.

Postal Notes
That to provide means for remitting small sums of money in places where it is not considered desirable to establish money order offices, the system of issuing postal notes is found to be of great advantage.

Postal notes in Queensland are of four classes and value:-
A shilling note printed with green ink and bearing a half-penny fee stamp.

A half-crown note printed with red ink and bearing a penny fee stamp.

A five-shilling note printed with blue ink, and bearing a twopenny fee stamp.

A ten-shilling note printed with lilac ink, and bearing a threepenny fee stamp.
very postal note issued bears a distinctive number, and is signed by the issuing officer appointed by the Postmaster-General.

Every postal note, except: where crossed, is payable to the bearer on demand.
A postal note may be crossed as additional security for remittance purposes by writing or stamping across its face, between two transverse lines, the names of any bank, firm, or person to whom payment is desired to be made.

A postal note so crossed is not payable until endorsed by the person or bank in whose favour payment is desired.
Supplies of postal notes, in quantities of not less than £5 worth at one time, are ? to any person remitting cash in payment for the same, less a discount of 2d. in the pound.

Postal notes are negotiable as bank notes.
The shilling postal note, backed by telegraph form, when filled up with a message of ten words, will be received at any telegraph office and transmitted to any station within the colony as a paid telegram.

Money Orders
Money Orders may be obtained at any Money Order Office in Queensland, payable at the following places :-Queensland, New South Wales, New Zealand, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia, Barbados, Cape of Good Hope, China, Hong Kong (including Macao, Holhow, Swatow, ?, Foochow, Ningpo, Shanghai, and ?, India, Japan (Yokohama), Switzerland, The German Empire and Heligoland, the United States of America, The United Kingdom.

The commission to he paid, on issues, for a single order obtained in Queensland on the undermentioned places, is as follows;
Queensland.-Not exceeding £2, 3d.; not exceeding £5, 6d.; not exceeding £7, 8d.; not exceeding £10, ls.

Australian Colonies and New Zealand,-Not exceeding £5, 1s.; not exceeding £10, 5s.;
United Kingdom, China, Japan, Cape of Good Hope, India, United States of America, Barbados, German Empire, Heligoland, and Switzerland.-Not exceeding £2, 1s. ; not exceeding £5, 2s. 6d.; not exceeding £7, 3s. 6d.; not exceeding £10, 5s.

No order will be issued for more than £10, nor must an order contain the fractional part of ld.
An order cannot be granted on any place not named in the list of money order Offices.

No order will be issued unless the applicant furnish the surname and at least the initial of one Christian name both of the remitter and payee, together with the address of the remitter.
Applicants for orders must enter the necessary particulars in one of the printed requisition forms, which are furnished at the money order office.

The money order system is intended to promote public convenience, and to secure safety in the transfer through the mails of small sums of money.
The principal means employed to attain safety consist in leaving out of the order the name of the payee or person for whom the money is intended.

In this respect a money order differs from an ordinary bank-draft or cheque.
An advice containing full particulars of the order is transmitted by first mail by the issuing postmaster to the postmaster at the office of payment.

The postmaster at the office of payment is thus furnished before the order itself, is presented with information which will enable him to prevent its payment to any person not entitled thereto.
To insure this, however, the remitter should not send the same information in a letter with his money.

After once paying an order the Post Office Department is not liable to any further claim therefor.
Take all means, therefore, to prevent the loss of a money order.

Never send the order in the same letter with the information required, on payment thereof.

If an order is sent in the same letter as the information required for its payment, and if the remitter is well-known to the payee, the letter should not be signed by the remitter in full, but simply with his initials only.
Be careful on taking out an order to state correctly the given name as well as the surname of the person in whose favour it is drawn.

See that the name and address of the person taking out the money order are correctly made Known to the person in whose favour it is drawn.
Neglect of these matters will risk the loss of the money, besides leading to delay and trouble in obtaining payment.

If a larger sum than £10 is required, additional orders to make it up must be obtained
In procuring money orders examine them carefully to see that they are properly filled up and stamped, as any defect in this way will throw difficulties in the way of payment.

Payment of an order must be obtained before the end of the twelfth month after that in which it was drawn; for instance, if drawn in January it must be paid before the end of the following January.
If not paid within the above specified time all claim to the money is forfeited; unless under peculiar circumstances, the Postmaster General of the country in which the order was issued thinks proper to allow it.

In case of the miscarriage or loss of an order issued and payable in Queensland, a duplicate will be granted on a written application being made to the chief office, Brisbane, by the remitter or payee, accompanied by a second commission, inland rate.
If the original order was drawn on a place out of the colony of Queensland, a duplicate order can only be issued from the Chief Foreign Office, on the application of the payee and payment of a second commission.

In the event of the loss or miscarriage of an order issued by any foreign office and payable in Queensland a duplicate will be granted on the application of the payee to the head office, Brisbane, on payment of a second  commission, inland rate,
Payment of an order drawn on a place in Queensland may be transferred to any other office in the colony.

Provided application be made by the payee to the postmaster of the office on which the order is drawn, and the applicant endorses the order properly receipted with the names of the payee and remitter. The applicant must also sign the request which is printed on the face or back (as the case may be) of the order.
These conditions being fulfilled, a fresh order for the amount, less commission, will be forwarded to the applicant.

Applications for repayment of an order issued in Queensland must be made to the head office, Brisbane, where alone, in such cases, authority can be given. The application must contain the full particulars of the order, and a second commission, the same as that charged for the original order, must be handed in with it.
On receipt only of such information will repayment be made.

In no case can a postmaster pay an order until he has received advice of the same.
Money-orders do not require a receipt stamp.

An order, once issued cannot be cancelled.
No application can be entertained for compensation for alleged injury from the non-payment of a money order at the expected time.

All advices of orders issued or made payable out of Queensland must pass through a chief local office of the issuing and the chief office of the paying countries.
Unavoidable delay may consequently arise in some instances, as it may occasionally be impossible to despatch such advices until one post after the orders may have been transmitted.

Money orders may be transmitted by telegraph between any money order offices in Queensland, and between Queensland and any money order office in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania, having telegraphic communication, on payment of the usual telegraph charge for a message, in addition to the money order commission.
If required, and within the colony of Queensland, the order will be addressed by “urgent” telegram, double rate being charged.

In sending money orders by telegraph, the remitter should in all cases advise the payee by wire, and such message must be delivered up by the payee on receiving payment.
Money-order offices are, as a rule, only established in Queensland in towns where there is a bank and telegraph communication.

That this is desirable in order that the head office may exercise proper supervision over the branch offices, and, further, to insure promptitude in payment of orders.
Branch offices are allowed to retain reserved moneys to meet payment of orders drawn on them.

That at times orders for in excess of the authorised reserve are drawn on branch offices.
That on receipt of advices in excess of the reserve held, a postmaster wires to the head office, and obtains a remittance by wire through the bank to pay orders.

That if money order offices were established for places where communication was only through the ordinary means of post, considerable delays in payment of orders would continually arise, and such dissatisfaction frequently ensue.