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The New York herald. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1840-1920, December 25, 1848, Image 1

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NO. 5318.
roir office DrriKTMIMT, >
Contract Office, December, 1848. \
To the Hon. Caie Johnson,
rot t master General
Sir In obedience vo your call for a statement of
the views respecting the rates of postage, and the
changes in the mode of doing Post Office business,
which 1 had txpreteed to you In sevrral conversations,
as the result of my examinations abroad,' and my acquaintance
with our own system, I bare the honor
to submit the following :?Yea hare referred to my
opportunities of witnessing the operations of the best
conducted offices in Europe. As the information respecting
them, on other points than those above named,
may be interesting, and was obtained in pursuance
of your instructions, whilst attending, under
your directions, to the business of our postal arrangements,
I will embrace them la this communication,
with such notice of the history and extent of our own
post establishment, as will show the gratifying comparison
it holds with those of other countries.
I ?Uniform Cheap Postacie.
When In London, in 1847. I met with Rowland Hill
The explanations of the principles and operations of
the penny postage reform, on several interesting
poiuts. by its founder, drew my mind with Increase!
earnestness to the consideration of a uniform rate, and
the reduction of pottage.
The principle of a uniform rate of postage in
Kngland, is sustained by the fallowing argument ; ?
An average rate that will defray tne cost of transportation
on the short routes, will, in the aggregate, defray
the whole cost of transportation ; for the whole servlse
consists in their respective localities of short routes ?
The long routes are made up by the connection or combination
merely, of the short routes. That circumstance
oauees no additional expense; consequently there is no
reason, looking to cast of transportation as the only
element of postage, for making any additional or further
charge upon letters conveyed over the long distances.
That is a rule of easy application to Great Britain,
and which works out there, as its natural/esult,
cheap postage; for, having au area of llti 700 square
v miles, a population of 27,000,040, pretty equally diffused,
and pervaded by an aotive commercial and manufacturing
business, it has no unproductive routes, and produces
a large correspondence to sustain a limited system
of mall oonveyauoe. But the most important circumstance
is that in reducing their postage from high
rates to a low and uniform one, they changed its na4.ir?
f.Am /v/ ? ?? a).;nk if ka.l noawUnaU
{yielding a net revenue to the crown nearly equal to
$8 OOO.GUO annually] to that of freight, or the prise
lLerfly of transportation, including delivery, &c Now,
with us, the proportion* are reversed. Our population,
assumed to be 20.000.000 at this time is spread over an
area, within the organized States, of l.lli'.'.OOO square
miles. We have, consequently, numerous unproduotire
routes, many of whioh yield a revenue lea* than
the half of their cost. This ctrcuastauce, and the
foot that the postage on newspapers fs:'? to piy the
cost of their transportation by abwt one third, and
that this item of expense, and the cost of transporting
franked matter through the mails, are
cast upon the pottage aasmsed upon charged letters,
givea to our postage the charaoter of a tax. Make such
disposition of the burthens I have referred to as will
relieve postage of this character; change its nature, as
they did in Kngland, to that of freight; reduce it to
the single element of transportation?then we may successfully
emulate the example of Kngland in postage
reform, relying on the more clastic energies ofa young
and growing people te make up for the disadvantages
of greater territory and less population. We have a
counteracting advantage in possessing a much larger
family and friendly correspondence in proportion to
numbers; and growth and developement will rapidly
augment the smtunt of business letters. I am well
aatistied,fr(m a general estimate, that tha surplus oost
of the unproductive routes, the expense of transporting
newspapers beyond what the postage upon them
defrays, and the amount that free matter would come
to, if oharged with postage, could not be less, at the
most moderate calculation, tban $1,000,000 annually.
The official correspondence of the departments of tha
government, including Congress, is the public's correspondence.
Why should not the nutylic n?? for it
as an individual f>4$s Iof his: It is the duty of the
government to the citizen to establish and maintain
routes, under a great variety of circumstances, notwithstanding
they may ba unproductive, as a portion
of that guardianship and protection that his allegiance
unities nun 10; ana puonc poucynrequire* iai; tae dir.
fusion of public Intelligence, through the circulation
of newspapers, be so cheapened as to be placed within
the reach of of all. But is it just that tbis should be
done at the exclusive expense of a class of citizens
who bare no more interest in the matter than the rest
of the publia?
Supposing Congress should provide some other way
for railing ibis $1,000,<>00 than by assessing it as a tax
exclusively on the postage payers of pnvate correspondence?then
what would be required would be a
letter postage revenue, equal to the aotual cost of the
transportation of letter*, of the amount indicated in
the following estimate Assume the expenditure of
the department at the amount of laat year, put for
aafer statement at a round sum. I am aware there is
to be an increase of mail service; but there are special
items of expenditure for last year sufficient, with the
savings in the middle section, to make the sum here
Stated answer, vir. $4,400,000
Appropriation by Congress for the
object stated 1.00< ,000
Newspaper postage not quite equal
to that of last year, as something
of a decline may be apprehended 750,000
Then there remains for letter postage
to prcduce 2,650 0(0
4.400 000
Now the enquiry arises, how low can the rate of letter
postage be reduced and furnish this annual amount
of *2,660 000? The answer, I am well persuadeil.is to
be found in the data, which our ewnexperience in this
very matter furnishes.
But it may be satisfactory to show what effeot upon
revenue the redaction of the rate of postage has had
In Great Britain, as well as in the United States. In
Great Britain, the former high rates averaged 7d. per
luugie icbvrr. ium pruuuucu u auuuai iotouuo iu
tbe lapt year of tbuir operation,
1839, of ?2,390,738 10 IX
The present rate is Id., Uniterm, and
the revenue it produced the first
year, 1840, was 1,369.004 6 2
Less of revenue ?1,021,159 4 II,1,'
? F.qual to f 4,942.410 72.
Here is a reduction in rate of 88 per cent, causing a
decline in the segregate of 42 7-10 per cant. After a
lapse of (even y?n?rn, there still remains a decline of
revenue of ?386,736 16s 0,'gd.?equal to $1,871,897 83,
or 18 1-6 per cent. Th? decline In net is much
greater than in their grots revenue; and 1 take this
occasion to state that the whole mill packet service
of Great Britain, as well the home as the foreign, is
charged to the Admiralty, and not to the Pout OIHoe.
In the publications ol tne day this large item of mail
expenditure is omitted: consequently an exaggerated
net balance is exhibited in their Post OSlce statements.
The net revenue of 1847 was but ?67,469
3s. 8d., after deducting the covt of their steasipacket
ae well ss other mall transportation.
I am gratified in being able to state that <>ur own
experiment! furnish demonstrations In favor of low
postage of a decidedly morn encouraging character
in respect to revenue. Prior to 1845, letter postage in
the United States stood at various 'rates, averaging, in
the' respective amounts they yielded, 1IX cents the
Ingle letter.
The revenue they produced?I speak of
letter-postage ievenue only-the last
year of their operation, 1846. was (3 >.6o 181 38
Postage was reduced to our present Ave
and ten cent rates, the flrst year's revenue
of which, 1848, was 2.881.897 74
Loss in revenue 778.483 C4
?Being a reduction of 21 1 & per cent.
Now the reduction In rate that produced this decline,
was 66' , per cent, the present 6 aud 10 cent
rates being averted at 8.':1 cents per letter, according
to a calculation ?(m>\de on rather Imperfect data to be I
ur?) ? of the several amounts yielded by thope rates
respectively. Thn decline In revenue h*re is less, In
proporiinn to the reduction of the rate, than it is in
Kr.giand, by some 7 or 8 per cent. The next year's
revenue, 1847. realized an advance upon that of ]84<>
of 10 8 6 per cent Klve per c.f nt represents the general
progressive growth of the department, as it does the
^ ratio of increase in the population of the United
States and there was, consequently, a recovery from
the flrnt year's fall of revenue to the extent of S\ per
rent. But thia cea>ed with the second year-for the
increase of the revenue of 1818. over that of 1847, I*
but In the ratio of the general increase of the department.
abent five per cent. It is still J>30?.S77 28 less
than the revenue of 1845. The feregoing statement
is of letter postage exclusively.
We have r?en that Itl'j per cent of reduction of the
postage rate eau^es a d< aline ot VI 1-6 per eent, In
the revenue A uniform five cent rate Is twenty-one
per rent less than the present rates averaged at
cents, The reduction In revenue that'.!! per cent reduction
in rates would produce, would be. according to
the foregoing proportions, 7 C IO per cent; and this proportion.
deducted from last year's revenue, would leave
VI,086 630 08. This is $486,630 08 more revenue for
the next year than the preceding table call* for. and
shows that the rate is higher than what the principles
of low pwsttfre here assumxi require. If Congress appropriates
for postage on free matter only, or merely
abolishes the frnnklng privileges, tht rate oould be put
at five cents uniform; but this would still involve a tax
upon the letter postage paver to meet the surplus expense
of conveying newspapers, and of the unproductive
A uniform three cent rate is 62', per cent loss than
rur predent rates; and that, per centagc, according to
the scale of reduction, exhibited by the operations of
1845 '40, will oause a decline of revenue of 104 6 par
cent. *
The revenue of last year $3,350,304 10
licduced 19 4-6 per oent 6U.U00 21
1 eave* a letter postage revenue of f2 68fl,U4.t Hl?
? $2,(ioO 000 l* the imuunt de*lred. rhi* demonstrates
that ft three rent uniform rate in eullloienl. and bar*.
Ij suffloleut. to raise an adequate amount of letter poetaye
revenue, provided it In relieved of all charge* and
burthen*, beyond that of the cost of tha transport of
hitter*, including thetr delivery and other incident*
A* to a two ce&t it i? apparent, #o<?ording to
the te?tA of all our experience, that it would net
J it i<l the desired amount of revenne. Two cents is
ft trifle lais than the Kntrllah ncnnv according to
the legal standard of the relative value of British
and American coin. And in view of their
advantages, especially in their high rates of foreign
and tranait pottage*, which average, probably, twenty
cent* per letter, and amounted, In 1847, to 1>3 B7?,
we achieve a much more arduoua undertaking, if auooewful,
with the three cent rate than was accomplished
by the British experiment. Comidering the
vaatneaa of our territory, and the magnitude of our
system of mails, and the still greater extent to which
it must l>e carried, three oents here will be far
cheaper rate, in comparison to service performed, than
one penny in Kngland.
There it one point not touched on in the foregoing
calculations?the possibility that the present oommlaaiona
to postmasters, when cast on the reduced amount
of revenue, may not give sufficient oompenaatloa.
But in respect to that, we can do as before?wait and
see. There will, probably, be a reoovety on the second
year from the fall of revenue of the first year, giving
a proportion of increaae beyond that of the regular
growth of the department. And this may alTord the
meana of enlarging the commissions if it shall be found
The same policy commends a uniform rate for
newspapers, which 1 would put at our lowest denomination
or coin, one centthe single newspaper, not to
exceed two ounces in weight, where regularly Issued
to subscribers. Transient newspapers and pamphlets
I would oharge with the letter rate, if reduced to three
cents, with thia rextriction in all caaea, that the weight
of the newspaper be limited to two ounces, and pamphlets
to three ouncea, with power to the Postmaster
General to classify amall periodical pamphlets issued
to aubrcribers with newspapers.
Our aea poatage ratea are oonfused and mnttlfaroua.
There is a six cent postage on private ship letters, if
delivered at the port, and two oents addition to in
land, if addreased elsewhere. There in a ten cent
packet rate for the Wect India Islands, or islands in
the Gulf of Mexico, and a specific rate of twelve and a
half cents for letters to an<l from Havana. There
la a twenty cent rate to Chagres, thirty cents to Tanama.
and forty centa to Aatoria, or other planes an the
Pacific within the territory of the United States; and,
finally, there ia the twenty-four cent packet rate to
the Rurcfean ports. And the matter is made more
complex, by subjecting aome of these ratea to the additional
charge of inland poatage, and relieving othera
from it. Let all sea-going letters pay one uniform
rate?the same, whether conveyed by private ahip or
fovernment packet?whether from or to the port of an
nterler pobt-office It is important that the power
should be poaseised by the Executive. of arranging
with foreigfroountrics, uniform transit ratea of postage,
with the privilege of pre-paying. Whilst it would
promote convenience, to have international arrangements
that would allow of optional payment, in either
country, on the direot correspondence between them,
still, that la not Indispensable. But In respect to correspondence
between two countries, that must be conveyed
across the territory of a third nation, there must
be an international arrangement between that third
country and one of the others, to enable the letter to
reach its destination, unless the party has an agent in !
the intermediate country to pay, at leatt. the transit
The super-addition of ratea should be avoided. Let
the ship postage pay from Its departure, and to its
Ueatlnation wherever it may be in the United Statea.
It ia much more aatlafactory to the partiea to know
familiarly in a stated amount, what the whole charge
ia. and the aimpllfioatlon of the accounts ia alone a
sufficient reason.
If government retaina the prerogative of exoluaive
mail conveyance, it must provide for the tranaportation
of unpaid aa well aa pre-paid matter. But it ia wise to
induce the pre-payment of postage. It better adjusts
the expenditure between the partiea?it simplifies the
accounts and lessens the labor of nnatmaatara Tk...
fore, a pottage of twice the amounf of the pre paid rate
should be imposed on the letter* of those who, instead
of paying it themselves, put the government to the
trouble of collecting it of the other party. This might
be modified somewhat, the better to adapt It to our coin.
II.? cflanue 15 the Moiit ok Mtll.lXi; L.eiter1 and
Newspaters?Bauoitiu Mails, a .id forwarding
them to Distant Offices.
Our forms, commencing with the post bill, are complicated;
and vet the ob:eot for which th>*w are
ec, 11 not obtained, for they provide nd checks practically.
They do not secure a thorough accountability
on the part of tht* postmasters A like feature of insecurity
extends to our mole of bagging the mails,
wbich gi \ es all the postmasters and tbelr clerks on the
route, access to the contents of the same bag. It is the
purpose of distributing offices to consolidate the small
mails flrom the various offloes within their district, for
distant points, into large ones, for that portien of the
route oommon to them, with * view to more oertain
despatch and greater tafetyi mnd then, at the proper
points, to separate them for their respective destinations;
yet they have the effect, la numerous cases, to
withdraw mails from their direct course, and otherwire
to delay them, simply to be dintributed ; thus,
in thpurands of instances, causing additional detentions.
and creating an expense to tbe department, in
distribution commissions, for doing that which is an
injury to the service. Numerous alterations and oorreotlons
have been made, and numerous attempts?
but tbe defects are not removed. The schemes of bagging,
forwarding and accounting, are all based upon
the plan of mailing ; and there, all tbe defects of our
system have their root. Nothing but a radical change
an reach them.
In tbe Infancy of our post establishment, when the i
offices were few, it may bave been possible, agreeably
to tbe evident design of the arrangement, to compare
at tbe General I'ost Office the post bills, with the account
of mails sent, and the account of malls sent out
of one office with the accounts of mills received of
another, and vice versa. But this has beceme imprac,
ticable, and has been so, doubtless, for the last fifty
years. In practice, therefore, we are withoat the desired
checks to prooure complete accountability on tbe
part of the post offices Our system was borrowed
from the English : but theirs, at this time, possesses
not a feature, in the particulars referred to, that corresponds
to ours. After a longer experienee. probably,
of the defects we 'are no# suffering, they at length
abandoned the old system as Incurable, and adopted
a new one.
Each post effice In the kingdom of Great Britain
(London, Edinburg and Dublin excepted) is furnished
with a list of what is called its corresponding officer?
There are usually some four or Ave ; and it can mail
to no others. The port bill contains but two Items?
the amount of paid letters, and the amount of unpaid
letters, entered by the mailing postmaster in two
blanks provided for that purpose. The reoeiving
postmaster counts tbe letters, and enters in
two other blanks, provided in the bill, the
amount of paid and of unpaid, and signs it. If
his entries disagree with the mailing postmaster's
his assistant countersigns, and the last entries are
taken at the accountant's office as giving tbe true
smountr. Here Is a check at the outset. Each postmaster
la furnished with a blank called, a monthly
voucher. One side is to contain the amount of a.11
letter* sent. arranged under the bead * of his corresponding
oftlcep, In column* of paid and unpaid; the
t.ther tide the amount of all letter* received, under
the bead* of the oorrespandlng office* from whioh
received, in column* of paid anl unpaid, and each
entry i* to be made opposite tbe date of mailing, a*
well on tbe reoeired *lde a* the pent tide A* the
office* from and to which each offlre receive* and
rend* mall* are designated. and are generally but few
in number, there I* no difficulty in keeping this account.
and In oomp?ring the account* sent, of one
office, with the accountR received, of it* corresponding
office, and vice verra Here i* the second cbeok.
The first by the neighboring postmaster, the last by
the accountant* at the General Fo*t Ofllee. These
voucher* are sent in to tbe General Post Offloe after
the expiration of eaoh month, and with them only
those post bill* wherein there 1* a discrepancy between
tie entries of the mailing and tbe receiving
Postiriuters The examinations and corrections of
KTorwape Bade on these vouch*!*, anil at the end of
tbe q At*r the account Is closed by Ik quarterly return
from Be postmaster, and the ledger enules at tbe <?anetal
Test Office. What tbere 1* In the foregoing
that we have not, i* the principle of mailing to
designated office* only; tbe simple form of the post bill:
the principle and practice of the receiving postmaster
clierking npon the mailing postmaster; and an effectual
comparison, by mean* of the monthly vouchers,
between the account* of mail* sent and malls received,
thu* s&uring accountability by a complete system of
Hut a post office must have letter* to *enJ to other
pest t (lice* than its four or tlve corresponding offices
How are they, I y the Kngtlsh regulations, mailed and |
forwarded? A* follows?One or more of the eorrespondtng
rdices of each office is designated as its forwarding
office. If the letter* to go beyond are paid, j
their amounts are entered oa the post bill to the corresponding
forward office, which enable* It to ch->ck
that nmount, being a charge againit the mailing post- 1
master IT they are unpaid, they are tied up with the |
other letters, but are not entered on tlie nost hill The !
paid letter*. being fully shocked, ?rt> nei?t on by the ,
forward office, through the forward office of its circle I
of corresponding offices to tlielr destination, without
further poet bill. Th* unpaid letters go forward from ,
tfc* mailing office through its forward office. and no on
without pout bill, until they reach the font forward i
((He* preceding their ofllce of destlnatloo. at which
they areplneed under poet bill, so a* to ralsean account
szslnst and eheck upon, the receding po*tmast?r.
Thl* Is very unlike, but vastly preferable to, our unsatisfactory
and **pensiva soheme of distribution
The poet Mil In Kngiand I* used solely with a view
to the ac**..nl|; and not for the purpos* of tracing or
identifying the letter- a use that Is attempted hern to I
be made of it, but which it is very Ineffectual In ao- j
romplishlng In Kngiand. they furnish a satisfactory
id and trsce for valuable letters In the mall, by
what is called registration. For a fee of on* shilling 1
sterling, charged in addition to the postage, whlcn |
with the fee Is to be paid in advance, a record of the
letter by its address Is booked, and a recnlpt given It j
Is described, in full. In an accompanying bill, specially
l.oted on the post bill. an>l sent In such manner as to
make It conspicuous in the mails. It is noted by special
entries at each forwarding office, and when delivered.
a receipt is taken.
As to local letters, received and delivered at the
same office, the like aheoks are maintained In respect
to then as to mailed letter*. The sorter makes out a
letter bill fur all he finds in th* box: and the delivering
clerk, or letter carrier, acknowledges their amount
by entries In blanks provided for that purpose This j
charges them lu favor of th* postmaster, and the post- i
matter in favor of the Oenerol Toat OUkct. A monthly j
voucher Is kept on the wme principles that have already
been explained. It is sent in to the accountant
with all the letter bills; and the amounts they contain,
after being corrected, on examination, are plaoed
in the quarterly return and charged on the ledger.
The mail bag, which la generally made of canvass,
ffA#R unH?r bxaI Anil li An?n<iif nnl v ml. t.h? riffle nl.
dressed. Thin is an incident to their scheme of mailing.
founded on the arrangement of corresponding
and forward offices, and would be entirely impracticable
with us, unless our mailing system was adapted
to it.
As to London and partially so, at to Kdinburgh and
Dublin, the sebems of mailing and acoounting is essentially
different. In some partiouiars. from the foregoing;
but as we nave not in the United States any
place, that, like London, may be set down as the universally
acknowledged and oommon centre In all respects,
I will not trouble you with an aocouot of their
peculiarities. For they oannot with advantage be introduced
Into our arrangements. Our civil divisions
are so different from thereof Cireat Britain, that we
must, I am satisfied, devise a central system of pout
operations for the large offlces in eaoh of our States,
rather than adopt the Londoa arrangements
The foregoing is but a hasty sketch of the characteristic
points in the mode of performing the post office
business in Kcgland Much that is incidental and
explanatory, might be added; but in this connection it
would serve to confuse, rather than elucidate.
The question is. shall we adopt that system' The
difficulty lies at the outset. When the change is made,
the duties of the offices will not only be better performed
by the postmar>ters and their olerks, but with
far more ease and despatoh. The great wori in undertaking
this change consists i n laying off the post of
flees of the I'nited States into oiroles, so as to give to
eaoh one of our 10.169 post offices its specified list of
corresponding and forward offices. Besides a thorough
knowledge ot the course of the malls, a particular knowledge
of localities must be obtained, so that the malls
shall be made by these arrangements to run in the
channels of trade ami business. It would require too
lorg a statement to point out the complexity and magnitude
of this labor. When I considered the number
of onr offices as compared with those of Great Britain,
which has but 1778. (exclusive of receiving houses)
and nearly a third of them are only sub-offices, and
the extent of the territory of our States, whioh is ten
times as great aa that of the I'nited Kingdom. I distrusted
the practicability of making this radical alteration,
and keeping the oiroles of offloes properly adjusted
amid the incessant ohanges going on among postmasters,
sites of offlces and courses of routes, and the
rapid increate, from year to year, of new offices and
post roads.
But the object to be obtained is too Important to be
abandoned. The improvement of our svstem can h?
accomplished In no other mode. Subsequent reflection
baa satisfied mo that the difficulties can bo overcome,
if sufficient time is allowed, and Congrese makes a suitable
prevision to carry out tbe undertaking.
The prof [met that uniform postage will soon be established.
renders the change more urgent. Our mode
of performing post office business must be simplified,
fo as to be done with greater despatch and aocuracy ;
and whilst every scheme of revenue should be provided,
with checks to insure aooountability, that needs it
most which is made up of tmall amounts, for there is
s greater tendency to neglect and oversight, arising
from the lndilTerenoe with which small sums are
apt to be regarded. Individually, though, in the
aggregate, they swell to millions of dollars. The
corresponding and forward system of mailing, as
it may be technically oalled, has been an indispensable
adjunct to low postage in England, bringing
every penny paid for postage to the ledger of the
Accountant (ieneral, and giving the publio the assurance,
that what has been 10 well earned has been
faithfully accounted for.
That part of the poet office system in F.nglaad, which
is carried out in their London arrangements, called
the central system, oannot be introduced hers. In
lieu of it, I would have a class of primary offices, to
consist of one^from each State?perhaps two, or more,
in tbe larger States. The difference between them
and tbe great bodji of offices would be, that they would
be placed In dlreot correspondence with a far greater
number of offices. Kach primary office should post bill
and bag mails to some of the other primary offices to be
designated, and to *11 of the ordinary or second class
offices within their State or district, situated en the
direct lines, radiating from tbe primary offioes. They
should be listed for that purpose, and these, In turn,
sbc'j'd to suob primary ofltce.
Out of tbe great body 01 offioes I would form the
second class offices, to embrace the ohief portion of
them ; also, a third class, which I would cull, as in
England sub-offices. Sub-offices neither keep nor
render accounts. They get their supply exclusively
from one office, which is oalled the prinolpal office, \
The principal office sends out a post bill, beaded on
cne side outward, stating the account of the mail as
despatched, with blanks in it for tUe sub-postmaster to
make corrections, and tbe other side inward, on which
tbe sub-postmaster enters the acoount of bis malls returntd,
with columns for the principal postmaster to
make corruptions And in keeping the monthly
vouchers of this account for himself, the prlno'pil postmaster
keeps it Also tor the sub-postmaster, and ren,l.r>
It tn th? <Jenif.il P,.??nfMn0 All ...-U kiii.
re to be sent In Kith the monthly voucher.
They have still another class in Kngland. Railway
offices. occupied by two clerks at a time, at salaries
rangin from ?80 to ?200 per annum, with an allowance
<f 108. sterling per day. each trip. Mails are
made up to them as lwrward offices only ; and as such,
they irake up mails toother offices, and check upon
the mails received from other offices. They receive no
postage, but render regular monthly vcuohers, to serve
as checks upon postmasters in correspondence with
them. There are advantages in this, in giving despatch,
but gained at too great a cost. Another objection
arising here, would be, that our cars do not ran
with sufficient steadinesr, to enable ao much clerical
duty to be performed in them. To secnre equtl despatch,
and not increase the number of route agents, I .
suggest the following regulationWhere the party
will pre-pay by means of a letter stamp, and will write
on his letter "way,''instruct the postmaster to put it ,
in a way bag for the route agent, under a lock, for !
which he is provided with a key, without post bill; for I
the postage being paid by the stamp, a post bill is un- ;
necessary in reference to the acoounts. The agent
can deliver it to the office addressed, by placing it in
the pouch for said office. The postage stamp should
not be obliterated in such a case, either by the
postmaster senditg or by the route agent. It should
be done by the receiving postmaster before he delivers
it. The sending postmaster should keep and sender a
monthly voucher of way letters so sent, as necessary |
in the settlement of his commission account, and for .
othsr purposes; and the route agent should keep and ;
render such a voucher likewise, by way of checks - a !
duty which he can easily perform. The postage stamp !
and the direction of the writer te sand his letter
' way,'' will enable this facility of immediate despatch
without pott bill to be extended, under proper modifications,
to other routes than railroads, and to late let- i
ters on the principal lines up to the last moment before
departure. There is but one objection to this?the
tendency of this class ef letters to multiply to a number
beyond the ability of the route agent properly to
attend to and dispose of them. This facility has not
been extended to the public at all in Kngland, owing
doubtless to this objection. When the evil, appro
bended, manifests itself, it must be guarded against by
piopcr restrictions. Letters of value and special Importance.
should not, of oourse. be sent as '-way,'' but
go under the eeaurity afforded by regular mailing and
bagging to the place of distribution.
The division. tb?n. of post offices, would be:?
1. Primary officea, kept l?y postmasters.
2 Pout offices, kept by deputy postmasters.
8 Sub offices, kept by sub deputies.
Maii.in?:.?Adopting the simple form of the Kngllsh
port bill, we should add to it a third column, for
' amount of pontage stamped letters." Thin will be
Decenary for the commission account, and for other
important purposes. a* we haTe no atamp office in the
1'nited States I would have a uniform blank for post
bill, and repairs the name of office and date to be filled
by the office atsmp (this adds to ita authenticity) and
in all cases that it be algned by the officer aciaally
In charpe of tbe mailing at the time, be fax
postmaster or clerk. In Kngland. the po?t bill is
colored. There aie practical advantages in this.
These from a primary ofllce should be of on?
coUr ; those to ft. of another ; and those between
ordinary offices, of a third. The post bills
should be filled with?1st Amount of paid letters,
being those only actually paid in money at the office
(this is the admission of a debit); I'd, Amount of unpaid
letters (this Is a charge ogalnst the corresponding
postmaster); .">d, Amoant of postage stamped letters
(this Is merely a memorandum). The office dated
stamp should be impressed on the right hand upper
corner of every latter, and, nnderneath It. the p*id
stamp in red. If the postage has been paid In money
at thecfllre; and the rate atamp in black. If an unpaid
letter. Mails will only be made up to the offices
listed as the coitcsponding offices; and for distant
places, to such of them as are distinguished a< the
forward office, as hereinbefore described. Of tbe unpaid
letters, care will be taken to enter In the post bill
only those for the delivery of the office oiaiiaj toomitting
from the port bill thr>s? that art- to bs forward)
d beyond. The items of eaeb po?t MB, with its
date, should ba entered on the sent side of the monthly
voucher, under the head of the office mailed to.
vmiiio rmuipn puuuiu 111' jliunu?g i nr e* fTJ onirit in
the I'lilted Statei. They are better for being made of
modi, b*cau*e more |tenaclou? of the Ink, anil far
oheaper. Th?y *bould be u*ed on all letters ?ant or |
received, and In filling up blank* of datea In post bill*. |
notice*, and return*. They*h?uld be re-*et eaeh day
with the proper date; and In the large office*. re-*et
after the flr*t mail ha* gone cut. with the additien of
A under the date; and after the *econd mail ha* gone
out,|with 0. Thil will nerve to *ettle many dlapute*
whether a letter wa* hand-d in in time for the outgoing
mail: and on the Office Day Memorandum Book
it ?hould be9 ?tamped every time aa. re*et, to furnl*h
evidence of that fart. It would be an improvement
to have the year in the 'lamp, a* well as the day
of the month. Letterh malted ahoul I be stamped a
hove Mated, on the right, hand upper oorner; and
letter* received in the mail ahouid be (tamped alao on [
the back.
Bai.cinu. ? -A* lock* anil trava are aireailv oht?ln?.l
at'great rxpenne. and a* mall* nan be cloaed and
opened by innM of them with much greater deipatoh
than when tied, pealed, and (tamped, we had battar
continue In the i He of the look and key. In reapeot to
mtilR fi r dletant point*, we might adopt the Knglleh
practice of pealing and utamplng, Thle, In view of tha
poMlblllty Of lurreptltiouMy obtaining keyi and of
making felpe one*. I eonelder the aafeet ThU f >rra of
malllrg will require a hag for aaob oftloe. It ehonld be
labelled wltb the nanus of the two offlcM between
r- - -nx>-n?>?irr
iRK I]
i ~ ' " ' " T~ i
wbich It plica, an J retained exclualvely for their uae.
The primary nfllce mails should (to ?n<l return under
the large bras* look. The forward offlee mall* under
I the fdihII brass lock; and all other malls under the
| Iron look.
IlECBivmn Mails.?The mall bag, onbelngreopened,
should be turned inside out; and made of such form
and materials that it can be readily done. The entire
paid and postage stamped lettera will be couuted. and
respective amounts entered in the receiving Costmaster's
column, and such of the unpaid as are for his
delivery, if the amounts agree with the entries of the 1
mailing Postmaster, the bill will be retained for about
a year and then destroyed. If they disagree, the bill
will be tent with the monthly voucher to the (ieneral
Pcstcflice The letters that are to be forwarded will be
sent on, if paid or postage stamped, without post bill,
a mply by tying them up with the matter for the proper
cilice; it ucpaid with a poat bill, If the lettera are addressed
to a corresponding office; otherwise not. Kvery
letter for delivery should be impressed on ita back,
with the office dates stamp, to allow when it waa received.
The amounta in the poat bill, acoording to
the Receiving Postmaster's count, he will enter on the
leceivlng side of the monthly voucher, opposite to the
date of the bill, and under the head of the mailing
otlice. Of mis-ient. redirected and dead lettera. I will
apeak hereafter.
NfcwspArcni.?Th? practloe of the Knglisli rostofflce
furnishes no regulations suitable for this oountry. as
to the mode of mailing newspapers and accounting for
their postage. There, government receives ita remuneration
f?r conveying newspapera in the mail in a
stamp duty of one penny on each newspaper ; and
as every newspaper published pave the stamp, it
ia immaterial what number of them ia placed In
th? mails. Foreign newspapera are subject to specific
poatuge rates, varying from to 4d : but
tbete are mailed as letters. They impose, also, a
speoiflc postage of Id. on newspapers, handed into an
cfllce delivered from the same; but this amounts to
what it was intended for, a prohibition -to prevent
publishers from usirg the penny posts as their carriers
In Krance, newspaper postage ia 4 centimea. (four-flftha
of a cent), on a sheet of small dimensions, aud It must
be pre-paid. In Germany, it la one-fourth of the leiter
rates for the dlatauoe according to weight.
Tianaient newspapers ahould be mailed and forwarded
aa lettera. Aa to those regularly issued through
the maila to tubsorlbera. a plan should be de\ Ised that
will enable an acoount of tnem to be kept and checked.
i duc wincn win not subject tnem to b* overhauled.
Mnglj, for the purpose ot mailing, on each despatch of
the mail. The practice otoallingon publishers for a
list of the number of paper* Kent by them to each
pott office. Las become obsolete, from their neglect and
refusal to famish it. I beg leave to suggest the following
regulation:? Kvery post office, where a newspaper
is published, should, in the oourse of the first month of
each quarter, have a special and minute mailing of all
newt-papers sent from it, made, at least, once, though
at the haxard of losing despatch by the outgoing mails
of the day on which this mailing is done, for the purpore
of taking a lull list of the newspapers sent, giving
tbe names of tbe post offices, alphabetically arranged,
and tbe numbtr of newspapers sent to each, with the
frequenoy of their issue, whether weekly, semi-weekly,
tri-weekly, or six times a week. As the result of this,
a voucher of newspapers sent should lie transmitted
to tbe Auditor of the Department, soon
after tbe expirailon of tbe first month of each
quarter. Every office in the United States should immediately,
after the expiration of the first mouth of
each quarter, send a vouober of newspapers received,
showing the number of newspapers received thereat,
and the post office from which received, alphabetically
arranged; with an additional statement exhibiting
what number are delivered free, and what are refused
to be taken out, giving the names of those refusing,
and the names and offices of those receiving free. As
the postage is to be taken at the commencement for
the entire quarter, these reports will enable a complete
account to be kept upon returns from the sending and
reoelving postmacters checking upon each othvr, of the
whole newspaper postage for the quarter. The additional
rttatemrnt will enable credit to be given tbe receiving
postmaster for the number of free and refused
newspapers. By this means, the overhauling of the
newepaptrs. before each departure of the mail, will be
voided, except on one day in such quarter. Carefully
prepared blanks should be provided for the abave returns.
and blank notloes to be filled up and sent in by
each postmaiter, that he ban no newspaper return of
either kind to make, whenever that is the case. In a
n?-w>pa|)er postage journal or journals in the Auditor's
office, or in the dead letter bureau, the newspaper returns
could be duly collected and ready for comparison
on the ooming in of the postmaster's monthly vouchers
or quarterly return. And with said quartely return
should be sent an additional voucher of newspapers
cent ; also, of newspapers received, where newspapers i
have been sent cr Teoelved during the quarter in addition
to those alreauy reported.
Accounts.?The tirsc exhibit is the monthly voucher,
to be cent in soon after the end of the month J
hate already described it. I would make this addition:
?A column for amount of pontage stamped letters.
If the office is in correspondence with a primary office,
it returns two monthly vouchers for posted letter*;
for those sent to and received from such primary office,
and for those sent to and received trom all other
post offioes. If it be an oOioe having a sub-oflioe. then a
ihiid monthly voucher of letters will be required. |
There should be also a fourth monthly voucher for
local letters. Fifthly, a newspaper voucher received
for the first month of each quarter, and followed up in
the third with an additional newspaper voueher. And
sixthly, a monthly voucher of mis-sent and re-directed
letters overcharuvd covers and receipts, and dead letters.
This voucher requires a more particular description.
The accounts thus far described, fix the liability of
the postmaster, not only for tho postage prepaid to him
in money, but also for the unpaid letters comiBs to
his office. Some of these may have been mis-sent,
M>Bi( misdirected. some overcharged, and some remain
on liana uncalled for. How in he to get credit for
them ' By thin monthly voucher of mis-sent. redirected,
< vt-rcharged, and dead letters. The process Is au
follow* - On mis-sent, or mis-direr ted letters, received
at an office, that fact is entered in red on their face;
they are tLen mailed forward in their true direction,
with an appropilate post bill, and the examination
of the same by, and signature of, the
reot-iving postmaster will constitute the check.
On overcharged letters, the fact and amount
of overcharge is to be entered on the covers,
and they retained, or receipts taken from the parties
of the amount refunds 1; and allowance for overcharge
will be made only to the extent shown by the covers !
and receipts. Suoh overcharges and the amounts of |
re directed letters, will be entered on the monthly
voucher -as should be ulso that of the dead letters
returned?and the present very objectionable provisions
of law respecting dead letters should be so modi- j
fled as to aliow of the following arrangement : Deii>
I.hthh ? A letter uncalled for remains In
the office till the end of the quarter, and is then advertised;
and not till the expiration of three months
frrm the time advertisement commences, oan it be
sent to the General Cost office as a deal letter, and >
then it is possible for it to remain on h<sd three
months longer before reached in its turn and opened.
So that a letter of value may be in the Post office i
and Dead Letter (ffice nine months before it is returned
to the writer. This fs wropp. 1 would advise I
the following : Primary offises, and such other post
offices of the larger class as may be so instructed, !
should ro.ke return of dead letthrs on the 1st and 15th '
of esch month all other post offices on the 1st of each
month. When letters are refused, or the person* addressed
are'-dead,'' or "gone away, not known where,''
they are to be sent to the Dead Letter offioe on the
first return day, without being advertised But in
each case the cause should be written in red ink
across the face of the letter. In all other oases,
the letters on hand at the expiration of the
fortnight, or the month, (except those received by the !
last ??? I. .1?- -- I -i
a.v .u MO luuiiruiniuij qurOl IIPV'1, HUM lllimB '
remaining by tbe next return day aro to b? transmitted
to the Dead Letter Office. Letter* left in nn office !
to be rent, but which cannot be mailed, from the llle- 1
git.ility of tbe sdJrets, or having no addrrs*. or being I
address* d to a foreign country without postage being
pie-) aid, should be immediately enclosed to the Dead I
Letter Oftice. having written upon them in red ink, j
' cannot be mailed "
A blank should be provided, called the nccrunt of !
miffent. redirected, and d?ad letter*, overcharged
covers and leeeiptsfcr the month of - ?, and in its
column.*, opposite the proper date* and under the
name of the post offlcs* to which the redireoted letters
are rent, should be entered the amount*. The dead
letters me ntered by their number and mmunt*. opposite
the date* on which they are sent to the Dead
I.utter (itf.ee. The post bill* that nccomptny the redirected
matter should be sent by the recoiling postmastrr
to the Dead I.etter Office. I will here remark
that in view of the increase of duties these arrangement*
would impose upon that office, it* force should
be considerably Increared The principal officer, wha j
might b? called the lnspeet?r of Dead Letters, will be
the examiner of all claim* of oredit for redirected and
dead Utter* and overcharge*; be should have charge ,
of the correspondence a* to ml**ing, lost and returned
letter*, and might, with great propriety, h'ive charge
of the new*paper journal, and the examination of the
accoants of newspaper po*tag* I will here state that la
my examination in the Dead Letter Office in London.
1 found tbat, notwithstanding their cheap r ite* and
pre-payinent of poitage, there wn* returned 1.670.7'ia
dead letters and newspaper* for the year ending 5th
January, 1H47. The postage on the letter*, (l,078..'iflj
iu number.) amounted to ?7 043, of which ?841 3*. tod
was paid; and that there were in those letters ?507.674
6*. 7d in bills, and ?'8 061* 10a Od in ca*h. The number
ef dead letters in h ranee is nearly 300,000 per
(|i 4R i r*i.v Hin an*.?These should be made np and
sent in with the last monthly vouchers of the quarter
immediately after its expiration. It should contain a
1. For the primary offloe latter*, atated in three
mount*. 1 * month*.
'2 For Id Office letter* generally, itated in lame
3. Kor l' -*1 totter*. al?o, *tated in *ame way
4. Kor <v*paper* a* per A ret return.
<da. aa per additional return.
ft. For ?h<p letter*.
0. For pottage stamp?
The return will take credit ?
1. By returned letter* and overcharge*. '
' 2. By refuted and free new*paper*.
8 By commi?Mon on lattora and newipaper postage '
collected at the office.
4 By commtfaion on .amount of poatage and
(tamped letter* aent.
6. By gratuitie* for thip letter*.
6 By Incidental allowances. *
Tub Lkdkcbs-Should be drawn up to correspond, |
and ?o an to exhibit on one page the accounts of oaeh ]
post office for the yt ar; and they might. an in th? British
Post Office, be made up of printed blank*, leaving nothing
to enter in manuscript but the amounts-thin
laving the time of the clerk for more importaut duties,
aud ensuring greater accuracy.
A more general use of prihteil blanks would much i
improve the aervice; and in view of the great multiplication
of letters, ami increase of duties, that low postage
will produce, will have to be lesorted to as a necessary
labor-raving facility In Kngiand they are provided of
a uniform kind, for every aperies of notice, return or
voucher The account books are made upofprlntel
blank aheets. and even envelopes for accounts, dead
letters, ikO., wl'h printed addresses, are furnished to the
postmasters. This goes far to ensure despatch and :
Rkuistration.?I would adopt the Knglish plan for
furnishing e\ Idence of the mailing and receipt of valuable
letters ; providing special means for tracing them
In the mails, and giving greater security in mailing
and forwarding them. This is easily aooompliahed, if
we adopt their general mode of mailing. Hut the attempt
to engraft it upon our present system will prove
a failure and a deception. I have already described
the process of registration. If made to answer the purpose
designed, it will greatly benefit the publio. It will
somewhat improve the revenues The registration fee
in Kngiand is equal to rents, besides the postage;
and I was told that the number of letters in that country
that paid this high charge were very great, being
used in cases of payments, legal notices, and in many
other inatancea where the evidence or the asaurauce
was deMred that the information seat was brought
home to the other party.
As to comoenaation of Dostmasters, our nresenlmode
by commissions is decidedly preferable, in my judgment,
to the Knglish, which is by specified aalaries |
Commissions are best Huitud to a chaoging anl growing
system, an th<>y always proportion the reinuueration
to the amount of business done. liut I a?e no
good reason for a separate commissi.>n on newspaper {
Let the accounting be aimplitii<d by having
but one net of commisaion ratea, embracing both letter*
i. mi newspapers; and if a claai ot? aub-oflluea should be
authorized, the eommimioiiH for sub- deputiea, in con ideration
of their biing relieved of the keeping and
rendering of accounts, might with juatice be put at
less ratea than thoae of other postmasters.
Uniform rates and pre payment of poatage will
greatly facilitate the business of mailing and account- |
iDg. In Ureat liritaiu a pre-paid letter, not exceeding ;
a half ounoe in weight, i* sent through the mall to i
any part of the kingdom at their minimum rate, and
the unpaid letters at double that rate. This disori- i
mination initirea pre-payment ia moat oases and it ia '
further aided by a legal provision that subjects the j
writer to the payment ot the pottage, and to proie- I
cution therefor if necessary, in all oases where his
letter la retuaed by the person addressed. I n <inrmany, [
the writer la equally liable to pay the poatage on his i
refuaed letter. The Knglish scale of progreaaion la
somewhat peouliar ; It counts the hall ounce but obc?.
When the letter exceeds an ounce, be it erer sostna'l
an excess, it 1a subject to four rates of postage?ai
much so as if it weighs two ounces ; so if it exceeds
two ounces, it pays six rates, the same as if it amounts
to three ounces in weight. This scale simplifies the
butiners at the cflloea. and counteracts the tendenoy
to make up large letters, which sometimes runs into
an abuse.
III.-Haili.04d Maii Service.
In Franca, thu right of sending the mails by
railway, ftte of charge, is seoured in the charters
cf incorporation; and in Uermany, both the
mails of the Prince of Thurn and Taxis, and of !
mr B?VO(?I u?;>rrumruir, uiw cuuvojrnu, irotj ui
cost. on the railways of that country. In Kngland, i
the railway companies are bound, under heavy penal- j
tics, to take the mulls at such hours ar.d rpeed as the i
Postmaster l.cniral Mha 11 prescribe; and as to oompn
ration, if they and the Postmaster General cannot
agiee upon it, it is to be decided by arbitrators chuen
by each, ana an umpire appointed by them, if necessary.
The prices paid by the British post office vary
from Id. to 2s. ltd. the (ingle mile; Id. the single mile,
as the Knglish count distance, is equal to f 14 72-100
per mile per annum daily service, as we ntate it. The
2s Od. compensation is equivalent to $451 03'* per
mile per annum daily service. The cau*e of this euormou.i
difference is best explained in the language of
the Secretary of the British Post Office. < ol. Maberly
"Some trains (bo said) are run in the middle of th?
night, when they would not have a p?s*eng?-r to
convey; others are run at hours when they are full
Of passenger*. In the one case, you would get \ery
excellent terms; in the other, you would be obliged to
pay very high, because you must pay the expense of the
train, tbe police, the eight establishment and every
Other expense Incident to jour order." We have no
such tervice performed in this oountry as here described.
1 find, notwithstanding this extravapftnt Award of
>461 VJiJj, per mile per annum in favor of the North
IJnion Railway t ompauy. that the prices paid for railroad
mall conveyance in Kngland in 1S47, a? Tag"',
sccording to the best data that could be obtained, l'i
2-10 cents for each single mile The railroad mail ser
vice in tlie United States stands for the last y<-arat the
avt rsge of 13 40-11)0 cent* per single mill*. I believe
we would bave better servloe performed between the
port offices and the depots, especially at the large cities,
and make more satisfactory arrangements wlih the
companies, if ww were to confine their service to the 1
rails, as in Great Britain - and if the department were
to conslruct its own railroad cars, a proper dnduoti . n
being made in the company's pay, it would bave suitable
apartments for its mails and agents, on other rail- ' 1
roads than those between Washington end I'hlladephia.
The mode of settling price* f >r railway mail :
service by aibitratloa is. I am persuaded, unfavorably
regarded in Knglacd. a searching investigation bavins 1
W. inln An.. /.1 ha.-n r.ll f h n <
Parliamentary Committee, and great reluctance since '
having been manifested iu getting up any more arbitrations
In reference to tne vexed questions of rail- !
road compensation with which thin Department loan- [
noyed, I humbly ask, why are not the committees of
Cotpress, and Congress itself, the best arbitrators.' Let I
the Departmcntsend in its estimate.specify ing theconipensption
for each road?let it be heard in applanation
and the companies in oppafitlon, i( they desire; and !
in the .Appropriation Act for the service of the depart
mrnts let a sahedule be referred to or incorporated i
which will settle each case, and leave no chance to j
dispute afterwards what the law Is in the matter Tho
absolute power of the British Postmaster General over I
railways enables hiia to tlx departures and arrivals i
at hours that best suit the public convenience, in 1
respect solely to their mails Instead of their chief
mails beirg despatched as ours are from New Vork,
at half-pai-t lour In the afternoon, they are not permitted
to leave Loudon till nine and ten at night ?
thus allowing ample time for the prepxratlon ot correspondence
after the business of the day is over, and
ample time to mail it after it is deposited in the otllue.
On the same principle the mails are brought into
London atfiom three to tive o'clock in the morning?
glvlrg njlfloient time at the office to open, assort, and <
prepare thvm for delivery at the earliest buiilaess
hours of the day. For want of such power, such arrangements
are impossible here, wherever the com pa
nies fltil it is not for their interests, iu reference to
(he Lett accommodation of the travel, to run at {
In Kranee and Germany tbey are made at flied i
pricts?being in Kranoe a certain allowance for
acli horse and each driver for each six miles of |
travd ; and in Germany an allowance per mile for i
the ordinary fervice, with a share *f the profit
on extra work, and a nominal allowance for each
borie kept and used ; which, however, is after- i
wards mrdifad according to ciroum.nanc-s, so as
to be sufficient to pay sxpenies, and give a pr?- : ?
per rate cf interest on capital, anil gratuities to ?
punviiiiuu*. vuat urn vt?rj pprvimuj ^iutiuovi iui iu vumr | p
arrangemeuts. evrn to the Item of ' beer money.'' ,j
(CD'rsota are given, with sureties for faithful per- ?
lorenDcc, and l'or a certain term of years, varying n
from four to fix. On the continent, pa^encers are 0
convejed hy the post departments. Not so In (ircat '
Ilrttuin; that is there exclusively the business of the I f
mail contractors. On the principal routes the depart- | _
ment obtains the coaches of one ?et of contractors,
the eoa ;h builders, and the service of horsing the |(
coaches and conveying the malls In them of another, 1 a
culled the mail contractors, with privilege to them to
convey a limited number of pasrengera at their o?n t
proflt, Contracts In Ureat Britain are let on full ! a
competition, and for a term of years; but do not ex- p
plre at the time i?t unless the department or the con- c
tractor gtvn three months previoui natice; nor does t;
it ct are at aay subsequent time but upon su<-h notlc*,
except In cafe of the dra'h of the contractor, or ita ! p
annulment by the Fostma?ter (ieneral for default, 1 u
dimbedirnae t.f ordi-rs, or insolvency, which can be u
rrdered at any time for those cau?ea. The highest contract
piice for buildiog and keeping coaohes In repair a
was, iu 1M7.13 Kid per single mile, the lowest 43 G4d. 0
per single niilo. This would amount at the maximum 1 (
to J.17 M per mile per annum, diily service, and at the 0
minimum to f.i k'j pvr mile per annum, daily service. ,
Tbe contract prices for horsing and conveying the
n.ails varlsd from 0 to Oil per siugle uiile. (. ompett- ,,
lion fir the busineFS of transporting travel hw , ,
reductd the average price of coach service below that a
of their horse or cart posts ; and much below , ,
what tlmllar transportation costs on the con- | *
Orient; but then In Krance and Germany, the r
Department derives revenue on suish routes from 1 a
pai-sengrr fare as well as postage. The Kngliah f
mail coLtracts are of the same general character with (
ours. '1 he duties of tbe contrac tora and powera of t
the loMmaster Oeneral are stated with mueh more H
particularity. Kor instance, it la stipulated that one ,.
team of horsea shall not be driven so far aa to berime j,
necessary to water them and a coachman shall not bo I t
confiied to a single stage, but shall drive aa gr-at an tl
extent of the road aa the Postmaster General shall
prescribe. The power of ordering the dismissal of a ,,|
driver, which la leserved In our contracts, la extended tl
in theirs to the horsea and every part of the establlxh- ?
mant. They reserve to the Postmaster Oeneral the
power of substituting another contractor for cause, tfi
wiinnui nimiiuiDK me contract or cnur^inn rAp^uir?. rr
Incurred in procuring ubetitute ferrice . anj of for- tI
Siting the pay accruing oinoe the iant pay day. where pr
the contractor bw been In default and diMni*n<?d. The u,
contracts for the rural pnft? and other Inferior fterrlce ir
ire made by the Surveyor of the di'trlot. and In hi* p|,
Dame, acting in behalf of the I'oetm iKter General A sr
r'ght of appeal in given to the Poetm?*ter General cj,
'rom the decision of the Surveyor againat the contrao- OT
tor. under the reiwrved power* In the contract. I do
Dot tee that the pewer to make deduction* In tha na- (B
tnre of a floe tor delayi and failnre, aa la done ^
n onr contract#, I* given 1? KngHih nail D0
ontraatn. It i? specially renerved In ahe German ?<
loaUMU j and the tinaa ui appropriated to Ut?
- <**
Ti D."
< Twn rpivvi
* ?f V/ X 0(
po?t poor fund. Id Trance the punishment Is to pl*e?
tb? driver who falls behind his time at the foot of the
roll, which is kept of all driver*, with a view to thair
prr.rni ti( n , and if the fault Bootinu?n, reduce him to
a route yielding an inferior ci.mp* mat on. It wnnld
be an improvement to have the contractu instead of
terminating all at one time in each section, to end on
different jean. ?o that an entire service of one '(Uar
teroftbe I nion will not be left to the hazard* incident
to ? new jet of eontrftctora.
V. ? Civ* I'oits.
An human** postofHce bu*ine*a i? <lona in Lon
don and Tails in transporting latter* from ona
part of tb? city to another Four huaJrml and
fifty latter-cftrrier* are employed in Tftria, anl aa my
memorandum show*. 1307 in London, (at pay of
fn m 15* to So* sterling lerweek) besides s u peri n ten
dent*. *urvey( r?, in<p< c'or*, < lerks, fortera, t-ub sorters,
and messengers, connected with the name branch ot
serviee it in estimated that the number of letters in
circulation in the delivery of Loudon,exclaaiveaf those
of the(>enerftl Post. war. in 1847. ov*r thirty-three million*.
It 1* a greftt mistake, which r ome ii?V4 fallen
into, that this aerrine i* done without charge to the
citizen. lie pays a* much postage tor a letter convened
from one street to the nest in London a* from
I.undsend to the Orkney*, vis: one penny, in Parift
the city postage was, in 1847, :i sous. Letters a re delivervd
ten times a day in London, and from 0 to '2 in
itt environs, extending twelve miler from the (tanernl
Post,( ilice. In Paris the deliveries are madexeven times
ft day. A complicated and extensive organisation la
devoted to this business. embracing *ub-olHoe*. re
ceiving house*, and acciUratnri. Krom It a large
revenue is derived , aud it Is furtner used to
collect letters for the (;?n> ral Post and to deliver
the letters which have ooraa through
the mails without ftny Additional chargn The
oity post busineis in the I'nitud States i* performed
chiefly by private enterprise. At tbtt rat* of three or
Tour rent", which lh? law impose*. or at the Knghah
rate of one penny (two cijutNi. todlviduel* ctn underbid
the noTciomfnt lor tbia bu?in?K*-and there In no
legal prohibition To compete with the in successfully,
net ouly must the city po-ta-cn be reduced, but the
department must get up like arruegcrnxnt* to thOM of
London and Tarn. The plan* you hare In contemplation
of re-arranging the carrier service with *ubt
tlli-en and receiving bou?e?. accomplishe* all purpose*,
no lar an public acaommodation in concerned, a' a ooat
to the citizen of oiw cent per letter; which la twothird*
leae than in i'aris, one half 1?** than in London,
and l'rom one half to two-thirds, or three-fourth*, leaa
than our preaent city rate. The objection la, that it
sacrifices all revenue from city po*t letter* ; but all
that we have hitherto obtained, ha* been inaufllaient
to meet the coat of their conveyance. It will not
effeot a free delivery of General Post letter*;?hat
that la an extra accommodation, rendered after the
letter ha* performed it* regular circulation through
the mail* : and, before it ia extended, either exclusively
to the clti/.en who livei within eu>-y accea* totbeofflce,
or to all. whether far or near, our flrat efforts, It appear*
to me. rhculd be devoted to the mere needed and mora
e-}ual reform of reducing pontage on matter within the
malla to its minimum.
VI.?Tiif. Frahxino Privilege
I* aboliahed in Great Uritaio ; but membera of
Parliament are entitled to receive, free of charge,
petition* addrersed to either house. provided they
ar<* aent without covers, or in oover* open at the
aide*, and do not exceed the weight of thirty-two
ounce*. Addrrsae* to the <{ueen likewise go free
of p<>tag?. In France, tbe franking privilege ie
extended by older of the Minister of Finance to
certain public otllcra for their official correspondent
only. In the German States the king and royal
funiil V ?><! I'mlmii.lo. < I... ? 1.1
j < .. . .UjU, IUO iriUMUt
privilege. Government olHrcri fosses* it for their
ollloial correspondence; and tb? I'ostma'ter General
I" authorised to extend it to moieties for the promotion
of soience and art* and benevolent objects j but their
correspondence must pass unsealed
VII. Moke* Orukr OrricRR.
On the continent, *peoial provHons nre mad"
for tbe conveyance of money through the mail
?the department ensuring it. The French charges
amount to an average of fire per cent on the deposite
of coin ?and an nrd^r payable at any or
tbe (fllcca in Fracoe will be given for *uch deposits,
at a charge of five per cent, with a stamp tax, if
the < rder Is over ten france, e jual to ieri>n c-nt*. la
Germany the like facilities are furnished by the mail*,
tithtr tor forwarding the money in specie, or by
an order, at a complex seal* of charge* founded
on tbeir pottage rates-gold and drafts b-ing placed
at half tbe charge of silver in fcluKlaau orders
are not given for a lurger amount than .C5, ana
the charge is threepence for orders of ?2 and lest, and
sixpence for order* over. This facility for transmit ting
tmall sum*. is nsed in Great oritain to an enor
mous t stent, the transact us Amounting, in 1817, to
X14.Ho, 153 1 ' *. Od sterling 1 was told that.| a 1837.
it occupied the time of hut tbr?? elerke, ?4 uon
nearly 300 officers and clerks are emplnved at the priicioal
cilice in Aldersgate street; and it ha* a branch
in every considerable post office in the kingdom. 1
brought with me a complete aod voluminous set of all
the forme and bltnkf. I>ut believing it unsafe to connect
such op*rations with our present defective mode
of mailing forwardlrg and accounting, I have deemed
V |iirui?uic riru lu PUWT UpOU IBM dlSCUMIOn
whether it would be expedient and proper to establish
nuch id Institution in aonnection with die Tost ifltcc
VIII.? Mis< ?.i.i.r.iKOi'i
I And tbe following feature* common to the mail
rflab'ifhtDt ntf of Ureal Brita'n and ?rm continent: ?
1 A flrcal (fllctr, not subordinate to the head of tbo
IK part ment to aot an tr?a?urer, and to chenk npon
(he acoounts of tbe I'oitmaater (ieneral. In hngland
I raw that tbe account* kept in detail were in tb*
barge of an officer appointed by the Poitmviter < Jeai-ral,
called tbe Accountant (ieneral. The flacal
ftictr first referred to who l>? commissioned by tbe
Loids of tbe Treasury. i? a'yied tbe Receiver U^aeral.
'I. (iuards to accompany tbe mails, furoi<h?d by t*l*
Depaitment with fire arm*, livery and chronometer,
o be returned when their cerv;c? o ansa The wage*
ire lialf a guinea a week In Knuland. with permission
o solicit fees from pas-enters. On t'm r tilway* they
rceive Jt'iU a )e?r advenc-H '0 Jt'lOO on the third year
if service, to ?115 on the tenth, and to ?13Jontbe
3. lWgistration of letters for an extra charge?on
he continent called recommended let'era In eas?
t tbcir leas, no indemnification is male by the KngIrb
pest office, but there la by some of tbe Uerman
iost establishments, to tbe extent of to tbalen in
cb caie.
4. Tbe delivery of letters by letter carriers, and
heir prompt return to tbe <!ead Utter ofHie, when
be laity addrcsttd cannot he found, exoept tbOM
marked ' potlt retlanlt," or ' to be kept till call?d
6. Tbe limitation of letters by weight. In K.ngland.
he single letter oannot exceed half an ouoen ; in
ranee, a uuarter of an ounce: in (?*ninv
ourtbf of a loth, now changed under a dearee of the
ecant roital Congreie at Dresden to a loth, whieh 1*
ialf an ounue.
0. The conveyance of money by tnall under ipeelal
egu!atl<>ns |See money order office.|
7. A dlvUlon of post office* Into at lea?t two classes.
I bex: that account t? the Ueneral Pout Ofliee, and
;htle that oo Lot In trance and Germany, one offico
iWne. lor a district, receives the account* of all the
flicex of that District, ami renders tbofo ascouat)
*i: h its n? n to the general office. I n tire at Brit tin. It
4 only tbi'fe that am ?ub rdinate in other reapoct*
hat rent *r their account* to another office instead of
he general office; and ibis is tbe division intoprin :[al
and sob offices that the gr >w:h of our departBen*
will con pei usevntually to ad >pt If, with thl*
liv sii n of the post oiHre*. a similar one should be
i.ade an to the routes arranging the inferior onei late
Kubordinate clasi, to be attend-d to undrr speeiBc in
truo'l>n.?. hy certain po?t mister* or loeal agent*
eMgnc.ted for the parp~>?e, both in ooniraetlag lor the
-rvire and In supervising it. great relief would be
floided to the auditing branch and to the coatraet
8 The taost general mode for paying poatruaatere"
uads or balances, is by remittances through the mail
a m' de I coniider inferior to our*.
Having stated what arrangementsi:e common to the
everal Kuronean svstsms, I will now refer to suoh Ml
xe peculiar to each.
In London, tfcey have no postmaster They substlute
for that (dice a superin'**nding president of inland
nd foreign mails, salary ?700; and a superintending
reildrnt of district posts salary the same. Every thing
cmiDg and going through tbn mails, falls under
be charge of the former, and whatever of mail matter
rlgtnatesand Is delivered within the populous circuit
t the I.ondon deliverv. eitemlin> twwiva miUj In
Irectlon lrom the office at St Manias Le Grand, is
nilrr that of the latter?tbe one accounting with
Ttrymiiil and the other every day, to the Aucount
t. t General I witneaaed the making up and daapatoh
I the evening mall. The.operatlon *a< auperiutendd
by two president*; there was said to be 809 persona
n duty, but there were, apparently, but 400 la the
win*. Tbey had a powerful coaljutor in a ete.tm
Pgme, that performed the labor of oonTeying lb*
i.eweagf ra, with their mill baga between the tint and
I'cond ?tnries, and ttanaporting packages between the
istrict pest and mailm* offices. ocotipylng tbeoppoite
wing* of the building At 0 o'clock r. M , the
:1lgow(. were clcaed againet all Utters and newspa>er?
except thone a?.ooiDp?nied by the late fee of Id.
nd ?td till 7 P. M . and tfd till half pa?t 7. From the
levatcd deck* of the presidents. I aaw the atamplag,
he obliterating of the po?tage arauipa. tbe sorting of
he lett< ra to tne route dt.?ka tbe counting up of the
mount of the pre-paid by the mailing clerks, aa a
ivekngairat the return* of the receivers, the poet
illirg ol the unpaid, the tying up. tbe wrapplug, and
ho l itirglrg The great nnmhera and the activity of
tie reene. made it one. apparently, of indee ;rlb?bfo
r nfiji< n; yet each had hi" allotted part, aud all cases
r doubt and 'iue*tion? of discretion were brought to
le preaidi nt', and promptly auawered; and so nicely
ua Una ibia inultlfarloua and immense labor adiuated
> the tin* ret that *? the last bait parsed through
1a d<KT. the clock struck 8. and the f ur immense
hid*, no thronged and bu*y, war** at nnca departed
id silent. 2U0 000 latter* ?n l newspapers m tha
< bihl*' number that laft tha office on that occasion,
it before they did ?o. tha account of this vast
nrutit of matter was prepared, checked, conj ted,
and on It* way to the Accountant General;
id tha monay collceted by tha receivers and window
nlf, accompanied by a ri-rlflei statement, was pa'(l
ar to tha Receiver General
Tha uniform rata of postage, and the discrimination
favor of pre-paymant by a <4t(T**rena? of one half of
a d-a'ge. aro peculiarities, as yet, or Che British
at (fflco, though after tha 1st January nest a similar
tern will go into operation in inaoe. Tl-eit j.r?

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