Friday, September 23, 2016

Postal Reforms. Posting Letters. Collection and Delivery - 1899

Telegraph (Brisbane), Saturday 11 February 1899, page 2

Postal Reforms. Posting Letters. Collection and Delivery

The Postmaster-General (Hon. W. H. Wilson) has found that increased facilities for posting must lend to a proportionate increase of business in the postal branch of his department. The advances already made in this direction by the establishment of the tramway car posting system, and the proposition to extend this system to omnibuses whore the proprietors are willing to accept a reasonable remuneration for placing their vehicles at the disposal of the department, not only in Brisbane, but in other towns of the colony, do not meet the requirements of residents in the suburbs and sparsely populated localities. The Postmaster-General has therefore directed that a departmental rule shall be issued requiring all letter-carriers to accept from residents in the districts where they are employed letters for posting that are fully stamped, and to convoy such letters to the nearest pillar-box, post office, or other posting receptacle, regard being had to the most speedy means of transmission of the letters to the office for which they are intended. Provision must however, be made that the curriers shall not be required to accept letters for posting from persons who reside within a quarter of a mile of any posting place, and also that they shall not be retarded in their work of delivery by waiting for letters to be posted.

Mr. Wilson has had the system in vogue in certain of the larger cities of the United States in connection with the delivery of correspondence, and the collection of letters for the post by the use of boxes which provide for this double convenience, brought under his notice. So far back as 1892 a commission was appointed by the United States Postmaster-General, for the purpose of examining and reporting upon certain boxes submitted to his department for this purpose, and in consequence of the report brought up, and of subsequent tests in actual working, it was decided that the use of the approved box was not only a distinct convenience to the residents, but was also beneficial to the post office, as it provided for prompt delivery without waiting for personal attendance of persons to accept their list, etc. This system is, however, advantageous only in cities and large towns where it is incumbent upon the carriers to call regularly when making their deliveries and from where the house to house delivery is continuous, and is not adapted to those localities where the houses are at some distance from each other and where the calls for delivery purposes are irregular. It must be understood that the post office does not provide such boxes. These are supplied by the persons requiring this service at their own expense, and only approved boxes are taken cognisance of by the department.

Mr Wilson has decided to obtain boxes of the authorised patterns from the States, and also to call for tenders for supplying them in quantities, and if they are found to answer they will be supplied at cost price to persons desiring to use them in suitable and approved localities. Contrary to the British practice no charge is made for this collecting of letters from private houses by the carriers. It. is worthy of note that the Queensland Post Office was the first in the colonies to adopt the modern system of looked private boxes for the delivery of correspondence at the post office, and the only Australian office that has utilised the American system of sorting the letters directly into the boxes, in which they travel to their destination, and also the simple and effective means in the travelling post offices on the railways.