Lebanon – The French military post agent on the Beirut’s Marina

This article is inspired by observation of the great interest regarding an envelope as lot 41, starting at 700 Euro and sold for 1’100 Euros by Cedarstamps auction house in the 23 November 2019 sale (fig 1).

fig 1

It is an envelope most probably written and sent by an officer of the French navy embarked on the Dunkerque Aviso*. The consignor had the magnificent idea of attaching a cinderella stamp on the front of the envelope depicting the small warship and his crew on the ship’s deck. At the bottom of the stamp on the left is the inscription “International Express, La Seyne-sur-mer” which certainly refers to the publishing and printing house. Unfortunately I can’t say more about this cinderella. We now come to the means by which the envelope was routed, first in the military and then in the civilian postal system which the former used for transport the mail in “special military sack” in peacetime. I specify that this was due for normal correspondence between military and relatives/friends and not for the service releases for which radio encryption secure means was normally used.

The envelope was then written in the military port of Beirut, called at the time “Beyrouth Marina” and the stamp cinderella amicably canceled with the regulatory administrative stamp in violet “MARINE FRANCAISE – SERVICE A LA MER” which was used to authorize the free of charge shipment of mail for military who had the right.

In the military port of Beirut I have always assumed that there was a military relay service used to transport mail from the port (A) to the “Serrail” (B), imaginable through the indications on the map of the port of Beirut that I show (fig 2).

*adopted by the French and Portuguese navies to classify their medium-sized warships.

fig 2 – Port of Beirut, detail from a 1945 map drawn by the Free French Forces.

I have been able to observe various postal objects send with seals inscription “BEYROUTH MARINE”, they were affixed by the military relay to indicate their origin once they arrived at the military post office (figs 3 and 4). It is no coincidence that the envelope in figure 4 has the seal covered by the stamps: its presence was no longer needed since the envelope was consigned to the civil post office and regular franked with stamps used to pay the full free. Why to the Serrail? Because from the latest information in my possession that was the place where the French military post office was installed, indicated as “Sector Postal 600” which served the military based in Beirut and the surrounding areas.

fig 3 – Cover sent to France free of charge, forwarded on 18/10/1928 by Marina military relay to the P.A.A. 600 based in the Serrail.

fig 4 – Cover sent by air to Greece, originated from Beirut port and forwarded by the Marina military relay to the civilian post office

Then our envelope arrives in the French military post office which provided on 16/8/1932 to affix the regulatory cancellation “Postes Aux Armees 600” and a rectangular advertising seal praising the speed of mail sent by air. I also show an envelope sent by the civilian postal agency located near the military base that used a bilingual seal “AVENUE DES FRANCAIS BEYROUTH”, is very rare (fig 5).

fig 5 – Cover sent to Transjordan on 27/11/1935, originated from “AVENUE DES FRANCAIS BEYROUTH” post agency near the port area

I end by showing, by way of complement, an illustrated postcard of the port of Beirut (fig 6 and 7) sent on 2/7/1974 by the post office of “BEYROUTH PORT” probably established in the late 1950s, the final landing point for all mail sent from the port area of ​​Beirut.

fig 6 – The photo side Post card with image taken from the roof of one of the buildings in point “A” in fig 2. In the foreground a small Lebanese warship

fig 7 – The back side Post card sent to Italy with stamp of 40 Piastres cancelled by the bilingual postmark “BEYROUTH PORT” on 2/July/1974

Bernardo Longo

Non solo ora – Disinfezioni e quarantene nel passato – Not just now – Disinfections and quarantines in the past

Questo articolo e’ dedicato a tutti i miei connazionali in Italia costretti alla quarantena dal virus Covid 19. Eccezionalmente esso sara’ pubblicato anche nella lingua di Dante per facilitarne la lettura a quelli che come me poco sono avvezzi a quella di Shakespeare.

This article is dedicated to all my compatriots forced to quarantine in Italy by the Covid 19 virus. Exceptionally it will also be published in Dante’s language to facilitate its reading to those who, like me, are not very accustomed to that of Shakespeare.

 

Nel passato non poche furono le epidemie che colpirono le popolazioni umane, esse furono causate sia da batteri che da virus.  Come oggi anche nel passato gli scambi commerciali ed il turismo, che all’epoca si manifestava sotto forma di pellegrinaggio religioso, erano vettori di epidemie. Nel Bacino del Mediterraneo dal XVII secolo si generalizzarono i presidi sanitari di controllo finalizzati alla circoscrizione di queste forme epidemiche. Altri supposti vettori epidemici erano le comunicazioni epistolari: le lettere (fig 1). Tra le azioni di prevenzione attiva verso queste ultime, vi era quella della fumigazione, cioe’ si sottoponeva la lettera in arrivo da luoghi sospettati di essere focolai epidemici, al passaggio tra fumi di incenso, resine ed altri aromatizzanti (fig 2).

In the past there were many epidemics that affected human populations, they were caused by both bacteria and viruses. As today, even in the past, commercial exchanges and tourism, which at the time manifested itself in the form of a religious pilgrimage, were vectors of epidemics. In the Mediterranean basin from the 17th century was generalized a form of health supervision posts aimed at circumscribing these epidemic forms. Other supposed epidemic vectors were the epistolary communications: the letters (fig 1). Among the active prevention actions towards the latter, there was that of fumigation: the letter arriving from places suspected of being epidemic outbreaks was subjected to the passage between incense fumes, resins and other flavorings (fig 2).

(fig 1) Lettera spedita dal Console Sardo in Algeri il 15/8/1828 per Marsiglia via Livorno. Nella citta’ toscana venne apposto il tampone di controllo del Lazzareto di San Rocco. Sulla lettera non e’ visibile nessuna azione disinfettante.

(fig 1) Letter sent from the Sardinia Consul in Algiers on 15/8/1828 to Marseilles via Leghorn. The control seal of the San Rocco’s Lazaret was placed in the Tuscan city. No disinfectant action is visible on the letter.

 

(fig 2) Lettera spedita il 28/2/1829 dall’Agenzia consolare Sarda di Beirut per il Console generale di Alessandria d’Egitto. Non vi sono tracce apparenti di tamponi di controllo del Lazzareto Egiziano ma invece sone evidenti le tracce di disinfezione tramite fumigazione che ha provocato un imbrunimento della carta.

(fig 2) Letter sent on 28/2/1829 by the Sardinian consular Agency of Beirut to the Sardinian Consul General of Alexandria in Egypt. There are no apparent traces of Egyptian Lazaret control seal but evident traces of disinfection by fumigation that has browned the paper.

 

Un’altro sistema di “supposta” disinfezione era quella del taglio o della punzonatura della lettera per farne uscire la “cattiva aria” (fig 3, 4 e 5). Inutile dire che si trattava, come quello precedente, solo di un metodo empirico che non garantiva assolutamente la sterilizzazione da eventuali batteri o virus, ammettendo che essi fossero sopravvissuti alla lunga traversata marittima. Insomma un palese atto tendente piu’ ad un simbolico tentativo funzionale all’immagine di chi gestiva l’emergenza.

Another system of “supposed” disinfection was that of cutting or punching the letter to excrete out the “bad air” (fig 3, 4 and 5). Needless to say it was just an empirical method, like the previous one, that absolutely did not guarantee sterilization from any bacteria or viruses, admitting that they had survived the long sea crossing. In short, a clear act tending more to a symbolic attempt functional to the image of those who managed the emergency. 

(fig 3) Anche le lettere che accompagnavano i beni spediti via nave venivano sottoposte al taglio disinfettante. Come in questa lettera che accompagnava un sacco spedito da Aleppo il 29/3/1790 e diretto alla ditta Guerin basata presumibilmente a Marsiglia.

(fig 3) Even the letters that accompanied the goods sent by ship were subjected to the disinfection slits. As in this letter which accompanied a sack sent by Aleppo on 29/3/1790 and directed to the Guerin company presumably based in Marseilles.

 

(fig 4) Posta consolare sarda, inviata da Alessandria il 24/03/1837 per Beirut, all’epoca di Muhammad Ali, Khedive d’Egitto. Arrivando a Beirut in quella che ancora oggi si chiama “Quarantina”, la lettera fu sottoposta a disinfezione tramite i due tagli verticali inferti alla lettera. Si tratta di un’importante testimone del Lazzareto di Beirut, installato da Ibrahim Pasha nel 1834 e per molto tempo unico presidio sanitario sulla costa siriana.

(fig 4) Sardinian Consular mail, sent from Alexandria on 24/3/1837 to Beirut, under Muhammad Ali, Khedive of Egypt. In arrive at the “Quarantine” of Beirut, the letter was subjected to disinfection by two piercing vertical slits. Important witness of the operating Lazzaretto in Beirut, installed by Ibrahim Pasha in 1834, for a long time the only health facility on the Syrian coast.

 

 

(fig 5) Lettera spedita da Smirne il 29/5/1843 per Marsiglia. Uno dei presidi sanitari più importanti del Mediterraneo era quello di Malta. L’isola era tappa obbligata delle navi della compagnia di navigazione francese Messageries Maritimes, fondata nel 1835. Le lettere trasportate,  transitando dall’isola, venivano sottoposte a controllo e vistate con un caratteristico timbro a doppio cerchio con la dicitura in francese “PURIFIE AU LAZARET MALTA”. Ne esistono due tipi di differenti dimensioni.

(fig 5) Letter sent from Smyrna on 29/5/1843 to Marseilles. One of the most important health facilities in the Mediterranean was that of Malta. The island was a stop for ships of the French shipping company Messageries Maritimes, founded in 1835. The letters transported passing through the island, were checked and endorsed with a characteristic double circle stamp with the French wording “PURIFIE AU LAZARET MALTA “. There are two types of different sizes.

 

Sorprendente come l’azione di coordinamento tra le varie amministrazioni che supervisionavano i cordoni sanitari avvenisse in modo cosi formale come illustrato nella lettera ufficiale nella figura 6. Si ebbe notizia di focolai epidemici a volte in modo particolarmente anomalo, se non altro per la zona da cui venne divulgata l’informativa. Come nel caso di un rapporto sanitario partito non si sa come dalla Svizzera e diretta a Marsiglia a proposito di un’epidemia di colera manifestatasi sulla costa siriana, tappa abituale dei mercantili francesi.

Surprising how the coordination action between the various administrations that supervised the sanitary cordons took place in such a formal way as illustrated in the official letter in figure 6. There was news of epidemic outbreaks sometimes in a particularly anomalous way curiously from the area from which the information was disclosed. As in the case of the health report left from Switzerland and directed to Marseilles about a cholera epidemic that occurred on the Syrian coast, an usual stage of the French merchant ships.

(fig 6) Importante lettera del 17/12/1843 indirizzata al Presidente del Consiglio della Sanita’ di Napoli, allora capitale del Regno Delle Due Sicilie, spedita da Costantinopoli dall’Intendenza Generale della Salute dell’Impero Ottomano. Oltre che per i sigilli, il timbro del Lazzareto di Malta e l’arrivo a Napoli attraverso la linea francese di navigazione marittima, quello che rende particolarmente interessante la lettera e’ il contenuto scritto nel quale, oltre a redigere un sommario rapporto sulla situazione in Turchia, lo scrivente manifesta l’interesse per quelle che sono i sistemi di quarantena a cui sono soggetti gli arrivi a Napoli dall’Impero Ottomano. La lettera e’ firmata M. Marchand. Sicuramente si tratta del primo contatto tra i due presidi sanitari.

(fig 6) Important letter dated 17/12/1843 for the President of the Health Council of Naples, then capital of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies sent from Constantinople by the General Healthcare Manager of the Ottoman Empire. In addition to the wax seal, the stamp of the Lazaret of Malta and the arrival cancel of Naples via the French navigation line, what makes the letter particularly interesting is the written content where, in addition to drawing up a summary report on the situation in Turkey, it manifests the interest in what are the quarantine systems to which arrivals in Naples from the Ottoman Empire are subject. The letter is signed by the Healthcare Manager M. Marchand. It is certainly the first contact between the two health centers.

 

Curiosa e grave inefficienza si deduce dalla lettera nella figura 7, scritta dal “Console di Marina” di La Spezia, spedita da Genova il 27/2/1855 e diretta a Costantinopoli per chiedere notizie sulla morte li avvenuta per colera di un marinaio ligure. Dopo solo un mese il Regno di Sardegna partecipo’ alla guerra di Crimea senza tener conto alcuno dell’epidemia qui denunciata: essa provoco’ la maggior parte di morti nelle file sarde in quella spedizione militare.

Curious and serious inefficiency can be deduced from the letter in figure 7, written by the “Consul of Marina” of La Spezia but sent from Genoa on 27/2/1854 and directed to Constantinople to ask about the death of a Ligurian sailor due to cholera. After only a month the Kingdom of Sardinia participated in the Crimean war without taking into account any of the cholera epidemic: it caused most of the deaths in the Sardinian ranks in that military expedition.

(fig 7) La lettera di doppio porto, come si evince dalla cifra “2” apposta il alto a sinistra, fu spedita da Genova il 27/2/1855 tramite un battello delle Messageries Maritimes grazie alla convenzione tra la compagnia e l’Amministrazione Postale sarda. Essa giunse a Costantinopoli il 10 marzo seguente e fu assoggettata ad una tassa di 20 decimi di Franco (2 franchi Francesi) essendo appunto di doppio porto.

(fig 7) The double rate letter, as can be report by number “2” affixed to the top left, was sent from Genoa on 2/27/1855 by a steamer of Messageries Maritimes thanks to agreement between the company and the Sardinian Postal Administration. It arrived in Constantinople on 10 March following and was subject due the wight to a tax for double rate of 20 tenths of Franc corresponding to 2 French Francs. 

 

Virus e batteri si dice che non conoscono confini, ed e’ vero. Questo si evince dalla rara lettera con testo alla fig 8, spedita durante l’epidemia di colera del 1855 in Toscana. Lo scrivente, direttore del Real Collegio di Lucca, spiega al padre di uno degli allievi che a causa di alcuni focolai nella citta’ e stato costretto a rifugiarsi in campagna nella localita’ di Vicopelago da cui scrisse questo importante testimone cartaceo giunto fino a noi. Assicura della buona salute degli allievi e del fatto che essi siano sotto controllo medico ed allo stesso tempo impegnati a studiare per gli esami che si terranno “secondo le circostanze” in settembre o ottobre.

Viruses and bacteria are said to know no boundaries, and it’s true. This can be seen from the rare letter with text in fig 8, sent during the 1855 cholera epidemic in Tuscany. The writer, director of Real Collegio of Lucca, explains to the father of a student that due to some outbreaks in the city he was forced to take refuge in the countryside in the locality of Vicopelago from which he wrote this important paper-witness that has come to us. It ensures the good health of the students and that they are under medical supervision and at same time committed to studying for the tests that will be held “according to the circumstances” in September or October.

(fig 8) La lettera fu scritta in Vicopelago il 21/7/1855 ma fu spedita da Lucca per Ferrara il giorno dopo. Fu affrancata con una coppia orizzontale del francobollo da 2 crazie azzurro verdastro annullata con il muto a rombi di Lucca. La tariffa corrispondeva a quella stabilita dalla convenzione tra la Toscana e lo Stato Pontificio di cui Ferrara faceva parte. In arrivo fu attuata la punzonatura sanitari preventiva tramite due tagli verticali ed al verso fu apposto il timbro circolare con scritte in corsivo “Ferrara Netta Fuori e Dentro”.

(fig 8) The letter was written in Vicopelago on 7/21/1855 but was sent from Lucca to Ferrara the next day. It was franked with a horizontal pair of the stamp from 2 crazie greenish blue stamp canceled with the Lucca diamond mute. The rate correspond to that established by the agreement between Tuscany and the Papal States of which Ferrara was a part. On arrival the preventive health punching was carried out by means of two vertical slits attested by the circular seal affixed on the back with italics written “Ferrara Netta Fuori e Dentro” referred to the letter and translatable like “Ferrara Clean Inside and Outside”. 

 

Non solo le lettere trasportate dalla linea di navigazione francese erano soggette alla disinfezione. Nel Meditterraneo essa era generalizzata e come abbiamo gia visto si attuava anche sui tragitti brevi interni qualora vi erano focolai epidemici attivi. Ma le epidemie spostandosi generalmente da est ad ovest provocavano sovente il controllo e la supposta disinfezione sopratutto alle lettere provenienti dal levante e trasportate dalle varie compagnie di navigazione tra cui anche quella del Lloyd Austriaco (fig 9).

Not only were the letters carried by the French shipping line was subject to disinfection. In the Mediterranean Sea it was generalized and, as we have already seen, it also took place on internal surface transport, also short when there were active epidemic outbreaks. But epidemics, generally moving from east to west, often caused control and supposed disinfection above all to letters come from the Levant, transported by various shipping companies including that of the Austrian Lloyd (fig 9).

(fig 9) Lettera spedita da Costantinopoli il 27/1/1872 per Livorno via Brindisi con un inconsueta affrancatura di 35 soldi, trasportata dalla compagnia marittima del Lloyd Austriaco. Questa compagnia come quella francese, inizio’ ad operare dalla seconda meta’ degli anni 30 del XIX secolo. Ignoro se i due tagli di disinfezione furono effettuati a Brindisi o a Livorno ma sicuramente essi vennero inferti in un Lazzareto dell’allora territorio del Regno d’Italia.

(fig 9) Letter sent from Constantinople on 27/1/1872 to Livorno via Brindisi with an unusual franking of 35 soldi, transported by the Austrian Lloyd shipping company. This company, like the French one, began operating from the second half of the nineteenth century. I do not know if the two disinfection cuts was originated in Brindisi or Livorno but were certainly made in a Lazaret on then Kingdom of Italy.

 

Concludo con una rara cartolina (fig 10) del Lazzareto di Trieste, all’Epoca facente parte dell’Impero Austro-Ungarico. Essa fu scritta da un Viaggiatore proveniente dal levante e sottomesso a quarantena preventiva di “tre giorni” (sic) appunto nello stabilimento di prevenzione sanitaria di Trieste. All’epoca si riteneva impossibile d’estirpare le epidemie che avevano mietuto milioni di vittime ma con i progressi scientifici del XX secolo si e’ arrivati a debellarne la maggior parte. L’umanita’ ha sempre convissuto con le malattie epidemiche e se siamo giunti ad essere piu’ di sette miliardi di abitanti sulla terra significa che abbiamo superato crisi maggiori di questa attuale. Passera’.

I conclude with a rare postcard (fig 10) of the Lazzareto of Trieste, at the time belonging to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was written by a traveler come from the Levant and subjected to a “three day” (sic) preventive quarantine in the Trieste health prevention facility. At the time, it was considered impossible to eradicate the epidemics that had claimed millions of victims, but with the scientific progress of the twentieth century, most of them were eradicated. Humanity has always lived with epidemic diseases and if we have reached more than seven billion inhabitants on earth it means that we have overcome major crises than this one. It will pass.

(fig 10) Cartolina impostata tramite la cassetta di bordo del piroscafo del Lloyd Austriaco caratterizzato dal numero XLVII (47) come riportato nell’annullo postale che annullo’ il francobollo del Levante Austriaco da 20p/5k il 15/5/1900. Inoltrata all’ufficio di Trieste n1 il giorno dopo, arrivo’ a Bruxelles il 18 maggio del 1900. Alla luce delle nostre conoscenze risulta ridicola una quarantena di soli tre giorni, ma nel passato un povero ricco turista che poteva permettersi il Grand Tour aveva pur diritto a qualche piccolo sconto. O no?

(fig 10) Postcard posted on the post-box on board of the Austrian Lloyd steamer characterized by the number XLVII (47) as reported in the postmark that cancels on 15/5/1900 the 20p/5k Austrian Levant stamp. Forwarded to the Trieste Post branch n. 1 the next day, she arrived in Brussels on 18 May 1900. In the light of our knowledge, a quarantine of only three days is ridiculous, but in the past a poor wealthy tourist who could afford the Grand Tour had right to small discount. Or not?

 

Da Beirut con amore                                                                                             From Beirut with love

Bernardo Longo

 

 

 

 

Lebanon – The post offices of the Bekaa Valley October 1918/September 1920

This article appeared in a slightly different form in “The Levant” Journal of the Ottoman and the Near East Philatelic Society issued in 3 September 2019.

The Bekaa valley, currently Lebanese territory, is located between the Mount Lebanon and the Anti-Lebanon mountain chains, the latter became the current eastern frontier with Syria. Regarding longitude it is included between the areas of Hermel in the north and Hasbaya in the south. Due to its climatic characteristics and the particular fertility of the soil, it is a place of great and heterogeneous agricultural production. It was ancient territory of the Ottoman Empire until the end of September 1918. In those days when Turkish troops retreated towards Aleppo, the Bekaa Valley was occupied by Arab troops under British control advancing from the south. This act differs from the French-British agreement, so-called Sykes-Picot, which assigned to French military administration the entire area of ​​the Bekaa constituted by the “Caza” of Baalbek, Hasbaya and Rachaya together with the coastal area from Tyre in the south to Alexandretta in the north (fig 1).

Fig 1. The area that concerns the current Le­banon in a Map of the first half of 1920 reproducing the density of post offices in the two areas. You can see the density difference of post office/area between the coastal area in yellow and the interior in dark green.

Therefore except the town of Zahle, all the territory of the Bekaa valley was incorporated into the nascent Syrian Territory administered by a military government appointed by the British commander Edmund Allenby and led by the emir Faisal, the third son of Hussein bin Ali, the Mecca’s Sheriff. From the postal point of view, from 22 October 1918 corresponding the day of the designation of the Syrian military government, until November 1919, i.e. when was made the withdrawal of the British troops who supervised occupied territories, there are no substantial differences on the postal documents sent from the two areas. The EEF stamps, made available by the British administration from November 1918, were used in the civil post offices of the two areas. In these offices the postal cancellations used were those of the old Turkish postal administration. The only difference, but not a minor one, was characterized by the presence of different censorship marks, a direct emanation of the two administrations (fig 2 and 3).

Fig 2. Cover sent on 10/10/1919 to Belgian Congo from Djubeil in the costal area, passed through the French cen­sorship that apposed oval censor seal “PASSE A LA CENSURE – O.E.T.A. OUEST” translatable like “Passed by Censor – Oc­cupied Enemy Territories Area West”.

Fig 3. Cover sent on 23/3/1919 to USA from Kefir near Hasbaya in the Bekaa area, passed through Dama­scus where was affixed the round negative seal “edarat el matbouaat – al hokuma al arabia – 1337” translatable like “Directorate of printed matter – Arabic Government – 1919”.

But do not be misled by these seal. We can observe on the mail sent from territories of the Bekaa addressed to Europa or Overseas, certain traces of the passage through the coastal zone, evidenced by French censorship marks affixed in Beirut (fig 4), but also vice versa, when shipping by sea from the French area was not available the mail was directed towards Egypt via Syria this was sometimes checked by Damascus censure.

Fig 4. Back side of coming figure 8 cover. The permeability of the line between the two areas can be deduced from this envelope sent by Mr “Sarkis Koury Sarkis of Zahle” who also added “written in Arabic” to show that even the inhabitants of this large agricultural center under French administration did not disdain to ship from near Malakat post office located in “Syrian” territory.

Therefore we can assert that from the area of the Bekaa under Syrian government, was used for mail transport not only the Malakat-Rayak-Damascus-Haifa-Port Said railway line, but also the sporadic trains of the Rayak-Malakat-Beirut line. It must immediately be said that unlike the areas administered by the French, where the civil post offices reopened from the middle of December 1918 (fig. 5), in the areas under Syrian administration, the post offices were opened shortly before in second half of November of same year (fig 6).

Fig 5. The first date recorded for the reopening of Beirut’s civil Post office on 13 December 1918 (Fire­brace reports an earlier date but I’ve never see) and the only recorded example of the Ot­toman octagonal cancel “BEYROUTH 1” used on cover after the war.

Fig 6. The re-opening of the civil offices in the Syrian area took place in mid-November 1918, about a month before those under French control zone. This envelope sent from Rachaya on 7 December 1918 for the USA was routed via Damascus where transit the day after. Resulting one of very few recorded envelopes departing from Rachaya in the first weeks after the post office reopened.

The number recorded of the latter so far amounts to 11, they were: Baalbeck, Bekaa (Malakat), Hasbaya, Jdita*, Karaoun, Kfeir, Rachaya, Rachaya El Foukhar, Rayak, Saidnail and Talia. The operation of Hermel’s post office remains unclear and the total amounting to 12 offices if included it. Regarding the use of EEF stamps they are known used in Baalbeck (fig 7), Bekaa (fig 8 and 9), Hasbaya (fig 10), Jdita (fig 11), Karaoun (fig 12), Kfeir and Rachaya, but surely the other cancels will emerge.

 Fig. 7

Fig. 8

Fig. 9

Fig. 10 from David Feldman auction

Fig. 11

Fig. 13 From David Feldman auction

 Rachaya El Fakhar

Talia

 

 

It must be said about E.E.F. stamps validity that they were withdrawn in the French area from 5 January 1920**, while in the Kingdom of Syria, including the Bekaa valley, they maintained their validity until the end of September 1920. From this we can deduce that Stanley Gibson catalog when indicates the last date of use for E.E.F. stamps in Lebanon in September 1920, because he saw its used in some place of the Bekaa Valley that only from September 1920 became officially Lebanese. As regards both the provisional with “al hokuma al arabia” handstamp and the definitive stamps of the Kingdom of Syria, issued respectively on 8 January and from 8 March both in 1920, they are until now to be recorded used in the following localities of Bekaa Valley: Baalbeck (fig 13), Bekaa (Malakat) (fig 14), Hasbaya (fig 15), Jdita (fig 16), Kfeir (fig 17), Rachaya (fig 18), Rachaya El Foukhar (fig 19), Rayak (fig 20), Saidnail (fig 21) and Talia (fig 22) but, as already said, surely other cancels will surface.

Fig. 13

Fig. 14

Fig. 15 From David Feldman auction

Fig. 16

Fig. 17

Fig. 18

Rachaya El Fakhar

Saidnail from Houssam Mhaissen collection

Of the six envelopes shown above, the first two can be appreciated respectively for the departure date of September 1920 (fig 13) and for the use of a block of four stamps (fig 14), the others are instead the only ones known with their respective cancellations affixed to stamps of the Kingdom of Syria.

The territory of the Bekaa suffered the events that characterized both the internal politics of the Syrian government and the stormy one towards the French that led to the military clash of Maysalun on 24 July 1920. Since the defeat of the Syrian troops, the area of Bekaa was subjected to military occupation regime. This until 1 September 1920, date of the founding “Grand Liban” (Greater Lebanon), the fruit of the union of Mount Lebanon, the regions of Akkar and Tripoli in the north, Saida and Tyr in the south, and the Bekaa area. In this region, as already mentioned the Syrian and the E.E.F. stamps in use were tolerated until the end of September (fig 13). From this date the “O.M.F. Syrie” overprint on French stamps becomes the only valid in the Bekaa, like already in the other regions of the coast and in those that will be form the Great Lebanon.

Rereading what has been written so far I have noticed that the mention of the Bekaa cancels could lead to various errors, therefore I precise: the cancellation Bekaa refers to the post office located in the Malakat station, near Zahle, it had two cancellations, the first was an Ottoman bilingual circular in use until February 1919 when mysteriously disappear replaced by the second, an Ottoman octagonal postmark originally with the name of a smaller town that was promptly partially chiseled so that only words Bekaa were left, in Latin and Arabic. To date we ignore which area’s postmark was sacrificed. It is found used up until 1926.

*see the article in this website “Reflections of Postal History – The Jdita cover”.

**see the article in this website “Beirut, mixed use of various issues stamps from the end of 1918 to the half of 1920“.

Bernardo Longo

 

The army postal Stamp tax of 1945

With great pleasure I present Wissam Lahham as a new contributor to the historical-postal research of Lebanon. Wissam is a resercher and lecturer at the political science institute of USJ in Beirut. His contributions will be of the highest documentary value. 

Bernardo Longo

The army postal tax stamp (Yvert n 197, Michel n 1, SG n T289, Scott RA1), cedar design with Beit-Eddin palace overprint additionally surcharged “Army stamp” in Arabic (5p on 30c) is a bit illusive regarding the date when it was first used (fig 1).

fig 1

The first reported use of the above mentioned stamp appears on a cover dated 11 June 1945 (fig 2).

fig 2

The problem emerges when we know that an ordinary fiscal stamp surcharged in western an Arabic numbers (5p on 1p20, Duston 146) was used as early as the 7th of June 1945 (fig 3) and also later on several recorded covers (fig 4).

 

fig 3

fig 4

This discrepancy needs a clear explanation to justify the use of two different stamps: the ordinary fiscal stamp starting the 7th of june and the army stamp tax later on the 11th june.

The political independence of Lebanon achieved in November 1943 was far from complete. Many public sectors remained under the direct control of the French mandate authorities such as customs, concessionary companies and public security. The Lebanese government demanded that all administrations should be under its control especially the army. The situation was further complicated when on 14 may 1945 a body of Senegalese troops (1200 soldiers) arrived in Beirut to reinforce the French army in the country. This incident provoked a violent reaction from both the Lebanese and Syrian government considering it a direct violation of their respective sovereignty. Thus the parliament convened and voted a law to cover the needs of the future Lebanese army demanding once again that the French authorities should hand over Lebanese soldiers to the control of the government.

The law was voted on the 29 may 1945. Article 2 created a wide range of taxes to finance the army and assure that once under Lebanese authority it will have all the proper means to function adequately. Among these measures an army tax stamp was created to be compulsory on all normal and registered mail both domestic and foreign (official mail and daily newspapers were exempted). Article 8 of the law specified that all new taxes will be implemented the next day following its publication in the official gazette. The law was published on the 6 of June 1945 (fig 5 and 6) and thus it went into effect on the 7 of the same month. This fact explains why the first use of ordinary fiscal stamp was recorded on the 7 June.

 

  

fig 5 & 6

On 9 June 1945 decree number 3328 was promulgated fixing in its first article that a total amount of 7’000’000 ordinary fiscal stamp (30c value) should be transformed to serve as the newly created army tax stamp with the 5 Piasters overprint (fig 7).

fig 7

Hence, the overprinting process was only sanctioned on the 9 June that is two days after the law came into effect on the 7th. Taking into account that printing the new value on the stamps began on the 9th it becomes comprehensible that the new army stamp was first introduced later on June 11. We can conclude with certainty that post offices used the ordinary fiscal stamp from 7 to the 10 June as a contingency measure until overprinting was over and the new army stamp was delivered to post offices starting 11 June 1945. It is worth noting that Lebanese troops (5000 soldiers) were officially handed over to the government on the first of august 1945.

Wissam Lahham

THE BEIRUT’S NAIL (an H)

This article was published by the author in the Vaccari Magazine n 44 of November 2010.

To talk about a particular cancellation of the Austrian Levant used in Beirut, it is necessary to start from a summary analysis of the postal seal and cancellations used by the foreign offices operating in the Lebanese city (Fig.1). It concerns precisely the wavering interpretation and representation, transcribed from the Arabic, of the toponym Beirut: بيروت . From 1845 the Austrian Lloyd agency used the Italian “BERUTTI”, characterized by Venetian assonance, while the consular post office started with the German “BEYRUT” in 1850, to make it uniform, returning in 1865, with the Italian-Venetian ” BERUTTI “. We then passed to the “BEIRUTH”, with the “H” final, in 1876 (but we will see to shed light on the real initial intent), to apparently arrive at “BEIRUT” in 1877, return to “BEIRUTH” always in 1877, and finally finish with “BEIRUT” from 1893 to 1914. The French and English offices kept the transcription steady, respectively in “BEYROUTH” from 1845 (with an interlude without “H” from 1854 to 1866) and “BEYROUT” from 1873. The Egyptian one from 1870, considering that in Arabic the vowels “e” and “o” do not exist, transcribe it phonetically literally in “BAIROUT”. In the Russian post office, since 1857, the transcription “БЕИРУТЪ” was used constantly; it can be translated into “Beiruth”, keeping in mind that, in Cyrillic, the sign “Ъ” (the final “H”) does not correspond to a letter but to the hardened accentuation of the preceding one. The German office, since 1900, simply and constantly adopted the transcription “BEIRUT”. It should be remembered that all these post offices, except the Egyptian that closed in 1872, officially ended on 30 September 1914.

 

Fig. 1

But we return to the cancellation, the one that the Austrian office started to use from 1876 (Fig.2). Unlike of the previous one, in the date also reported the year, and I do not think it was exclusively a dictation of the U.G.P. agreements, entered into force from 1 July 1875, but rather an adjustment, because in the offices of Constantinople and Alexandria their use is already known in 1874. Observing it, at first sight eye immediately catches an anomaly in the alignment of the fonts respect to the date and a disproportion between the width of the “H” and that of other fonts.

Fig. 2

So far nothing exceptional, if it were not that, in two envelopes that I have see, the final “H” is incomplete, accentuating its disproportion with the other fonts, almost disappearing (Figs. 3, 4 and 5).

Fig. 3

Fig. 4

Fig. 5

Precisely “almost to disappear”; but in 1879 it disappeared really (Fig.6), so much so that the cancellation was set aside and rarely used and was replaced by a new type of “Bastoncino” fonts comprising the merited final “H”. I believe that the anomaly in the alignment is to be interpreted as a manipulation that took place when the work was finished. The postmark, in fact, was coined with the word BEIRUT well centered compared to the date that was mobile, but, for reasons I do not say anti Italians but maybe pan Austrian, at the last moment was given an order to add the final “H”. The addition, on the already finish steel part, probably occurred by nailing the “H” font (inserted in an hole caused) (Fig.7). This leads one to believe that the font was molten and worked in soft metal, so it could not withstand long the stresses inflicted by the Postmaster Joseph Berhaupt. And what happened, that is the wear and detachment of the “H”, led the catalogs and collectors to consider it as a different type (as in reality it is from a certain date onwards).

Fig. 6

Fig. 7

Very short and conclusive geopolitical note of the period: before the agreements of the Triple Alliance of 1882 (Germany, Austria and Italy), between Italy and Austria there was not good blood. Austria did not properly consider Italian unity, achieved in his opinion, politically and morally opportunistically; the irredentism of the cities of  Trento and Trieste was also maturing, a thorn in the side of the Habsburgs, symptomatic of future events of war. Italy, in its turn, identified in the very Catholic Austria the old and new enemy from which to look, especially for its ostentatious support for the papal restoration project on the former territories of the church in central Italy regions. In short, the times of “Berutti” and the old Levant coats of arms, inherited from the “Serenissima” Republic of Venice, were ending; it was the period when Austria needed an “H”, even at the cost of nailing it.

Bernardo Longo

 

 

Lebanon 1926

The 1926 is the year that Lebanon adopts a constitution and officially becomes the Lebanese Republic (23 May 1926). It is also a complex year regarding the postage to pay for of a simple letter sent from the French Levant (Lebanon, Syria, Alawites) to foreign countries.
To summarize and without going into details:

From 25 July 1924 the flat rate for foreign was 4 Piastres. 

Morning cover sent from Bhamdoun to the United States, franked at 4 Piastres on 2 August 1925.

 

By October 1925 the rate was increased by ½ Piastre at 4½ Piastres.

Morning cover sent from Zghorta to the United States, franked at 4½ Piastres on 18 February 1926.

By April 1926 the rate was increased to the sum of 6 Piastres.

Morning cover sent from Beirut to France, franked at 6 Piastres on 10 April 1926. 

The rate for France is still equivalent to that for foreign countries.

Morning cover sent from Djounieh to the USA, franked at 6 Piastres on 18 August 1926. 

By September 1926 the rate was considerably increased by 4 Piastres at 10 Piastres.

The postage of a letter for the foreigner was 10 piastres (2 Fr). Need to overprint certain existing values due to lack of stamps and waiting for new issues with adapted values.
Unfortunately, I do not have any letters of mourning to illustrate this period.

Cover sent from Broumana to Scotland, franked at 10 Piastres on 21 September 1926. 

Cover sent from Beirut to Germany, franked at 10 Piastres on 6 October 1926. 

By November 1926 the rate was scaled at 7½ Piastres.

Cover sent from Tripoli to Guatemala, franked at 7½ Piastres on 6 February 1927. 

Registered cover sent from Zahle to France, franked at 15 Piastres ( 7½ Piastres registration fees) on 31 January 1927.

From 1 March 1928 letters to France and its Colonies & Territories benefit like internal postal rate at 4 Piastres.

Cover sent from Damascus to France, franked at 4 Piastres on 3 April 1929. 

The year 1926 is also the year that the Board of Directors of the State of Greater Lebanon will express the wish that an exceptional surcharge on current postage stamps be made in order to alleviate, to a certain extent, the state’s expenses that will have to support for the important economic help that it will have to distribute to the refugees and the victims of the regions affected by the disorders of 1925-1926.
These commemorative or charitable postage stamps, for which a surcharge is payable regardless of the postage value, must be made in such a way as to avoid any doubt about the postage value.

In accordance with this provision, the figurines will therefore be surcharged by overprinted in the French and Arabic languages both of the indication in small print “Secours aux Réfugiés”, that of their respective postage value.

Consequently, the draft decree provides for the 16 stamps to be overprinted by: the par value of each category, the value of postage and the sale price.
The total amount of the sale minus the costs of the surcharge, will be paid in full not the Post Office to the work of refugees and victims of the State of Greater Lebanon and no discount will be allocated on the occasion of the sale of these charity stamps.
The day of issue will take place on 1 May 1926.

These stamps will cease to be put on sale in the offices of the Levant States under French Mandate and on the Delegation of Paris from 1 November 1926.
The stock withdrawn from the service or existing in store will be destroyed by the care of the General Inspection.

Table showing the selling price of each stamp = the value of the stamp + the value of the surcharge.

What is special here is that the surcharge on the stamp corresponds to the postage value! This will be confusing … 

 

Exceptional and very rare cover sent from Beirut on 15 May 1926 to Belfort, France.

The postage required on this date for a single rate letter addressed to foreign countries is 6 Piastres.

According to the decree of March 1926, the amount of postage on this cover is 1½ Piastre!

The post office mistakenly took into account the nominal value of stamps instead of postage. 

Sometimes happens.

Fadi

 

 

The Aero-Club of Syria and Lebanon between the two wars

 

 « Un hommage à Mr Abdo Ayoub, notre premier président de la Lebanese Association de Philatélie dont le mandat s’est terminé en Avril 2017 »

Created at the beginning of the year, the Syria-Lebanon aero-club was officially inaugurated on October 23, 1923, under the impulse of Commander Danan (Chief in Command of the air forces in the Levant), in order to introduce young people to aeronautics and develop their taste for flying. The club will be affiliated to the international aeronautical federation on September 1924.

Fig.1- Press clipping from “L’aéronautique Paris” January 1923.

On April 15, 1924, the first aerial meeting was held in Rayak, organized by the founding committee of the aero-club. Chaired by Alfred Sursock (who died later in 1924), it included Habib Trad as vice-president, Youssef Audeh as treasurer and Michel Zaccour as secretary.

Fig. 2- The founding committee Newspaper owners are part of a commission to give this activity the most publicity; the event reputation attained an international level.

Fig.3- Press clipping “Les Ailes”, journal hebdomadaire de la locomotion aérienne 16/10/1924.

At the meeting of Rayak, where the French pilots demonstrated their skills, there was also a LEBANESE. His name is Youssef Akkar. He is the first Lebanese to fly alone a plane and will be personally congratulated by General Weygand. Youssef Akkar will be sent by the Club to France to deepen his knowledge in aeronautics.

Fig.4- Lebanese pilot students in 1923.

Under the leadership of the French Army which provided materials and instructors, the Rayak pilot school counted already 24 pupils. The golden youth will be passionate about this sport.

Fig.5- Part of correspondence attesting the support of the French mandate to the project. It should be emphasized that the founding committee of the club was eminently francophile and France took advantage of it for its own propaganda.

The Aero-Club committee opens a subscription to the Syrian and Lebanese populations to acquire training equipment.

Fig.6- Vignette issued to collect funds for the Aero-Club.

Unsuccessful, the club will have to be satisfied with equipment that the French put at disposal of the Lebanese.

Fig.7 and 8- Military correspondence emanating from the High Commissioner General Gouraud, and Commandant Denain, concerning the cession of a Limousine plane to the aero-club with restrictions!

Fig.9- Flown cover by French military aviation from Rayak to Rakka (28/04/1925). Notice the heading of cover.

Fig.10- Flown cover by French military aviation from Rakka to Deir ez zor (1/07/1925). Notice the heading of cover.

In 1938, the section of the Aero-club of Beirut was detached from that of Damascus.

Fig. 11 and 12- The Syrian section took the name of « Maurice Nogues Aero-club ». Notice the logo on cover and front of the plane.

Fig.13- Membership card 1936 of Mr. Michel Aoun (from Aley).

The aero-club of Lebanon is recognized of public utility. Its president, Habib Trad, one of the country’s first pilots, bought the country’s first airplane for training and built a Hangar in Bir Hassan.

Fig. 14 and 15 – Bir Hassan airport under construction in 1938 with the hangar to protect airplanes.

There was a talk of buying a second plane when the war comes to break this momentum. Deprived of its ground and its unique plane the club falls. Then begins for the club a long period of lethargy which it leaves only in 1957 thanks to the efforts of Gabriel Trad and it’s only in 1961 that the flying section of the Aero-Club recovers its activity.

Fadi

 

The two lozenges with large digits used by the Beirut French post Office

The French post office in Beirut was opened in November 1845. Although already available since 1849, the French stamps began to be used in the Levant Offices starting from 1857. The office in Beirut is not an exception and the lozenges of points were used to cancel stamps, featuring the office’s number, as already used in France. The first used lozenge was characterized by the number 3706 along with a double circle cancel (fig.1),

fig. 1

as seen on the letter below (fig. 2 and 2a). Unfortunately, the letter was mutilated from another 40ct stamp to complete the double rate of 50ct each.

fig. 2

fig. 2a

The use of this combination lasted until August 1862. Since that date, the French post office began to use the new lozenge with large digits characterized by the number 5082 always together with the double circle with “BEYROUT SYRIE” and dater (fig. 3).

fig. 3

A change of linguistic nature occurred from June 1866 when the double circle cancel was replaced with another one adding an “H” to Beyrouth (fig. 3a).

fig. 3a

So far “nothing new under the sun” except that, while checking the lozenge 5082 on a 5 Francs stamp (fig. 4 and 4a), I used a letter of 1873 (fig. 5) with very clear lozenges and I realized that the cancel on the 5 Francs stamp differed from the one applied on the envelope. The easy deduction is that the postmark on the 5 Francs is a fake.

fig. 4

fig. 4a

fig. 5

But a curious observation concerning the lozenge’s perfection used on the envelope has prompted me to analyze one more envelope, from 1868 to be precise (Fig. 6),

fig. 6

and with great surprise I noticed the substantial difference between the lozenges applied on the two envelopes. These differences are visible through the widths of number 5082 as well as the two points on the corner and their position from the base of digit 2 (fig. 7)

fig. 7 (please zoom)

In my stock of images, the last date of use of the old deteriorated postmark I could find was 2 October 1870 (fig. 8) and the first with the new postmark was 30 June 1871 (fig.9):

fig. 8

fig. 9

the substitution occurred in this time range, but I leave you the fun game to discover the closest date.

                                                                                                                                                 Bernardo Longo

 

 

 

 

Mount Lebanon 1915/1918: the famine

The famine which affected the Mount Lebanon during the 1915/1918 period was the result of converging factors. The invasion of locusts in 1915, the impossibility of receiving foodstuffs from Egypt or other countries by sea, because of the maritime blockade imposed by the British, and finally the will of Jamal Pasha to weaken the mountain population, especially the Christians who were openly in favor of the French. The specter of genocide hangs over those events, but the contemporary Lebanese historian Youssef Mouawad* restricts the classification to “serious and cruel negligence” because “it is apocryphal intentions” referring to the speech on the Armenians and the Christians of 1916 held by the Turkish Minister of war Enver Pasha.

From an iconographic point of view, this event has left us many photographic evidence of a crude representation.

© Archives privées Ibrahim Naoum Kanaan Une famille souffrant de la famine au Mont Liban

We publish this as a light example, but we refrain from posting others because it is not our purpose here.

What I had not seen, or at least, what had never been published, concerns the humanitarian organizations which at the time took care of the population to alleviate their suffering. A recent discovery has put a bit of light on this topic.

1

It is an envelope sent from Beirut on 11th of June 1919 and addressed to New York, it presents a rectangular purplish seal, barely readable, affixed in the upper left of the cover. Of course thanks to my stubbornness and Mr. Nohra Hobeika, after several attempts I was able to obtain a bilingual transcription in French and Arabic:

2

3

 

COMITE DE SECOURS POUR LES VICTIMES DE LA FAMINE EN SYRIE Branche de Beyrouth & Liban” (RELIEF COMMITTEE FOR THE VICTIMS OF THE FAMINE IN SYRIA Branch of Beirut & Lebanon). I ignore the nationality of the organization but I presume it was Lebanese-French.

*In “Grande Guerre: la famine oubliée qui tua un tiers des Libanais” Article published on 30/12/2014 in www.france24.com

Bernardo Longo

YMCA covers from Lebanon during WW2 let’s be curious

“The military Postal Section was a highly organized department that worked with remarkable smoothness and promptness so that the men in the fighting-line had little to complain about in the delivery of letters sent to them by their friends or delays in their own letters home.”

While browsing different philatelic auction sites, my attention was drawn to 3 different military covers, offered among hundreds of items from Lebanon.

1

1a

Cover A) 29 June1941 YMCA cover from LEBANON to Egypt with s/r. AUS FPO 32 p/m. and triangle censor 3466 handstamp. Located: Tyre. (Lebanon) Also EXAMINED BY BASE CENSOR label tied by triangle 3100 censor h/s. Australian Forces.

2

2a

Cover B) Envelope sent from “vaguemestre d’étape 14” of “Postes aux Armées FFL” (in Homs) dated 8 December 1942 and heading for Egypt. Beirut military transit cancel on reverse(FFL 1). Arrival french military cancel in Cairo (BCM4). Double censored by French and British authorities.

Postage stamped Lebanese rather than FFL stamps is explained by the fact that the FFL issue was not recognized by the UPU and had therefore no franking power outside the areas under FFL control.

3

3a

Cover C) Flown cover from Beirut (BCM1) with a couple of 2Fr Levant stamps to Algeria after re-opening of air flights Levant -Alger (LAM-14/04/43).  Air mail fee: 2Fr. This stamps was valid since mail remained in the Free French network territory.

These covers are recognized with the famous YMCA logo on front cover. In French Levant, YMCA was one of the three official welfare organizations; the Red Cross and the “Foyer du Soldat” were the other two.

Why is the British cover (Cover A) stampless while the French mails (Cover B and C) required the use of stamps for the same destination during the same period?

For the British army post, free transmission of mail applied only to troops on service overseas. However, concessions were made and Field Service Regulations laid down that “private correspondence of civilians employed by or accompanying the army was permitted to be sent through the Army Postal Service and such personnel were forbidden to use the French civil post.”

It all goes back to June 1915, when permission was given to construction workers employed by Army Contractors to send mail by the A.P.O. Similarly, “Personnel employed by the Red Cross Society, St. Johns Ambulance and St. Andrews Ambulance Society were granted the same facilities, as were the YMCA and kindred associations.”
As for the French “poste aux Armées”, postal franchise was given to French soldiers and seamen in time of war to communicate with their families in the metropol. But French military authorities denied civilians to access to their military post office.

4

To illustrate that, this is a letter request from the Director of Foyer du soldat/ YMCA to the army headquarters, in Beirut (June 1921), to continue to receive mail through the “Poste aux Armées” as civilian post operation was irregular, and argued the fact that Ministry of War recognized the association as part of the army body.

5

Old Post card depicting the “Foyer du soldat” home in Beirut, Marechal Foch street.

Less than a month later, Tresor et Postes department answered back:

6

“I cannot respond favorably to your request. By internal memo I reminded staff under my orders to comply strictly, per the memo of January 12, 1921, which prohibits civilians regardless of their function and their nationality to make use of military post for sending and receipt of their mail…  On the other hand, Madam Bleyfus seems to ignore that even for the military the franchise exists only for single letters not exceeding 20 gr… “

Another similar correspondence to the responsible of “l’union des combattants”, a public utility association since 1920 whose aim is the recognition of the right to compensation for veterans, and more generally the recognition of the Nation to them:

7

“In the name of General Weygand,

High commissioner of France in Syria and Lebanon,

Chief in command of the Army in the Levant,

…………………………….

The Act of May 30, 1871 has expressly reserved the benefit of the franchise to incoming mail or to the address of the military. Civilians attached to the military in various capacities (doctors, pharmacists, voluntary nurses, Secretaries etc.) cannot benefit of the franchise. And this without any exception and is applicable as anywhere else. …………….”

This didn’t really explain the difference in postage rates and mail processing. The assumption to consider these covers mailed by civilians from YMCA borrowing the military circuit was a faulty one; rather it was the YMCA was putting its writing tents, huts and reception centers at the soldiers’ disposal, giving free writing paper and envelopes to any soldier who asked for them.

As evidenced by the obliteration on the stamps or cover, all three covers are military mail. As stated above, the French would even have prohibited the use of military post by civilians, even civilians depending of the French forces’ personnel.

Therefore:

– Cover A is an English mail that benefit from the military concession because it is correspondence between an English military stationed abroad and its base, Cairo, English rear base; By the way, Barclays military branch is where their money was.

-Cover B is also posted through military mail but requires fees because it left the French circuit for Egypt under British Mandate and lost its right to the military concession. 20 piasters was the correct postal rate by surface mail.

-Cover C remains in the French network but the sender had to pay the airline fee (4 francs).

8 Fadi Maassarani