페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

CHAPTER IV

THE UNIVERSAL POSTAL UNION The Persians back in the time of Cyrus had the first postal service that we have any account of. Augustus established posts in the Roman Empire and the Great Kahn, according to Marco Polo, had a very efficient system in China when he visited it. The Peruvians under the Incas, though without a written language, transmitted dispatches throughout the empire by postrunners carrying orders and information expressed in the quipu by threads of various lengths and colors, knotted and combined in various ways. Along their great highways at intervals were stations for the accommodation of the runners carrying dispatches.' The old Manchu Code of China required the carriers of dispatches to proceed at the rate of 300 lee in a day and night on pain of blows with the bamboo increasing in number with each hour of delay. The beginning of the postal system in England is assigned to the year 1481, when relays of riders and post horses were established to carry news. The first chief postmaster of England was appointed by Queen Elizabeth in 1581.3

The development of the postal service started and continued in each country separately until the year 1817, when a postal convention was entered into by the governments of The Netherlands and France, which appears to be the first treaty of the kind. After that, from time to time and after quite long intervals, other similar treaties were made by European states. The first treaty for the establishment of a general postal union was concluded at Berne on October 9, 1874, between the following nations: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Denmark, Egypt, Spain, United States, France, Great

1 Prescott, Conquest of Peru, 1-88.
2 Penal Code of China, Sec. 238.
3 Bridgman, World Law, 17.

Britain, Greece, Italy, Luxemburg, The Netherlands, Portugal, Rumania, Russia, Servia, Sweden & Norway, Switzerland and Turkey. Afterward by subsequent conventions the union was enlarged and after it had become general a revised convention was concluded at Washington June 15, 1897. Another convention was signed at Rome, May 26, 1906, which included The United States and its island possessions, Argentine Republic, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Colombia, Kongo, Korea, Costa Rica, Crete, Cuba, Denmark and its colonies, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ecuador, Spain and its colonies, Ethiopia, France and its colonies and dependencies, Great Britain and its colonies and dependencies, including India, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa, Greece, Guatemala, Hayti, Honduras, Hungary, Italy and its colonies, Japan, Liberia, Luxemburg, Mexico, Montenegro, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, The Netherlands, and its colonies, Peru, Persia, Portugal and its colonies, Roumania, Russia, Salvador, Servia, Siam, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunis, Turkey, Uruguay, and Venezuela. The text of the convention is as follows:

UNIVERSAL Postal CONVENTION Article 1. Definition of the Postal Union.

The countries between which the present convention is concluded, as well as those which may adhere to it hereafter, form, under the title of Universal Postal Union, a single postal territory for the reciprocal exchange of correspondence between their post offices.

Article 2. Articles to which the Convention applies,

The stipulations of this Convention extend to letters, post cards, both single and with reply paid, printed papers of every kind, commercial papers, and samples of merchandise originating in one of the countries of the union and intended for another of those countries. They also apply to the exchange by mail of the articles above mentioned between the countries of the union and countries foreign to the union, whenever the services of two of the contracting parties at least are used for that exchange. Article 3. Conveyance of mails between contiguous countries; third

services. 1. The postal administrations of contiguous countries, or countries able to correspond directly with each other without availing themselves of the services of a third administration, determine, by common consent,

the conditions of the conveyance of the mails which they exchange across the frontier or from one frontier to the other.

2. In the absence of any contrary agreement, the direct sea conveyance between two countries by means of packets or vessels depending upon one of them is considered as a third service; and this conveyance, as well as any performed between two offices of the same country, by the medium of sea or territorial services maintained by another country, is regulated by the stipulations of the following article.

Article 4. Transit Rates.

1. The right of transit is guaranteed throughout the entire territory of the union.

2. Consequently the several postal administrations of the union may send reciprocally, through the medium of one or of several of them, either closed mails or articles in open mail, according to the needs of the traffic and the convenience of the postal service.

3. Articles exchanged in closed mails between two administrations of the union, by means of the services of one or of several other administrations of the union, are subject to the following transit charges to be paid to each of the countries traversed or whose services participate in the conveyance, viz:

1° For territorial transits:

a. I franc 50 centimes per kilogram of letters and post cards and 20 centimes per kilogram of other articles, if the distance traversed does not exceed 3000 kilometers;

b. 3 francs per kilogram of letters and post cards and 40 centimes per kilogram of other articles, if the distance traversed exceeds 3000 kilometers and does not exceed 6000 kilometers;

c. 4 francs 50 centimes per kilogram of letters and post cards and 60 centimes per kilogram of other articles, if the distance traversed exceeds 6000 kilometers but does not exceed 9000 kilometers;

d. 6 francs per kilogram of letters and post cards and 80 centimes per kilogram of other articles, if the distance traversed exceeds 9000 kilometers.

2 For sea transits:

a. I franc 50 centimes per kilogram of letters and post cards and 20 centimes per kilogram of other articles, if the distance traversed does not exceed 300 nautical miles. Sea conveyance over a distance not exceeding 300 nautical miles is, however, gratuitous if the administration concerned already receives, on account of the mails conveyed, the remuneration applicable to territorial transit;

b. 4 francs per kilogram of letters and post cards and 50 centimes per kilogram of other articles, exchanged over a distance exceeding 300 nautical miles between European countries, between Europe and ports of Africa and Asia on the Mediterranean and Black Sea, or between one

of these ports and another, and between Europe and North America. The same rates are applicable to conveyance, by service to the whole union, between two ports of a single state, as well as between the ports of two states served by the same line of packets when the sea transit involved does not exceed 1500 nautical miles;

c. 8 francs per kilogram of letters and post cards and i franc per kilogram of other articles, for all transits not included in the categories given above in paragraphs a and b.

In the case of a sea conveyance effected by two or more administrations, the charges paid for the entire transit cannot exceed 8 francs per kilogram of letters and post cards and i franc per kilogram of other articles; these charges are, when occasion arises, shared between the administrations participating in the service, in proportion to the distances traversed, without prejudice to any other arrangement which may be made between the parties interested.

4. Correspondence exchanged in open mail between two administrations of the union are subject to the following transit charges per article, and irrespective of weight or destination, namely; letters, 6 centimes each; post cards 2/2 centimes each; other articles 2/2 centimes each.

5. The transit rates specified in the present article do not apply to conveyance within the union by means of extraordinary services specially established or maintained by one administration at the request of one or several other administrations. The conditions of this category of conveyance are regulated by mutual consent between the administrations concerned.

Moreover, in all cases where the transit, either by land or sea, is at present gratuitous or subject to more advantageous conditions, such state of things is maintained.

Nevertheless, territorial transit services exceeding 3000 kilometers, may profit by the provisions of paragraph 3 of the present article.

6. The expenses of transit are borne by the administration of the country of origin.

7. The general accounting for these expenses takes place on the basis of statements prepared once in every six years, during a period of twentyeight days to be determined in the detailed regulations provided for in Article 20 hereafter.

From the period between the date on which the convention of Rome comes into force and the date on which the transit statistics mentioned in the detailed regulations provided for in Article 20 become operative, transit rates will be paid in accordance with the stipulations of the convention of Washington.

8. The articles mentioned in paragraph 3 and 4 of Article 11 hereafter, the reply halves of double post cards returned to the country of origin, articles redirected or missent, undelivered articles, advices of delivery,

post-office money orders, and all other documents relative to the postal service are exempt from all charges for territorial or sea transit.

9. When the annual balance of transit accounts between two administrations does not exceed 1000 francs, the debtor administration is relieved of all payment on that account.

Article 5. Rates of Postage and General Conditions.

1. The rates of postage for the conveyance of postal articles throughout the entire extent of the union, including their delivery at the residence of the addressees in the countries of the union where delivery is or shall be organized, are fixed as follows:

1° For letters, 25 centimes in case of prepayment, and double that amount in the contrary case, for each letter not exceeding 20 grams in weight; and 15 centimes in case of prepayment, and double that amount in the contrary case for every weight of 20 grams or fraction of 20 grams above the initial weight of 20 grams;

2° For post cards, in case of prepayment, 10 centimes for single cards or for each of two halves of reply post cards, and double that amount in the contrary case;

3° For printed papers of every kind, commercial papers, and samples of merchandise, 5 centimes for each article or packet bearing a particular address and for every weight of 50 grams or fraction of 50 grams, provided that such article or packet does not contain any letter or manuscript note having the character of actual and personal correspondence, and that it be made up in such a manner as to admit of its being easily examined.

The charge on commercial papers cannot be less than 25 centimes per packet, and the charge on samples cannot be less than 10 centimes per packet.

2. In addition to the rates fixed by the preceding paragraph there may be levied :

1° For every article subject to the sea-transit charges prescribed in paragraph 3, 2°, c, of Article 4, and in all the relations to which these transit rates are applicable, a uniform surtax which may not exceed 25 centimes per single rate for letters, 5 centimes per post card, and 5 centimes per 50 grams or fraction of 50 grams for other articles:

2° For every article conveyed by means of services maintained by administrations foreign to the union, or of extraordinary services in the union giving rise to special expenses, a surcharge in proportion to those expenses.

When the rate of prepayment for the single post card comprises one or other of the surcharges authorized in the two preceding paragraphs, the same rate is applicable to each half of the reply-paid post card.

3. In case of insufficient prepayment, correspondence of every kind is liable to a charge equal to double the amount of the deficiency, to be

« 이전계속 »