Stamps - Postal Administration Of The United States Of America
( Originally Published 1893 )
The business conducted by lottery companies through the instrumentality of the mails has practically ceased, although to a certain extent carried on by means of private carriers. This much to be desired result has been obtained by the efforts of the postal authorities in enforcing the Anti-Lottery Act. The Department received the following notices which speak for themselves :-
NOTICE.—The Supreme Court of the United States having decided the anti-lottery postal law to be constitutional, it is hereby ordered and directed that no one in the employ of this company shall mail a letter which in any way refers directly or indirectly to the business of the lottery.
It must be understood that this company will aid in the enforcement of the law. By order of the Board of Directors of the Louisiana State Lottery Company.
PAUL CONRAD, President.
MEXICAN INTERNATIONAL BANKING COMPANY
J AREZ, MEXICO, April 8th, 1892. HON. JOHN WANAMAKER, Postmaster-General, Washington, D.C.
SIR,—Acting in the capacity of President 0f the Gran Loteria Juarez of Mexico I beg to assure you that hereafter, in good faith, the said lottery will strictly comply with all the laws of the United States with reference to the United States mails.
Your obedient servant,
N. LEIFHEIMER, President.
In order to confirm the promise contained in the second letter, the Juarez Lottery Company pleaded guilty to five hundred and fifty separate indictments for offences against the postal laws, and paid fines and costs amounting to $3,700. This they did in the United States Court at El Paso. The latter company endeavored to secure communication with the American patrons by depositing sealed letters in the Mexican mails, but the postmaster at El Paso, acting under instructions, stamped upon each suspected lottery letter crossing the border : " Supposed subject to Customs duties," resulting in their finding their way to the Customs officers. The Department have reason to believe that the Louisiana and Juarez lotteries have accepted the situation.
The foreign mail service contracted for in accordance with the provisions of the advertisement of the 15th July, 1891, and 25th May, 1892, commenced their operation on the 1st February, 1892, and will be completed on the 12th October, x895. which is the date of the beginning of two of the contracts comprised in the above mentioned advertisements.
The service applies to eleven lines, the number of trips to be made by each depending upon the termini of the routes, which ranges from once a week to once in every twenty-eight days. Of the eleven contracts, five are for a period of five years and six for ten years.
This service when completed will require the use of forty-two ships of 165,802 tonnage, and in order to comply with the terms agreed upon, will require the contractors to make an outlay of smile fourteen millions of dollars.
The steamers " City of Paris " and " City of New York " have adoptedthe system carried out by the German ships of assorting in transit foreign mails destined for the United States, by means of sea post-offices. In this connection it may be stated that this method has found favor with the postmaster of the port of New York. as well as many 0thers, and of travellers in particular. Practical proof is thus given of the value of the application of the railway post-office principle to ocean steamers.
The Postmaster-General was authorized to test country free delivery by a joint resolution of Congress, approved 1st of October, 1890. The sum 'of ten thousand dollars was appropriated for this experimental service with marked success. The above amount yielded net proceeds of over three thousand six hundred dollars, due to the increased business created by this system.
The collection of mails from houses has received due attention. Some sixteen hundred house letterboxes have been examined during a period of two years by competent commissions. In Washington City the test of one of these boxes was made for one month, and found that an hour or more was saved to the carrier each day, and in St. Louis, where the test was made purposely as hard as possible, it was found that there was no actual loss of time. The postmasters of these two cities declared themselves as satisfied that the collection of mails from houses could be carried on without an additional force of carriers.
It was found in the case of the City of St. Louis that over four times as much mail matter had been c0llected from the h0use boxes in a given time as had f0rmerly been collected fr0m the street boxes on the same area during a similar period, resulting in increased business from increased facilities.
Experiments have been carried on with pneumatic tubes, by virtue of the Departmental allowance of ten thousand dollars for that purpose.
In answer to an advertisement eight proposals were submitted, out of which but one proved practicable for immediate testing, that of the New Jersey Rapid Transit Company. The tubes were put down in Philadelphia, and were to be ready at the end of last year (1892). The result is not known to the writer. The condition of the contract provided that the labor and cost of material in connection with this work was to be met by the company in the event of the result not proving satisfactory, s0 that no possibility of a loss to the Department could arise.
The adoption of a system of promotion for merit only is one that will be heartily appreciated by the public, as it will in the near future guarantee a better service generally. No outside influence can avail to secure a clerk's advancement, as it now depends up0n his own efforts and ability.