From 1893, the "delegated legislation" setting the official legal rules for Post Office rates and services was in the form of Statutory Rules and Orders, then from 1st January 1948 as Statutory Instruments. This method followed on from the Treasury Warrants and was replaced by Post Office Schemes when the Post Office became a public corporation in 1969. These documents are thus a primary postal history source for the period.
They were initially referred to as Warrants, from 1961 as Regulations. Most of them are in the form of amendments to the most recent complete Warrant, as altered by any previous amendments. This means that it is sometimes necessary to track changes through several amendments in order to work out the actual rules and rates that applied at a given point in time. The amendments were periodically consolidated into new Warrants – which were in turn themselves subject to amendments, with further consolidated Warrants made at intervals.
A large selection of these can be found listed here (the aim is to work back through the others). The earlier ones are extracted from collections of statutory instruments digitised by Google Books (and collated in John Copeland's invaluable listing Links to Legislation of the British Isles Available Free on the Internet). Later ones were prepared from copies in The Postal Museum (before the Google Books collections were available) in the form of transcripts of the text. The typography may vary slightly from the original typesetting (although an effort has been made to keep it as close as is reasonable), but this should not affect the meaning. Obvious typos have been corrected. A few warrants are available in both formats – see the individual pages.
The dates given in the tables are the dates on which the Warrant (etc) came into effect, rather than when it was made or laid before Parliament. This seemed the most relevant date for most purposes.
(However, note that the official name of a Warrant is based on the date it was made. In some cases a Warrant issued late in a year took effect the following year, so the actual name is slightly misleading – e.g. the Inland Post Warrant 1947, whose provisions took effect on 1st January 1948.)
If you spot anything that looks wrong, please .