Ai Li-shan


There appears to have been little written about the collection of the airmail surcharge on incoming mail. My interest in the subject is confined to the use of special forms that were attached to the incoming mail. To date, I have only found the one form that is discussed here. There may however be other variations of this form that was used. Illustrated cover ex J. Lewis Blackburn collection.


Fig. 1. Postal Notice attached to cover from New Goa, Portuguese India



Fig. 2 attached label indicating $2.75 postage due from addressee









Fig. 3 front of cover


DHC/195 rubber censor chop Registered label, Aldona and

number hand written













Fig 4 back of cover. Please note postage paid with the Portuguese Colonies airmail issue of 1938. The letter was accepted Aldona post office, however it appears the stamps were not applied until reaching the Nova-Goa post office. The stamps were cancelled by the registered cancel.


Nova-Goa 1942 Dec 7 Arrived Chungking 12.17 Arrived Kweilin 12.22


Under the circumstances, I would say that a two week delivery period is reasonable. We do not know how long the two censor examinations entailed. Perhaps most of the delay was in this operation.










Censorship: Two censor labels were applied, one with the DHC/195 rubber hand stamp and the other with the octagonal DHC/25 chop. Both of the chops began use in April 1942, along with the P.C. 90 white sealing label. Both of the censor chops were applied in Bombay.


On April 9, 1942, all districts in free China were informed by CMT (Circular Mail Telegram #2116 that incoming international air articles prepaid for air transmission to Calcutta only, were to be forwarded by Chinese air service, and that such articles when reached Kunming or Chungking should be affixed with a Postal Notice before delivery or for further transmission as follows:




This article is originally prepaid for transmission by airmail

to Calcutta only. In order to avoid delay owing to the prevailing con-

ditions of ordinary transport, tentative arrangement has been made with

the Indian Postal Administration for the transmission to destination by

Chinese air mail service, subject to a surcharge of $2.25 per each five

grammes or fraction thereof, to be collected from the addresses on deli-

very. Continuation of this arrangement depends upon the continued public





(in circle)


When you compare the notice in the circular and that actually used, several differences will be noted. However, there could certainly have been other forms printed. The notice was in April 1942, the cover was mailed in December 1942.


On July 25, 1942, all districts were informed by CMT #2232 that surface mails originated from Ireland and Argentina were to be transmitted by the China National Aviation Corporation (CNAC) from Calcutta to Kinming or Chungking and that the former two postal administrations had agreed to bear the air transportation charge.


On December 3, 1942, CMT #2379 was issued for air transmission of surface mails from Australia and New Zealand on similar conditions.


On December 10, 1942, CMT #2387 was issued that surface mails from any countries would be transmitted by CNAC air service from Calcutta subject to collect air surcharge from addressee on delivery.


If you have any covers with this form, please advise the editor