No. 43
30th December 1869
My Lord,
I only a few days ago discovered accidentally that no reply has yet been furnished to Your Lordship's Despatch to my Predecessor, No 16 of 26th February last, enclosing correspondence with the Postmaster General relative totheManuscript image the postal arrangements between this Colony and the United States. My attention was attracted to the subject on investigating what appeared to me to be some very singular anomalies existing at present.
2. There can be no doubt that the terms offered by the Postmaster General of the United States will be greatly to the advantage of the Colony as compared withtheManuscript image the prevailing system, and I propose that if possible they should come into operation from the 1st of April next, though no action shall be taken in the matter until I receive further instructions from Your Lordship.
3. But there are two points upon which I should be glad to be furnished with some further information.
4. It is not obvious why Newspapers and printed matter despatched from eithersideManuscript image side to the other should be subject to the "domestic rates" of postage to and from the frontier in the United States and the Colonies respectively, when letters appear to be relieved from these charges. The objection to their being retained is the difficulty which they place in the way of entire prepayment when the senders desire to relieve their correspondents from any charge for postage. I findthatManuscript image that the existing system requiring the payment of the "domestic rates" in the United States on Letters, had led to the practice on the part of this Government of importing United States Postage Stamps for use in a British Colony. And as this will no longer be necessary as regards Letters under the proposed agreement, it would be very desirable if the practice could also be avoided in respect of Newspapers andprintedManuscript image printed matter. An increase of the rate of postage to be paid and retained on either side would be preferable if it might be substituted for an arrangement which prevents entire prepayment, or compels the use of foreign Postage Stamps. If I am not mistaken the ordinary internal postage on a letter from San Francisco to New York is three cents. In the proposal of the American Post Office this seems to have beendoubtedManuscript image doubled on letters to British Columbia. Might not the same principle be adopted with respect to Newspapers and printed matter?
5. I should be glad to be informed in the second place of the effect which the proposed arrangement will have as regards correspondence with Canada. Letters are now charged ten cents for United States postage which in accordance with the practicetoManuscript image to which I have referred is paid by affixing United States Stamps on posting them here. I confess I do not regard with favor a practice which thus subordinates our postal arrangements to the domestic regulations of a foreign Country. But as postage on letters passing through to and from Canada will not be received by the States either on despatch ordeliveryManuscript image delivery, some agreement seems necessary on this score to complete the arrangements.
I have the honor to be,
My Lord,
Your most obedient
humble Servant
A. Musgrave
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Herbert
We sent a reminder to the Govr in Dec.
To the Post Office. L[ithographed] F[orm].
CC 5/2
RGWH Feb 7/70
WM 7/2
G 8/2