"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo


[Date] December 12 and 29, 1904.
[Source] Ei, Bei, Futsu, Ro no kakkoku oyobi shinakoku kan no joyaku, Gaimusho Joyakukyoku, pp259-265.
[Full text]

ARTICLE I. - EXCHANGE OF MaILs. 1. - There shall be between the Postal Administration of Hongkong (which includes the British Postal Agencies operating in the Treaty-port Settlements of China) and the Postal Administration of China a regular exchange of postal articles of all kinds - ordinary, registered, international, or in transit, closed or á éecouvert - by any means of transport, ordinary or special, now established or hereafter to be established, which each Administration may have at its disposal.

2. - The exchange of mails between the two Administrations will take place through the British Postal Agencies in China and the Chinese Post Offices established in the same localities as these British Postal Agencies, or, where no British Postal Agency exists, between the British and Chinese Post Offices at Shanghai for mails to and from river and coast ports north of Shanghai, but, for mails to and from southern ports, direct between Hongkong and the Chinese Post Offices at these ports, which will be specially designated. Other offices may, on agreement between the two Administrations, be designated for the exchange of mails wherever postal requirements may demand it.

ARTICLE II. - TRANSPORT OF MAILS. 1. - The Chinese Post Offices will accept from Hongkong and the British Postal Agencies in China mails, closed or á éecouvert, destined for Chinese or Foreign Post Offices established in or out of China, and will undertake to transmit them to destination by any means of transport at the disposal of the Chinese Administration.

2. - The Hongkong Post Office or the British Postal Agencies in China on its behalf will accept from the Chinese Post Offices mails, closed or á éecouvert, destined for Chinese or Foreign Post Offices established in or out of China, and will undertake to transmit them to destination by any means of transport at the disposal of the Hongkong Administration.

3. - Each Administration will support the cost of maintenance of the transport services, ordinary or special, which it may establish for the carriage of mails, but will be entitled to claim payment of the transit charges hereunder stipulated, in Article V.

ARTICLE III. - REMITTING OF MAILS. 1. - The remitting of mails, closed, or á éecouvert, from one Administration to the other will take place at the Offices or any other authorised places for exchange, and will be made from hand to hand between agents regularly appointed for this duty.

2. - The duplicate copy of the Way Bill, called Part, brought by the remitting agent and indicating the number of packages or bags remitted, will be at once signed by the receiving agent and handed back to him as acknowledgment of receipt. Inside each package or bag a Feuille d'Avis will be enclosed, containing the particulars called for in Article XX of the Règlement appended to the International Convention of Washington.

3. - From the moment this agent has taken delivery of the mails and issued an acknowledgment of receipt, without making any observation as to the number or condition of the packages or bags, the despatching Office will be discharged of further responsibility, which thereafter will lie with the receiving Office.

ARTICLE IV. - POSTAGE AND DELIVERY. 1. - Each Administration will use its own postage stamps to frank any mail matter, whatever its destination, originating in its own Office, and will deliver to the addressees, free of additional charge in all the localities where it has a Post Office, any mail matter, whatever its origin, which arrives duly and sufficiently prepaid by means of postage stamps of the other Administration.

2. - Each Administration fixes its tariffs. It is understood that the Hongkong Administration will not apply to mail matter exchanged between its own Offices in China taxes lower than those adopted by the Chinese Administration. On the other hand, the Chinese Administration will comply, in respect of any mail matter it may exchange with the Union countries through the British Offices, with the stipulations of Article 5 of the Convention of Washington. The two Administrations will communicate to each other their tariffs.

N.B. - The Imperial Chinese Post Office undertakes the transmission and delivery, free of charge, to any place in China where one of its establishments is or may hereafter be established, of all letters of Foreign provenance handed over to it á éecouvert by the Hongkong Post Office or its Agencies, if fully prepaid at Union rates, or, if originated in Hongkong, at a specified tariff. But a domestic rate will be charged on other articles of mail matter - newspapers, books, parcels, etc. - if addressed to inland places not accessible by railway or steamer, to be collected from the addressee before delivery.

3. - Mail matter destined for places inland where no Post Office, Chinese or British, is yet opened will be sent to destination through private agencies at the risk and expense of the addressee.

4. - Should it happen that, on Chinese territory and in the same town, both a Chinese and a British Postal Agency exist, each Office will undertake the delivery of any mail matter arriving to its address. But the HongKong Administration may, by payment of an adequate tax, avail itself of the services of the Chinese Offices to ensure the distribution of mail matter received at the British Postal Agencies.

ARTICLE V. - TRANSIT CHARGES. I. - Closed mails and correspondence á éecouvert despatched on account of Chinese or Hongkong Post Offices by means of the transport services of one or the other of the contracting Administrations will be submitted, to the benefit of the Administration whose services carry these mails, to the following transit charges: -

(a.) Within the Chinese Empire and along the littoral of China, Foreign bordering countries included, when the distance does not exceed 1,500 nautical miles, and when both the Chinese and the Foreign ports are united by the same line of steamers:

1°. For territorial transit by rail, and also for maritime transit not exceeding 300 nautical miles, 2 francs per kilogramme of letters of postcards, and 25 centimes per kilogramme of other articles;

2°. For territorial transit by courier, and also for maritime transit exceeding 300 nautical miles, 5 francs per kilogramme of letters and postcards, and 50 centimes per kilogramme of other articles.

(b.) Outside of the Chinese Empire, for any transport of mails other than the categories provided for in the preceding paragraph,(a.):

1°. For territorial or maritime transit, the amounts, per kilogramme of letters or other articles, fixed by Article 4 of "Convention Principale" of Washington, calculated, according to distances and the countries traversed, in the Table E published by the contracting Administrations;

2°. As to correspondence franked by means of Chinese postage stamps destined for the United Kingdom and its Colonies, Possessions, and Agencies, or for Foreign countries, whether despatched closed or á éecouvert, in transit through Hongkong and or the British Postal Agencies, they will be forwarded to their respective destinations in the same manner and liable to the same transit charges as the correspondence remitted to the Hongkong Administration by the other Administrations of the Postal Union. The transit charges will be guaranteed by the Hongkong Administration and pericdically refunded by the Chinese Administration.

2. - It is understood -

1°. That any territorial transit by rail is free of charge if the Administration concerned is already entitled to claim, on the mail matter thus conveyed by rail, refund for maritime transit;

2°. That any transit on the Yangtze-kiang is considered as maritime transit;

3°. That mail matter originating from Foreign countries, remitted á éecouvert at the place of landing by Hongkong or the British Postal Agencies to a Chinese Office or vice versâ, to be transmitted to inland places, will be exempted from transit charges;

4°. That the reductions or exemptions stipulated in Article 4 of the Convention of Washington will also apply to the present Arrangement.

3. - Charges for transport of mails by means of services or ships independent of the Hongkong or Chinese Administrations will be settled under the terms agreed between the interested parties.

ARTICLE VI.-MEN–OF-WAR MAILS.- The closed mails handed in to the Chinese Offices by a British Postal Agency for transmission to the commander of a man-of-war of whatever nationality, or by the commander of a man-of–war of whatever nationality for transmission to Hongkong or British Postal Agency, will be subjected, in account with the Hongkong Administration, to the transit charges enumerated in the preceding Article.

ARTICL VII.- TRANSIT STATISTICS.- The balancing of the transit charges account will necessitate an annual settlement between the two Administrations, to be calculated on the basis of statistics taken annually under the rules laid down in the Conventions of the Postal Union in force at the time. These statistics will be taken each year during the first 28 days of the months of May and November alternately.

ARTICLE VIII.- PARCEL POST. 1.-The exchange of parcels, as also the exchange of money orders, letters with declared value of contents, etc., will be made the subject of special arrangements as soon as the principal Arrangement is put in force.

ARTICLE IX. - RESPONSIBILITY AND LIABILITY. 1. - In Case of the loss of a registered article of correspondence or of a closed mail, the Administration which has undertaken its transport and cannot account for its delivery or transmission to the other Administration will be held responsible for the lost registered article or the registered articles contained in the closed mail, within the limits of Article 8 of the "Convention Principale " of Washington and of Article XXIII of the "Règlement d'Ordre et de Détail" thereto appended.

2. - The loss or spoliation of a parcel will give right to an indemnity, which may amount to the equivalent of the loss or damage suffered, but can in no case exceed 25 francs for non-insured parcels or 1,000 francs for insured parcels.

3. - The protection granted above to registered articles and parcels will not extend beyond the working limits of the postal services of the contracting Administrations, and will not cover losses or damages arising from cases of force majeure, such as tempest, shipwreck, war, brigandage, etc.

ARTICLE X. - NOTICE OF CHANGES IN ORGANISATION. - The Postal Administrations of China and Hongkong will communicate to each other the changes which may take place in the organisation and arrivals and departures of their respective services for the transport of mails, whenever notice of such changes may prove useful to the two Administrations or to the Foreign Administrations that have recourse to their intermediation.

ARTICLIE XI. - EXTENT OF PRESENT ARRANGEMENT. - The Postal Administration of China, though it has not yet subscribed to the Treaties of the Universal Postal Union, hereby agrees to abide, as far as the present Arrangement is concerned, by the stipulations of the "Convention Principale" and of the "Règlement d'Ordre et de Détail," concluded at Washington on the 15th June 1897.

The present Arrangement will thus form, with the documents of the Postal Union mentioned above, the whole of the dispositions to be, as far as possible observed in the postal relations between the Chinese Post Offices and Hongkong and the British Postal Agencies in China.

ARTICLE XII.- DURATION OF ARRANGEMENT. – The present Arrangement will be gradually put in force as soon as possible, and will remain in force for an indeterminate period. The two Administrations may, however, at any time introduce in it any such modifications as they, on consulation, may find necessary, or bring the Arrangement to an end by giving notice six months in advance