28 May 2023

Postage due on Official Mail

Generally, correspondence originating from government agencies will be sent free of postage. I always thought that this meant that ‘nobody’ paid for this but this was not the case. The Government had a contract with the P.T.T. stipulating that the P.T.T. would handle the Government’s mail at a reduced price.

Through accurate bookkeeping, the Government kept track of all such mail and then paid the P.T.T. accordingly. This system started in 1876. However, not all Dienstpost was paid for by the Government agencies. If, for example you contacted one of these agencies asking for some kind of personal information it could well be considered to be a private matter. In that case the requestor is asked to pay for the reply (Figure 1.).

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