• Topic Title

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general stamp collecting discussions
#602 by simonk
Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:43 am
I've been stumped trying to work out the postal tariff used on 2 of my covers. As a bench mark I'm referencing the LPS Journal #222, and the article prepared by Ricardas Vainora, page 43 in particular.

The first is
1940-Dec-13 Express letter to US Consul, Berlin Germany, cancelled “VILNIUS C, g, 13.XII.40” with black registered cachet, red/black Express label and German “Oberkommando der Wehrmacht” censor mark in red “zur Beforderung zugelaffen” Type F1, plus circular “Aa” Type D1 by the “Auslandsbriefprüfstelle Königsberg”. On the reverse, a receiving cancel “BERLIN W8, a, 20.12.40” plus another censor mark: black curved oblong with “5”. Scott Soviet #392, #622 and #736, postage paid 140kop

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The second is
1941-Feb-17 Express letter to Geneva, Switzerland, cancelled “VILNIUS C, g, 17.2.41”, red/black express label and receiving cancel on reverse “GENEVE 2 GA???ORNAVIN, TELEGRAPHE, 27.II.41”. Scott Soviet #392, #619a pair, #622 and #736, postage paid 240kop

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The data referenced states that:
Foreign letter 20g 50kop
Letter extra 20g 30kop
Registered fee 80 kop
Express fee 110kop

That implies the German cover should cost at least 240kop, but they paid 140kop, and no marrying of the above tariffs come to 140kop.

The Swiss cover should have cost a minimum of 160kop, they paid 240kop which just so happens to be the correct rate for a 20g letter with registration and express fees.

Any thoughts anyone as to why these were sent and charged so? Simon
#605 by Audrius
Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:32 am
Posted on behalf of Dr. Vytautas Doniela:

Neither of the two letters was franked correctly. However, for that period incorrect franking is not infrequent due to the fact that (a) the new Soviet regulations were transmitted in a fragmentary manner, (b)  miscalculations occasionally were caused by the discrepancy between the "postal value" of the rouble and the litas, and (c) resultant personal confusion or simply inattention on the part of postal clarks.
 
1. The 1940 - XII - 13 Registered Express letter should have been prepaid 2 rb 40 kop  (not 1.40),  the charge consisting of:
Foreign letter 50 kop
Registration  80  kop
Express fee 110 kop
Total  240 kop.
 
2. The 1941 - II - 17 letter to Switzerland was intended to be registered so that the total charge indeed was 240 kop. calculated as above. As it happened, the postal clark absentmindedly (?) omitted to add the Registration strike. 
#606 by simonk
Sat Jan 28, 2012 3:40 pm
Thanks, it's good to read that it is acceptable to see covers totally off tariff rates! Using the postal system these days, it would be impossible (almost) for the post service to miss-charge for anything. We live in such different times without the fear and uncertainty that flooded through Eastern Europe back then. It is difficult to comprehend and remember how difficult working or administering the Civil and Government Offices were.

Simon