others are recorded, and (if not previously claimed by the owners) their contents are sold by auction at intervals. If the owner applies after the sale, the proceeds are handed over to him. In addition to these IO millions of letters, there were many others disposed of at head post offices, whence they were returned direct and unopened to the senders, whose names and addresses appeared on the outside of the letters. The total number of post cards received in the various offices as undelivered was 2,656,770; halfpenny packets, 12,439,377; newspapers, 473,346; and parcels, 248,526; 195,145 of these last were re-issued. Articles sent by the halfpenny post are destroyed at the head offices if they cannot be delivered; but the sender may have such articles returned if he writes a request to that effect on the outside of the packet, together with his name and address, and pays a second postage on the return of the packet. The number of registered letters and letters containing property sent through the post with insufficient addresses was 320,041. These letters contained £16,887 in cash and bank-notes, and £656,845 in bills, cheques, money orders, postal orders and stamps. The coin found loose in the post amounted to £1,380, as well as £12,272 in cheques and other forms of remittance.
| Despatched from the|
| Destined for the|
|Country or Colony.|| Letters|
|Belgium and Luxemburg||88,0||358,0||87,0||201,0|
|Denmark, Norway and Sweden||78,0||314,0||65,0||132,0|
|France (including Algeria and Tunis)||329,0||1,426,0||354,0||1,152,0|
| Gibraltar (including Tan-|
gier), Malta and Cyprus.
|Spain, Portugal and Azores||50,0||536,0||47,0||85,0|
| Turkey, Greece, Rumania|
and Balkan States
|Asiatic Turkey and Persia||8,5||100,0||5,0||35,0|
|India (including Aden) .||230,0||2,828,0||164,0||432,0|
| Ceylon, Straits Settle-|
ments and East Indies .
|China and Japan||54,0||762,0||55,0||84,0|
|South African Colonies||323,0||2,671,0||237,0||530,0|
| East Coast of Africa (British and|
Portuguese Possessions), Mauritius, &c.
| West Coast of Africa, Madeira, Canary|
Islands, Cape Verde, St Helena and Ascension.
|United States .||397,0||2,850,0||431,0||2,488,0|
|Canada and Newfoundland||248,0||1,891,0||187,0||616,0|
| Mexico and Central Ameri|
-can States .
| Brazil, Argentine Republic,|
Uruguay and Paraguay .
|Chile, Peru and Bolivia||15,0||195,0||17,0||34,0|
|Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela||7,0||83,0||3,0||4,0|
|West Indies (British and Foreign)||49,0||449,0||31,0||47,0|
|Commonwealth of Australia||122,0||1,600,0||80,0||534,0|
|New Zealand, Fiji, &c.||56,0||753,0||40,0||333,0|
The table in opposite column shows the estimated weight of the mails (excluding parcels) exchanged with the British colonies and foreign countries in 1905-1906. The number of letters and post Foreign Mails.cards may be roughly taken at 40 to the ℔.
During the same year 2,474,003 parcels were dispatched out of the United Kingdom, and 1,431,035 were received from the British colonies and other countries. Germany, with 3 56,423, received the largest number of any one country, and easily heads the list of countries from which parcels were imported into the United Kingdom, with 474,669, France coming next with 254,490.
On the 1st of January 1889 a weekly all-sea service to the Australasian colonies was opened. The rates were 4d. per 1 oz. for letters, and 2d for post cards, as compared with 6d. and 3d. by the quicker route. In the Budget of 1890 provision was made for a lower and uniformForeign and Colonial Letter Rates. rate of postage from the United Kingdom to India and the British colonies generally. The rates, which had hitherto varied from 25d. to 4d., 5d., or 6d. per 5 oz., were fixed at 25d. per 5 oz. The change took effect on the 1st of January 1891, and resulted at the outset in a loss of £100,000 a year., The fourth postal union congress, which met at Vienna in May and June 1891 (third congress at Lisbon, February and March 1885), took a further step in the direction of uniformity, and on the 1st of October 1891 the 21d. rate was extended to foreign as well as colonial letters from the United Kingdom. The Australasian colonies gave their adhesion to the Union at this congress, and the Cape signified its adhesion at the next congress (Washington, May and June 1897), while British Bechuanaland and Rhodesia entered in 1900, and the whole of the British Empire is now included in the international union. Abyssinia, Afghanistan, Arabia, China and Morocco are the chief countries which remain outside. The rate was 25d. the first oz., and 15d. per oz. afterwards.
Advantage was taken of the presence in England of special representatives of India and the principal British colonies to hold an imperial postal conference in London in June and July 1897, under the presidency of the duke of Norfolk, postmaster-general. Chiefly atImperial Penny Post. the instance of Canada the duke announced that on and from Christmas Day ISQS an imperial penny post would be established with such of the British colonies as were prepared to reciprocate. The new rates (1d. per 5 oz.), which had long been advocated by Mr Henniker Heaton, were adopted then or shortly afterwards by the countries within the empire, with the exceptions of Australasia and the Cape, where the 25d. rate remained unaltered. The Cape came afterwards into the scheme, and New Zealand joined in 1902. Australia did not see its way to make the necessary financial arrangements, but in 1905 agreed to receive without surcharge letters from other parts of the empire prepaid at rd. per 5 oz. and reduced its outward postage to 2d. per 1 oz., raised to 1 oz. in 1907. In 1911 penny postage was adopted throughout the commonwealth and to the United Kingdom. Owing to the special relations existing between the governments of Egypt and the United Kingdom, penny postage for letters passing between the United Kingdom and Egypt and the Sudan was introduced in December 1905; and