19 april 2024

From April 1, 1892 till April 1, 1957 there has been a reduced rate for local shipments (with an exception in 1921-1928. This letter (19.10.1953) was sent from The Hague to the neighboring village of Wassenaar, but local was local, so the full letter rate was applicable. The sender thought however that it was so close by that local postage was sufficient.

So the sender glued a stamp of 7c on the letter, the local rate from July 1, 1953 till the end of the local rate, April 1, 1957. The post office didn’t agree for the rate had to be 10c. According to the rules, the missing 3c leads to a postage due of 6c.

The letter was addressed to the community counsel of Wassenaar. As a rule, like state and communities they didn’t accept a letter with postage due. A violet 3 lines postmark says Geweigerd voor/de strafport/Terug afzender (refused because of the postage due, return to sender.

That was a problem. There was no sender’s address on the envelope. The post office was not allowed to throw away but according to the postal law they were allowed to open the letter in order to find the senders address. The blue sealing tape says that the envelope has been opened in accordance with Postal Law.

There was an address inside (marked in red) and the letter was returned to the sender. He paid 6c (the postage due stamp, and glued 10c on it to match the correct postage and the letter was sent to Wassenaar. In red pencil is written ‘betaald’ to indicate the 6c postage due stamp has been paid for. A bit strange is the small postmark Rebut. It is an old type postmark and the reason why it is there is unknown.

René Hillesum

René Hillesum

Collector of postal history of Finland and postmarks of Imperial Saint Petersburg.

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