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Overland Mail Baghdad-Haifa Pages

Contract between Nairn Transport Co. and Iraq Post


(DRAFT) AGREEMENT for the conveyance of Mails between Baghdad and Haifa.


This agreement is made between the Nairn Transport Company of Haifa and Beyrouth, hereinafter called the Contractor, of the one part, and the Director General of Posts and Telegraphs, Iraq, hereinafter called the Director General, of the other part.


Clause I. For the purpose of this agreement the term „Mails“ shall be understood to mean all postal matter carried by the Contractor „under this agreement“.


Clause II. The Contractor agrees the convey mails between Baghdad and Haifa by road (Motor-Transport) and to perform a regular weekly service in both direction in accordance with the Director General’s Time Table. The time of transit is not to exceed 60 hours.


Clause III. The Contractor and Post Office agree to give and to furnish clear receipts for all mails handed over to and received by them in good condition, and the Contractor shall be absolutely liable and responsible for the due and safe custody and delivery in good order and condition of all mail bags entrusted or delivered to him for conveyance and delivery under or in pursuance of this contract and for all losses thereof from the time when such mail bags shall be delivered to him for carriage by him to the proper officer or other authorised person on the termination of their carriage and conveyance and will indemnify the Director General against any claims which may be made in respect of such loss and damages and which are admissible under postal regulations. 


Clause IV. In the event of non completion of the journey or of delay in completion thereof by the times hereinbefore provided the Contractor shall be liable to the undermentioned  


Penalty for



Failing to complete any journey

No payment for the journey will be made.



Delay in completion any journey is not more than 3 hours late




Delay in completion any journey if more than 3 hours late and not more than 6 hours.




Delay in completion any journey if more than 3 hours late and not more than 12 hours.




Every additional 6 hours after 12 hours.




2. This Clause is subject to the condition that if the Director General of Posts and Telegraphs, is satisfied that any delay is due to causes which the contractor has no control the above penalties will not be exacted.


Clause V. During the period of the agreement the contractor may exhibit on the vehicles used for the Mail Service, and on his trade circulars and advertisements, a suitable indication that the Contractor performs the Mail Service.


Clause VI. The Contractor agrees that he shall not during the continuance of this agreement carry mails to and from 'Iraq for any other Postal Administration.


Clause VII. This contract shall not nor shall any part of or interest in it transferred by the Contractor to any other person or persons without the previous consent in writing of the Director General.


Clause VIII. The Drector General will pay the Contractor a conveyance charge at the rate of Rs. 2 (Rupees Two only) per pound for al mails carried under this contract between Baghdad and Haifa and vice versa except such mails that originate in Post Offices in Palestine for Post Offices in 'Iraq. The conveyance charges for mails will be paid quarterly in arrears at the Baghdad Head Post Office.


Clause IX. The Contractor agrees to the deduction of all fines from the quarterly payment to be made as specified in Clause VIII.


Clause X. The agreement is for the period of ........... from .......... Nevertheless the Director General reserves the right to terminate it at any time with or without notice should the Contractor fail to carry out to the Director General's satisfaction all the conditions aforementioned or in the event of the Director General deciding that circumstances have arisen which render the service unnecessary.  The Contractor may terminate the contract on giving notice of four calendar months of his intention to do so to the Director General of Posts and Telegraphs.


Clause X. If any claim, doubt, or dispute shall arise upon or as to the true construction of any clause or expression used in this agreement or upon or as to any act or thing done or omitted to be done hereunder or any damage sustained by reason or any such act or thing or omission or liability of the Contractor in respect thereof the same shall be referred to the Minster of Communications and Works for the time being whose decision shall be final and binding on all parties.











Comments by British Post on Draft Contract.


This shows that the British Post was very deeply involved in the establishing and negotiating the Overland Mail Baghdad-Haifa and acted as Consultant for the Iraq Post.


The Secretary,


The draft contract is loosely drawn, and I think attention should be drawn to the following points:-


Parties. The contract should be entered into Mr. Nairn himself, rather than with a Company.


Clause I. Mails should be defined as covering all matter tendered to the Contractor for conveyance.


Clause II. Commencement and end of transit and appropriate route should be defined.


Clause III. Responsibility should cover mails instead of mail bags. It would be better to specify the exact sums payable for loss of different class of mails. The indemnity in its present form would probably be ineffective, as the Director General is presumably not under any legal liability to pay compensations.


Clause IV. The agreed payment should be described as liquidated and ascertained damages, not as penalties.


Clause V. The power to deduct should cover sums payable under clause III as well as those under clause IV.


signed,  October 1923


Furthermore, the below shown handwritten comments are being found, transcript below (Thanks to Tobias Zywietz for deciphering  the handwriting).



The local conditions are obviously so special that I do not feel that I can express any opinion as to the adequacy of the draft contract. Many points suggest themselves but no doubt the Iraq Post + Mr. Nairn will make the necessary provisions.