International Mail Postage Due :
A Canadian Miscalculation
The underpaid cover shown below, mailed from Lancaster, England to Forest Ontario, February 12, 1957, was correctly taxed by the Manchester post office but incorrectly taxed in Canada. The error is understandable but the Canadian addressee paid three times the proper amount.
Air mail letter rate...................1s 3d
Due (double deficiency)...........6d
Conversion to UPU gold centimes (ctm.) @ 1 d. = 5 ctm.
6d= 6d x 5 ctm./d. = 30 ctm.
(The UPU monetary unit was a gold standard. The UPU monetary unit was the gold franc of 100 centimes of a weight of 10/31 of a gramme and of a fineness of 0.900. The gold franc was a notional currency. No country actually minted the UPU franc. Nations converted their currencies to gold centimes to calculate postage due in centimes.)
Hexagonal T handstamp
Canadian Amount Paid
The Canadian Post Office (exchange office) would normally convert the centimes due to Canadian cents. This was not done in this case. The only due marking on the cover was the British "T 30" which may have been interpreted by the Forest post office as being 30 cents since the addressee was charged 30 cents:
The correct Canadian Tax
The conversion factor was : 1 Canadian cent = 3 ctm.
30 ctm. = 30 ctm. x 1 cent/3 ctm. = 10 cents
The amount due was 10 cents, not 30 cents.
Taxation errors are not uncommon with international underpaid mail.
- 1. Canadian Domestic Letter Rates From 1868 to the Present Day
- 2. Canada Domestic Local Letter Rates : 1851 - 1968
- 3. United States Letter Rates: 1851 to the present day
- 4. United States Air Mail Letter Rates : 1927 - 1976
- 5. Canadian Domestic Air Mail Rates : 1928 - 1954
- 6. United Kingdom and Empire/Commonwealth Letter Rates : 1859 -1971
- 7. Air Mail Letter Rates to the United Kingdom
- 8. International (Universal Postal Union) Letter Rates : 1892 to the present
- 9. Reduced International Letter Rates : Mexico, Cuba, West Indies and Central America, France, South America, and Spain
- 10. Links to Other Posts Dealing with Canadian Postal Rates
- 11. Revamped Centennials