BULLETIN 129 - December 2003
Control Cancellations of Greece on Belgian Congo Covers,
airmail letters from Elisabethville with dates between 1938 and 1939 show very
cancellations which I could not initially classify. The destination each time
was Celje (100km from the Austrian border) in the present republic of Slovenia.
The covers have arrival cancellations of Ąthens, Zemun (Belgrado) and Zagreb.
The four covers were sent as follows:
11-6-1938, reverse cancelled by handstamp Athinai poste aerienne 18.VI.38.13,
front with exchange control cancellation showing MEN, reverse also
cancelled with Zemyh 5,3 Zemun 5 of 20.VI.38-11 and cancellation Zagreb 14.3 of
25- 3-1939, reverse with machine cancellation of Athinai poste aerienne
2-IV-39.15 and Zemyh 5,3 Zemun 5-3-VI-39-13 and on the font an exchange control
cancellation of Athens showing YEZ
Postes 21-4-39 reverse with machine cancellation of Athinai poste aerienne,
front with exchange control cancellation showing MEN, reverse also with
cancellations by hand of zemyh 5,3
Zemun 5, l-V-39-13, Zagreb 14.3 or l-V-39-19, Zagreb 2, 30 of 1-V-39.20 and
Zagreb 2, 32 of-l.V-39.21
postes 28-4-39.24, on the reverse a machine cancellation of Athīnai poste
aerienne, front with exchange control cancellation showing YEZ and hand
cancellation on reverse of Zemyh 5, 3 - 3.939-13, Zemun 5, Zagreb 14,3
-8.V.39.19 and Zagreb 2,-8.V.39.21.
Thanks to Ruud Verberne, a collector of Greece stamps who provided me with a copy of the publication of the Hellenic philatelic Society of Great Britain on Exchange control in Greece and its repercussions on philately by Ulysses Bellas (1976) I could solve the problem on these Belgian Congo covers.
the national currency in 1936 the Greece government
decided to control all the outgoing and incoming international mail with
foreign currency. It was forbidden to send or receive even post stamps without
the necessary permission. A post office had the obligation to send all
international mail to the nearest exchange control location, which would return
this mail the original post office after it was checked. For Athens, it was
without any doubt the bank of Greece one University Street which was doing the
central. After all it seems that only 5% of all international mail was checked.
distinct periods can be recognized, a first one between the years 1936 to 1941
and a second period between the years 1945 and 1951.
four Belgian Congo covers shown, fall in
the first period. In total 7 different control cancellations were used, four of
them showing MEN and three of them showing YEZ. Men stands for national
currency protection and YEZ stands for national exchange service.
CACHETS OF ATHENS