Thursday, May 5, 2011

Edward VII Period International Rates
1903- 1911

(Rates to foreign destinations other than the United States are shown in this post. See here for U.S. rates)

1. Letter

a) To September 30, 1907

A preferential letter rate which was the same as the domestic forward rate was in effect for letters addressed to Great Britain and Empire destinations.

Great Britain and Empire

The letter rate to Great Britain and the Empire was 2 cents for each one-half ounce.

North Vancouver to Kennington, England, March 19, 1907
2 cents per one-half ounce letter rate to Great Britain

Undeliverable and Returned

The above letter could not be delivered and was returned to Canada. Undeliverable mail to foreign destinations was returned to the Canadian Dead Letter Office (DLO). The DLO forwarded the undelivered mail to the sender in an ambulance envelope and charged 2 cents for this service.

Ambulance envelope mailed from the Ottawa DLO to the sender, North Vancouver on May 3, 1907
Numeral 2 handstamp indicating the charge for the return of the dead letter
2 cent postage due affixed and cancelled North Vancouver, May 9, 1907

Ottawa DLO handstamp

Hamilton to Vereeniging, South Africa, October 21, 1907
2 cents Empire letter rate


The rate to all other foreign destinations (the UPU rate) was 5 cents for each one-half ounce.

Quebec to Geele, Sweden, May 11, 1905
5 cents one-half ounce UPU letter rate

C.R. Somerville (Chewing Gum) London to Liechtenfels, Germany, September 11, 1906
5 cents one-half ounce UPU letter rate

Toronto to Kobe Japan, March, 1906 (Vancouver transit March 13, 1906)
5 cents one-half ounce UPU letter rate

Campbellford to U.S. Naval Hospital, Yokahama, Japan
5 cents one-half ounce UPU letter rate

The letter was forwarded to California and eventually returned to the addressee.

b) From October 1, 1907

Great Britain and Empire

The new letter rate to Great Britain and the Empire was 2 cents per ounce.

Welland to Cheltenham, February 28, 1911
2 cents per ounce letter rate

Niagara Falls and London Ry. P.O. to London, May 13, 1909
4 cents paying the 2 ounce letter rate
Forwarded by Canadian Bank of Commerce, London to Edinburgh, June 8, 1909


Liverpool "Paquebot" cancellation, May 23, 1909
Posted on board a Canadian Pacific Railway Company ship and addressed to London

Paquebot Liverpool


On October 1, 1907, the UPU letter rate was reduced from 5 cents for each one-half ounce to 5 cents for the 1st ounce and 3 cents for each additional ounce.

German Consulate Toronto to Leipzig, Germany, January 10, 1912
5 cents UPU letter rate for one ounce

Humboldt to Gorlitz, Germany, November 6, 1911
8 cents UPU letter rate for 2 ounces : 5 cent 1st ounce + 3 cents 2nd ounce


The letter below was mailed from Como, Quebec to Croydon, England, and was properly prepaid 2 cents, the rate to Britain. The letter was redirected to Lausanne, Switzerland, for which the rate from Canada would have been 5 cents. A charge of 15 centimes was levied by the Swiss post office which represented the difference between the amount of postage already paid and the postage which would have been paid if the letter had been originally sent to Switzerland.

Rate to Great Britain...................................2 cents
Rate to Switzerland (from Canada)...........5 cents
Rate difference.............................................3 cents
Rate difference in centimes.........................15 centimes (1 cent= 5 centimes)

Como to Croydon, September 10, 1910 (2 cents rate to Great Britain)
Redirected from Croydon to Lausanne, September 21, 1910
Taxed 15 centimes for the redirection at Lausanne
Further redirection to Lugano

"Parti" label affixed
The addressee had left

"ANNULE" (Void) handstamp on postage due stamps

The letter was returned to Canada (Lugano September 26, 1910) . Montreal receiver October 9, 1910 and forwarded to the Ottawa Dead Letter Office on October 17, 1910

Ottawa Dead Letter Office handstamp
October 18, 1910

2. Post Card

The post card rate to all destinations was 2 cents.

Phoenix, B.C. to Little Bay, Newfoundland, April 3, 1909
2 cents post card rate

2 cent booklet stamp

Toronto to Auckland, New Zealand, August 16, 1905

Charlottetown to Cairo, Egypt, June 3 1907
2 cents post card rate

Port Said TPO cancellation, June 19, 1907

Montreal to Berlin, June 4, 1906
2 cent post card rate

Esquimalt Crown Cancel

Esquimalt to Bogawandalawa, Ceylon, January 5, 1905

Esquimalt fancy cancel
Crown in a sunburst of rays

Insufficiently Paid

Montreal to Milan, April 8, 1904
2 cents post card rate
Shortpaid 1 cent and taxed single deficiency, 5 centimes by the London post office

The amount to be collected was double the deficiency. Since 25 centesimi (Italian) = 25 centimes, the amount due was 10 centisemi.

UPU Post Card

Montreal to Shidawaka-Ken, Japan, December 9, 1908
2 cent UPU post card

St. Lawrence St. Centre Montreal to Brussels
2 cents UPU post card rate
Brussels arrival April 14, 1911

3. Printed Matter

The printed matter rate to all destinations was 1 cent for each 2 ounces.

Canadian Pacific Pictorial Post Cards

Montreal to Paris, July 31, 1908
1 cent printed matter rate

Montreal to Helston, England, October 29, 1909
1 cent printed matter rate

Henry Hechler Correspondence

Henry Hechler was a prominent stamp dealer in Halifax. He served with the 63rd Halifax Regiment that was sent to quell the North-West rebellion of 1885, and arranged for printers to overprint "Service" on current postal stationery for military use, although only a few of his overprinted stationery were legitimately used. Hechler was one of the organizers of the Canadian Philatelic Association (now the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada).

Post card mailed at the printed matter rate
Henry Hechler correspondence, Halifax to Vienna, May 14, 1906
1 cent printed matter rate

" Hechler was a master penman. He prepared covers addressed to himself in care of relatives and others, and these were usually in beautiful script, an ornament to any collector."
Fred Jarrett, BNAPS Topics, September 1963, pg. 204

Signed by Henry Hechler Capt. 63 Regt.

4. Special Services


The registration fee was 5 cents.

Vermillion Bay to Porto Alegre, Brazil, July 10, 1909
Registration label added at the New York Exchange Office
5 cents UPU letter rate + 5 cents registration fee

Registered Commercial Papers

Victoria to Valparaiso, Chile, September 1904
5 cents printed matter rate for 10 ounces + 5 cents registration fee

Montreal transit September 23, 1904
New York transit September 24, 1904
Registration labels affixed at New York and Valparaiso post offices