Introduction of Inland Letter Cards in India

Inland Letter Cards - 2nd October 1950

In exercise of the powers conferred by the Indian Post Office Act 1898 (VI of 1898), the Government of India, Ministry of Communications (Posts & Telegraphs) made amendments to be effective from 1st October 1950, in the Indian Post Office Rules 1933 vide Notification No.R-1-31/49, to introduce Inland Letter Card (ILC) from 2nd October 1950, and to place them at par (in facilities) with Letters and Postcards.


The Postal Notice No.33 dated 16.9.1950 says that this new article of Postal Stationery will be named “INLAND LETTER CARD” through we find “Inland Letter” written on it. The full name of this postal stationery was introduced on and from 20th September 1969 when a new stationery in 15p denomination was issued on that date.

The said Postal Notice being No.33 further states that the new card, which was priced at one anna six pies each, would have two varieties namely i) embossed with 1½ annas stamp and ii) unembossed which would be sold after affixing on it 1½ annas postage stamp. These two varieties were printed both in Hindi as well as in English. Thus we see that ALS No.10, 11. 12 and 12a of Mr.Manik Jain’s Encyclopedia of Indian Postal Stationery and /or IL No.2, 3, 4 and 5 of Mr. D. Lang’s A Guide to the Postal Stationery of India (volume-4), were issued together on 2nd October 1950 and not in the years stated by them in their respective books.

The unembossed cards or formula issue were meant for the people in business, specially those who make use of franking machines for prepayment of postage. Such Formula cards were available in a limited quantity, in bulk, without postage stamps being affixed to them. Such bulk supply were obtainable at the rate of Rs.7 and 8 annas per one thousand, through Postal Stock Depots at Ambala, Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi, Hyderabad Deccan, Lucknow, Madras, Nagpur and Patna.

It appears to mean that such formula cards, if sold blank, it would be sold in bulk only for a price and if sold loose, it will be sold only with 1½ anna stamp, at face value of the stamp without any stationery charge.

These Inland Letter Cards have the same facilities which are enjoyed by Letters and Postcards. It means that these ILC can be transmitted anywhere in India by air wherever possible, without any air fees. It can be registered and can be sent by Express Delivery. As these ILC were meant for inland use only. They could not be forwarded to Pakistan, Ceylone or any other foreign countries. If they are forwarded to foreign lands than they would be taxed. However these ILC could be used as Air Letter by affixing additional 1½ annas stamp till new stationery of 3 annas were printed vide Postal Notice No.28 dated 3.9.1951.

Both the Inland Letter Sheets with 1½ annas printed stamp mailed from India to Ceylon, which were taxed by 12 pies, because ILC was not allowed to Ceylone as ILC. Therefore, it was treated as a letter. Letter Mail by surface to Ceylone was 2 annas, therefore 1 anna or 12 pies were charged as postage due in double the deficiency.


Readers are requested to send their query/comments to Mr. Ashok Kumar Bayanwala,96, Swastik Society, Navarangpura, AHMEDABAD-380009, INDIA or email to Prashant H. Pandya

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