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Overland Mail Baghdad Haifa Pages
Postal Rates and Overland Mail Surcharges
Eastwards bounded rates from
Cyprus - Iraq (surface mail):
(Date Format dd.mm.yyyy)
Postage Rate Cyprus - Iraq (surface mail):
(Date Format dd.mm.yyyy)
Surcharge for the use of Overland Mail
Extract from “Cyprus, 1353-1986": History, Postal History & Postage Stamps
by Wilfrid T.F. Castle, Pages 167 & 168. Chapter XIV - "THE OVERLAND DESERT MAIL
The continued absence of an air mail service connecting Cyprus with the cities of the Levant coast and the Persian Gulf was felt less after the establishment of an excellent surface mail route in 1929. In fact it may be doubted, in view of the dilatory and expensive service which later air mail routes were to provide, whether the surface mail was not better handled by the service established in 1929 than at any later time, until the vast improvements of 1949-50.
The new service was known as the Desert Route or "Overland Desert Mail" and was achieved by the linking of Cyprus by the ordinary mail steamer with the Beyrouth extension of the overland desert motor service connecting Damascus with Baghdad (Service Transdesertique Syro Iraquien Damas - Bagdad) operated by the Nairn Eastern Transport Company. A label inscribed was required to by affixed to the envelope.
Postal facilities became available by the Desert Route for letters, postcards, printed papers, commercial papers and samples to and from Cyprus on Saturday, 1st June, 1929. The countries served were Iraq. North East Arabia, the Persian Gulf, Persia and North-West India. The transit time between Cyprus and Iraq by the Desert Route was six days as compared with sixteen days by the ordinary sea mail.
Letters for transmission from Cyprus to the Near East by the Desert Route were posted in any of the ordinary ways of posting, including Registered Post, but had to bear in the top left-hand corner an adhesive Desert Route label (obtainable free of charge at any Post Office in Cyprus) and Cyprus postage stamps to cover prepayment of postage at the appropriate rate with an additional fee of three piastres per ounce. The special fee was fixed by the Governor (exercising the powers vested in him by the Post Office Law of 1881) in an order dated 21st. May, 1929, and entitled "The Post Office Desert Route Rate of Postage Order, 1929".
of CYPRUS GAZETTE May 1929, Page 305
The sea link in this chain of rapid communication was by S.S. Bilbeis and S.S. Belkas; from Larnaca to Beyrouth and from Beyrouth to Famagusta, Letters arriving usually bore the Sea Post Office backstamps. On and from 17th October. 1930, the supplementary fee of 3 piastres per ounce, payable on packets intended for transmission by the Overland Desert Mail, was abolished, correspondence being forwarded on prepayment of the ordinary rates of postage only.