Items of Interest

It is reported that Postmaster General Smith will shortly issue an order requiring a stricter enforcement of the postal laws regarding second class mail matter. In his annual report for 1899 the postmaster general stated that "fully one-half of all the matter mailed as second class and paid for at the pound rate is not properly second class within the intent of the law, and ought justly to be paid for at the third class rate." The second class matter now embraces nearly three-fourths of the entire weight of all mail matter, and yet it brings in a revenue of less than $4,000,000 a vear out of the entire postal revenue of more than $110,000,000. While it contains about three-fourths of all the weight, it furnishes only about one thirtieth of the revenue. To handle and carry the second class matter costs. fully $60,000,000 a year above what the government receives for handling and carrying it.

As a result of the amendment in the war revenue tax act which went into effect July 1, it is no longer necessary to pay taxes on the following: Bank checks, bills of lading for export, bonds or obligations by guarantee company, certificates of damage, certificates of deposit, certificates not otherwise specified, charter party, chewing gum, commercial brokers, sight drafts, express receipts, insurance—life, marine, and fire, lease, manifest for custom-house entry, mortgage for conveyance in trust, order for payment of money on sight or demand, perfumery and cosmetics, power of attorney to vote, power of attorney to sell, promissory notes, proprietary medicines, protest, telegraph message, telephone message, United States money orders, warehouse receipts.

Polar Explorations
July 11, 1901

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