I reply to T Pemberton’s query as seen in the letters section of Stabroek News of Friday, April 5, (‘Stamps conundrum’).
The British Guiana stamps on the partial envelope shown in the photograph are marked “Postage Due.” This means that the letter was posted in Australia to a British Guiana address.
The British Guiana Postage Due stamps would have been affixed to the envelope by the postal administration here, to indicate to the recipient that the total value of Australian stamps affixed was inadequate to cover the cost of the mail from Australia to British Guiana (and by how much). The recipient in British Guiana would then have had to pay this underpaid sum – the postage due – 32 cents in this case, before he/she could uplift the mail.
Postage Due stamps were used by a number of countries to meet this necessity, but seem to have fallen out of favour (at least in some countries). British Guiana began using Postage Due stamps only from 1940, in denominations of 1c, 2c, 4c, and 12c. After Independence, the only Guyana issue of such stamps was in 1973 (May 24) in the same design and denominations, and similar colours, but with “Guyana” replacing the words “British Guiana.”
Lennox J Hernandez