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The First Issue

In common with the other Colonies of British North America Canada was granted the privilege of administrating its own postal service in 1850, and in the same year an Act was passed providing for the change. It is hardly necessary to quote this Act in full though the following extracts are of interest:—

Cap. VII.

An Act to provide for the transfer of the management of the Inland Posts to the Provincial Government, and for the Regulation of the said department.

II.—And be it enacted, that the Inland Posts and Post Communications in this Province shall, so far as may be consistent with the Acts of the Parliament of the United Kingdom in force in this Province, be exclusively under Provincial management and control; the revenues arising from the duties and postage dues receivable by the officers employed in managing such Posts and Post Communications shall form part of the Provincial Revenue, unless such monies belong of right to the United Kingdom, or to some other Colony, or to some Foreign State, and the expenses of management shall be defrayed out of Provincial Funds, and that the Act passed in the Eighth year of Her Majesty's Reign, and entitled An Act to provide for the management of the Customs, and of matter relative to the collection of the Provincial Revenue, shall apply to the said Posts and Post Communications, and to the officers and persons employed in managing the same, or in collecting or accounting for the duties and dues aforesaid, except in so far as any provision of the said Act may be insusceptible of such application, or may be inconsistent with any provision of this Act.

VIII.—And in conformity to the agreement made as aforesaid between the Local Governments of the several Colonies of British North America, be it enacted that the Provincial Postage on letters and packets not being newspapers, printed pamphlets, magazines or books, entitled to pass at a lower rate, shall not exceed Threepence currency per half-ounce, for any distance whatsoever within this Province, any fraction of a half-ounce being chargeable as a half-ounce; that no transit postage shall be charged on any letter or packet passing through this Province, or any part thereof, to any other Colony in British North America, unless it be posted in this Province, and the sender choose to prepay it; nor on any letter or packet from any such Colony, if prepaid there; that Twopence sterling the half-ounce shall remain as the rate in operation as regards letter by British mails, to be extended to countries having Postal Conventions with the United Kingdom, unless Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom shall see fit to allow this rate to be changed to Threepence currency; that the prepayment of Provincial Postage shall be optional.

That all Provincial Postage received within the Province shall be retained as belonging to it, and that all Provincial Postage received within any other Colony of the British North American Colonies may be retained, as belonging to such Colony. That no privilege of franking shall be allowed as regards the Provincial Postage. That Provincial Stamps for the prepayment of postage may be prepared under the orders of the Governor in Council, which stamps shall be evidence of the prepayment of Provincial Postage to the amount mentioned on such stamps; and that such stamps, prepared under the direction of the proper authorities in the other British North American Colonies, shall be allowed in this Province as evidence of the prepayment of Provincial Postage in such other Colonies