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British Commonwealth and Foreign Post Warrants 1948-61

From this point, the Warrants are Statutory Instruments.

"Explanatory Notes" were now printed at the end of the Warrants, with a disclaimer along the lines of "This Note is not part of the Warrant, but is intended to indicate its general purport".

Date Instrument Explanatory Note
1948
(1 Apr)

British Commonwealth and Foreign Post Warrant 1948 (link)

This Warrant consolidates with amendments the regulations relating to postal packets (other than parcels) sent to or received from British Commonwealth or Foreign Countries. The principal amendments are as follows:–

  1. The war-time concession whereby (a) postage on letters and postcards to members of the Forces on foreign service was charged at the reduced rate set out in Part II of the Second Schedule and (b) letters (not exceeding 2 oz. in weight) and postcards sent by the Forces were free of postage, will cease. Postage on letters and cards to the Forces will be at the Commonwealth rate set out in Part I of that Schedule, subject, where delivery is effected through a civilian Postal Administration of a Foreign Country, to agreement by that Administration that the postage on letters may be less than the ordinary foreign rate specified in Part III of the Schedule (Regs. 1(1)(i)(c) and (d); 59(3)). Postage on letters and cards from the Forces on foreign service, if transmitted in closed mails or through a Forces Post Office, will be charged at the rates in Part II of the Schedule (Regs. 1(1)(iii); 59(1) and (2)).
  2. The postage on a light weight air letter is fixed at sixpence (compared with a maximum charge of one shilling authorised by the 1943 Warrant); on the similar type of air letter, called a Forces letter, sent to a member of the Forces overseas the postage is 2½d. (Reg. 10).
  3. Certain Postal Agencies at the Persian Gulf are being transferred from Pakistan to United Kingdom control and new provisions are accordingly inserted respecting postage on packets sent to and from those Agencies. On letters and postcards sent from the British Islands addressed to an Agency and on letters and cards in the reverse direction the rates of postage in Part I of the Second Schedule will apply (Regs. 1(1)(i)(a) and 2(d)).
1948
(1 Jul)

British Commonwealth and Foreign Post Amendment (No. 1) Warrant 1948 (link)

This Warrant amends the principal Warrant—the British Commonwealth and Foreign Post Warrant, 1948—in order in the main to give effect to the Universal Postal Convention of Paris. The chief changes in postal rates are an increase of one halfpenny on outgoing commercial packets (regulation 3); and an increase of one halfpenny for each ounce (or part) after the first on letters for the United States of America posted on British ships at sea, and on outgoing letters (except letters for His Majesty's military and air forces) for foreign countries or places other than the United States of America, Burma, Egypt, Palestine and Trans-Jordan (regulation 12). A minor change is an increase of one halfpenny for each ounce (or part) after the first on letters posted at the British Postal Agencies at Tangier and in the Persian Gulf for most foreign countries. Some restrictive conditions affecting stamps and certain classes of postal packets are relaxed (regulations 5 to 10).

In addition, the Warrant makes three improvements in the principal Warrant. References to Burma, Egypt, Palestine and Trans-Jordan are moved (without alteration of postage rates) from the First Schedule to the body of the principal Warrant (regulation 2). Provision is made for publication in the London Gazette of changes in postage rates on Air Mail packets (regulation 4). The reference to New Zealand and her territories in the First Schedule to the principal Warrant is expanded (regulation 11).

1949
(1 May)

British Commonwealth and Foreign Post Amendment (No. 2) Warrant 1949 (link)

This Warrant amends the British Commonwealth and Foreign Post Warrant 1948 in order to give effect to the Budget proposals in so far as they relate to postal packets sent abroad (excluding packets sent to Eire).

Regulation 2: (a) increases the postage on a printed packet weighing up to 2 ounces from a halfpenny to one penny; (b) as respects a commercial packet, makes the minimum rate of threepence applicable to a packet weighing not more than 10 ounces (as against a previous maximum of 12 ounces); and (c) alters the postage on a sample packet from one halfpenny per 2 ounces, with a minimum charge of one penny, to one penny for a weight not exceeding 2 ounces and one halfpenny for each additional 2 ounces or part thereof.

Regulation 3 alters the rate for bulk transmission of printed packets from fourpence to fourpence-halfpenny per pound in weight of the mail bag and its contents.

Regulation 4 is consequential on the change in the minimum rate for a single printed packet.

Regulation 5 increases the registration fee from threepence to fourpence.

1950
(1 Jun)

British Commonwealth and Foreign Post Amendment (No. 3) Warrant 1950 (link)

Regulation 2 increases from £2 to £2 18s. 0d. the compensation which, under the British Commonwealth and Foreign Post Warrant, 1948, may be paid in respect of any registered postal packet (other than an insured letter) which is lost whilst in the post, or any article of pecuniary value enclosed in or forming part of such a packet which is lost or damaged so as entirely to destroy its value whilst in the custody of the Postmaster General. The increased amount is the present sterling equivalent of the 25 gold francs prescribed by the Universal Postal Convention for the loss of a registered article.

The 1948 Warrant and this Warrant do not apply to parcels.

1950
(1 Oct)

British Commonwealth and Foreign Post Amendment (No. 4) Warrant 1950 (link)

The Universal Postal Convention, Paris, 1947, lays down, in gold centimes, upper and lower limits for the surface rates of postage to be charged in the international letter service. Devaluation of sterling has rendered present postage rates less than the prescribed minima and increases are necessary to comply with the provisions of the Convention. This Warrant makes the necessary changes.

The rates of postage on letters and postcards to destinations mentioned in the First Schedule to the principal Warrant–namely, Commonwealth countries–and to the United States of America, Burma, Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Palestine and to Forces overseas are set out in Parts I and II of the Second Schedule and are unchanged, but the rates to foreign countries, other than those mentioned, set out in Part III of that Schedule, represent as respects a letter an increase of 1d. for the first ounce and ½d. for each additional ounce or part thereof. As respects a postcard and a reply postcard the increases are ½d. and 1d. respectively.

The present general scale of postage on printed packets, commercial packets and sample packets is set out in Part I of the Third Schedule and this scale will continue to apply to such packets sent to the Forces overseas. To such packets sent to other persons the scale set out in Part II of the Third Schedule will apply.

In exercise, however, of an option allowed by the Universal Postal Convention, the rates for newspapers, periodicals, books, pamphlets, sheets of music and maps will remain unchanged subject to the provisions of paragraph (2) of Regulation 5.

For insured boxes the minimum charge for 10 ounces is increased from 10d. to 1s. 3d. with an increase from 2d. to 3d. for each additional 2 ounces or part thereof (Regulation 7). As respects small packets to the Forces there will be no change but for small packets addressed to other persons there is an increase of ½d. per 2 ounces or part thereof and an increase of 2½d. in the minimum charge (Regulation 8).

In the case of mixed packets there is an increase of 1d. in the minimum charge if the packet contains commercial papers and ½d. if it contains printed packets or samples (Regulation 9).

The Warrant comes into force on 1st October, 1950 (Regulation 13).

1951
(1 Jun)

British Commonwealth and Foreign Post Amendment (No. 5) Warrant 1951 (link)

By this Warrant, printed packets for places abroad stamped 1½d. and posted after an hour fixed by the Postmaster General will (like similar packets stamped 1d.) be liable to delay. The alteration comes into force on the 1st of June, 1951.

1952
(1 May)

British Commonwealth and Foreign Post Amendment (No. 6) Warrant 1952 (link)

By this Warrant the registration fee for outgoing postal packets (except parcels) sent to places abroad is increased from fourpence to sixpence.

1954
(1 Jan)

British Commonwealth and Foreign Post Warrant 1953 (link)

This Warrant consolidates with amendments the regulations relating to postal packets (other than parcels) sent to or received from British Commonwealth or Foreign Countries. The chief changes are those introduced by the Universal Postal Convention of Brussels, namely:–

  1. No postage is made payable on packets consisting of Literature for the Blind which are sent by surface mail.
  2. Forms of advice of the delivery of registered packets may on the request of the sender be transmitted by air.

The provisions of the revoked Warrants fixing rates of postage for the British Postal Agencies in Morocco and the Persian Gulf, (which are now included in the British Postal Agencies (Commonwealth and Foreign Post) Warrant, 1953), are omitted from this Warrant.

1956
(1 Jan)

British Commonwealth and Foreign Post Amendment (No. 1) Warrant 1955 (link)

By this Warrant the fee for outgoing postal packets (except parcels) marked with an express marking sent to places abroad is increased from sixpence to one shilling. The Warrant does not apply to postal packets sent to the Republic of Ireland.

1957
(1 Oct)

British Commonwealth and Foreign Post Amendment (No. 2) Warrant 1957 (link)

This Warrant amends the regulations relating to postal packets (except parcels) sent to or received from British Commonwealth or foreign countries (except the Republic of Ireland). The main changes are:

  1. The rates of postage on all classes of packet (except air mail packets and magazines for Canada) posted in the British postal area to civilian destinations are increased as are the rates on certain classes of packet sent to and from the Forces.
  2. The cheaper Commonwealth rate of postage ceases to apply to packets for certain non-Commonwealth countries to which it formerly extended.
  3. The charge on incoming packets liable to customs duty is increased.
  4. Charges are fixed for certain facilities relating to incoming packets in bond.
  5. The registration fee is increased.
1959
(1 Apr)

British Commonwealth and Foreign Post Warrant 1959 (link)

This Warrant consolidates with amendments the regulations relating to postal packets (other than parcels) sent to or received from British Commonwealth or Foreign Countries, and provides for the changes introduced by the Universal Postal Convention of Ottawa. The chief changes are:

  1. The maximum weight of 11 lbs. for printed packets containing a single book is extended to printed packets containing more than one book (reg. 15).
  2. A minimum size for postal packets is introduced (reg. 15).
  3. Provision is made enabling the Post Office to make up deficient postage on outgoing postal packets, or to send on unpaid or underpaid air mail packets for surface mail (reg. 18).
  4. Provision is made for the charge of additional postage on incoming postal packets redirected by air mail to the British postal area without prepayment of the additional postage (reg. 18).
  5. Provision is made for the sending of reply postcards on their outward and return transmissions by air mail (reg. 21).
  6. There are changes in the requirements as to the packing of sample packets (reg. 25), small packets (reg. 26), insured letters (reg. 40), and insured boxes (reg. 42), and as to the posting of packets consisting of literature for the blind (reg. 30).
  7. Enquiry may be made into the suspected loss or non-delivery of a registered packet, on payment of a fee of 3d. (reg. 44).
  8. There are new conditions as to the redirection of postal packets (reg. 45).
1961
(1 Feb)

British Commonwealth and Foreign Post Amendment (No. 1) Warrant 1961 (link)

This Warrant amends the regulations relating to postal packets (other than parcels) sent to or received from British Commonwealth or foreign countries.

The main changes are as follows:–

  1. The registration fee on an outgoing packet is increased from 1s. to 1s. 6d.
  2. The advice of delivery fee and the enquiry fee for an outgoing registered packet are both increased from 3d. to 6d.
  3. The maximum sums payable by way of compensation in respect of insured letters and boxes, in relation to the compensation fees paid, are increased.