Home Up The Colonies The States BOOK KEEPING Postal rates Towards a uniform series. The end Summary


The excuse of the "book keeping clause" has kept philatelists satisfied for generations. While quite true in substance, it was always a crutch used by the authorities of the time, to do nothing. There was in fact no pressing reason to create a uniform postage design, apart from the occasional pesky editorial or letter to an editor. The system already in place had survived very nicely for the previous 50 years. It is only an assumption on our part, not supported by the newspapers of the time, that we wanted or needed a common Australian series. It is to Australia’s continuing detriment that State stamps were ever done away with. Pre-decimal stamps of New Zealand, cover 1855 to 1967! No doubt the marketing savvy in Australia Post will eventually stumble on this fact.

It was not until 1913 that a uniform series, nationally recognised as being Australian, was issued. The 1d Red Kangaroo. Thus, while all Australian States issues, by definition, are Australian issues, it has always been recognised that the starting point of a purely national Australian stamp begins with the Kangaroo issue. It is for this reason, that Predecimal Stamps of Australia begins there. To argue that State stamps belong in an Australian collection is a touch extreme. They were not valid for most parts of Australia!

The cut-off point in this book at decimal issues is no accident. The 1960's saw the quite rapid replacement of rotary Hoe recess printing with the modern multi-colour issues. Many collectors use this breakwater as a limit to their collections, often in the hope of obtaining completeness, some in protest at 'modern' non-stamps, others as a protest to the never ceasing abundance of new issues from Australia Post.

None of which is either entirely valid, or justified. The immediate post-war 'peace' issues never seemed to cease and many complaints were made in the 50's to 'non -stamps', bad formats, and poor issuing policies. However, like any good novel, this handbook must end somewhere, and the end of the pre-decimals is used as that convenient breakwater. My own personal reasons for stopping there are colour clash. I suspect many collectors have the same ‘problem’. The fact is, the multicoloured printings just do not gel well with the earlier material and genuinely do not ‘belong’. To not include them however could only be construed as sour grapes. These beautiful Chambons are covered fully in the last chapters of this work.

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