New details regarding the 1947 Lebanese UPU Paris congress stamp set

The aim of this article is to offer new insights about the commemorative set of 6 stamps (Michel 371/376, Scott C129-C134, YT air post 29-34) issued to celebrate the participation of Lebanon in the 12th Universal Post Union congress held in Paris from the 6th of may 1947 and the International radio Conference held in Atlantic City (16 may-2 october 1947). (fig 1)

Fig 1


The president of the republic Bechara el-Khoury authorized the issue of a six value airmail stamp set pursuant to Decree number 9168 (4 june 1947). Article 4 of the decree specified that the values are as follows 10p, 15p, 25p, 50p, 75p, 100p (each with a print run of 15000 stamps). (fig 2)

Fig 2


The set was issued according to available stamps catalogs on June 17.

The same article of the decree indicated that an additional 1600 perforated set should be issued: 600 to be given as usual to the ‘Universal Postal Union International Bureau’ in Bern while the reaming 1000 set should be distributed to the members participating in these conferences as gifts. (fig 3)

Fig 3


Accordingly a special booklet was prepared for the occasion printed on thick buff card with blue inscriptions. (fig 4)

Fig 4


Mr Jamil Namour, the director of Lebanese postal administration was charged pursuant to decree number 8899 (21 may 1947) to represent Lebanon in these conferences as the head of the official delegation. (fig 5).

Fig 5


Mr. Nammour travelled to Paris and the United States and was empowered to sign the Universal Postal convention on the 5th of July 1947. (fig 6).

Fig 6


It is worth noting that the booklet at our disposal also contains the airmail set representing the Grand Sérail and the bay of Jounieh (Scott C119-C128) sanctioned by decree number 8613 (20 march 1947). It is our hypothesis that this set of 10 stamps was the most recent set issued at the disposal of the Lebanese postal administration before the aforementioned conferences. (fig 7).

Fig 7


The discrepancies between the date of the congress in Paris (6 may) and the date when the stamps commemorating the event were really available (17 June) should be duly noted.  It is unknown to us if and when the UPU set was sent to Paris or the United States. A plausible interpretation could be that Mr. Nammour went to Paris having only at his disposal the Grand Sérail and the bay of Jounieh set and later received from Beirut the UPU set after the 17th of June. Further investigations should be conducted if we want to reach a definitive conclusion, but what remains certain is that 1000 of these booklets were printed and prepared for distribution during these international conferences.


Wissam Lahham