Welcome to Rainer's
Overland Mail Baghdad Haifa Pages
 

Postal Rates and Overland Mail Surcharges

   

History and Timeline of the Surcharges implemented by foreign Postal Administrations

 

I feel it necessary to divide this timeline in the time before Iraq became member of UPU and after.

 


Pre Iraq UPU Membership

In October/November 1923, British Postal Authority  informed some Postal Administrations about the existence of a mail link by car between Haifa and Baghdad. Since Iraq at that time was not a member of UPU, British Postal administration, British Government, Including War Office and RAF, as well as the British Embassies in Baghdad and Syria were deeply involved in forming this mails service, acted like a "Messenger" on behalf of Iraq Postal Administration.

NOTE: A detailed list of countries who had been contacted by British Postal Authority is not existing. Currently following countries are know, proved by Postal Announcements of the respective Postal Administrations and/or copies of letters from the Postal Administration to British Postal Administration and vice versa.

 

Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, USA

will be extended as new information is available...

 

Nevertheless, this could be important for further studies to investigate if the receiver of this news has informed its Postal Customers, implemented surcharges as imposed by the Overland Mail and made use of the mail link by car between Haifa and Baghdad. Furthermore, some Arab Postal Administrations and Egypt have also been made aware of this service and informed their customers by Postal announcements which are known from following countries:

 

Egypt, Palestine, French Mandate of Lebanon and Syria

will be extended as new information is available...

 


 

After Iraq became member of UPU

After Iraq became, together with other Dominions/Protectorates of the British Commonwealth, member of UPU on 13 November 1924, by circular N° 4854 / 154 of June 15, 1924, the International Office of the UPU Berne informed its members, on behalf of the office of Iraq about the special conditions special conditions for the service of surface way mail transport Haifa-Baghdad. A service for which special transit expenses apply.

 

Compared to other collecting areas, very little information is know on the Postal rates, nevertheless, over the years, previous collectors/ authors have already accumulated and published a fair amount of information, in addition my studies, with the help of numerous collectors worldwide, brought more information to light.

 

The postal rates are usually have to be differentiated for rates originating from Iraq and Iran, Bahrain and Kuwait, the so-called westwards bounded mail and mail to the east, mainly from Egypt, Palestine, Syria and Europe, the so-called eastwards bounded mail.

 

The Postal rates of Iraq are covered on a separate page similar to the rates imposed by other Postal Administrations. Nevertheless, below table, grouped into geographical and as for United Kingdom and British Commonwealth, into a political combined group lists all countries for which mail is known that was carried by the overland mail. However, "known to exist" does not mean these covers are known today, some of them are only mentioned n old archive documents.

 

As far as possible I try to proof the regulations imposed by these postal organizations by showing copies of the respective regulations, however, from many countries I failed so far to obtain such proofs.

 

For details on the individual countries, please click the "Postal Rates" menus on the left or the country link in the table below.

 

Origin

Surcharges researched?

Covers known?

Source

Letters recorded in the Archive of Postal Heritage (PH)

Updates

Europe

Austria

No

No

PH

Yes

Belgium

No

No

PH

 

Added 18 May 2014

Denmark (2)

Yes

No

Lit

 

Germany

Yes

Yes

PH

Yes

Finland

No

No

PH

Yes

France

Yes

Yes

PH

Yes

Revised 3 May 2014

Greece

No

No

Lit

 

New 21 May 2014

Greenland (1)

No

No

PH

 Yes

Italy

Partly

No

Lit

 

Latvia

No

No

PH

Yes

Netherlands

Partly

No

Lit 

 

New 17 May 2014

Poland

Yes

No

PH

Yes

New 21 May 2014

Rumania

No

No

PH

Yes

Sweden

Partly

No

PH

Yes

New 3 June 2014

Switzerland

Yes

Yes

Lit

 

Spain

No

No

PH

Yes 

Turkey No Uncertain     New 13 June 2014

 

 

 

 

 

Great Britain and British Commonwealth

England

Yes

Yes

Lit

 

Bermudas

No

No

PH

Yes

Cyprus

Yes

Yes

Lit

 

Gold Coast

No

No

PH

Yes

Ireland

No

No

PH

Added 18 May 2014

Malta

Partly

Yes

Lit

 

Nigeria

No

No

PH

Yes

Trinidad

No

No

PH

Yes

Sierra Leone

No

No

PH

 Yes

South Africa

No

Yes

PH

Yes

 

 

 

 

 

America (North & South)

Canada

Yes

No

Lit

Yes

Revised 21 December 2014

Costa Rica

No

No

PH

Yes

Colombia

No

No

PH

Yes

Mexico

No

No

PH

Yes

Added 21 May 2014

Peru

No

No

PH

Yes

USA

Yes

Yes

Lit

 

Revised 1 May 2014

Venezuela

No

No

PH

Yes

 

 

 

 

 

Asia

India (3)

Partly

No

PH

No

New, 14- April 2015

           

Middle East

Egypt

Yes

Yes

PH

 

Bahrain

Partly

Yes

Lit.

 

Iran

Partly

Yes

Lit

 

Revised 28 April 2014

Jordan No Yes PH   New, 30 November 2015

French Mandate Syria & Lebanon

Partly

Yes

Lit

Kuwait

Partly

Yes

Lit

 

Oman No Yes     New, 13 October 2014

Palestine

Yes

Yes

PH

 

Saudi Arabia

Partly

Yes

Lit

 

New 18 May 2014

Legend:

PH

 

Lit

Items which are already known and described in the contemporary Literature

(1)

In the table from the British Post called "Labrador"

(2)

The Denmark cover most likely was not carried by the Overland Mail Baghdad-Haifa

(3)

Only a Overland Mail Notice known

Source:

Archive from the British Post Museum (Postal Heritage)
Overland Mail Literature

Own Collection

Collection Zvi Alexander (Israel Postmuseum)

Comments:

Norwegian Postal Announcements "Sirkulærer" from 1924/25 have been looked thru, no references to Overland Mail noted:

 

In addition, Collins in his Monograph mentions India and Turkey of which he has seen covers: While it was doubtful the cover seen by Collins in fact traveled thru the Overland Mail, in the archive of a collector fried I found the image of such a cover that in fact traveled thru the Overland Mail.

 

In the pages for the respective countries i have mentioned all references I am aware of, even some images from the original postal notices from various countries are shown. In case the postal notices / postal decrees' are in non-English language, I have translated them into English for easier understanding.

 

Generally spoken, eastwards bounded mail is by far rarer the westwards bounded mail, mainly because is was uncommon in Arab countries to keep envelopes. From several countries, only 1 - 3 covers are known, I am sure more exist but they are either not recorded or still hidden in collectors or dealers accumulations.