Canada WWI Not censored

A place to discuss items of censored mail from World War I

Canada WWI Not censored

Postby dannmayo » Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:53 pm

Steven Friedenthal has sent in the cover shown below with the following questions:

This item goes from Windsor Ontario the the General Cousul for Germany in Amsterdam, Netherlands. At he time Canada was at war with Germany, but Netherlands was neutral.
In that it was going to the “enemy” why was it at least NOT censored? Why was it not returned to the sender [no return address given] or destroyed?



My only reference relevant to this cover is Steinhart's monograph on WWI Canadian censorship, published in 1986. In it he indicates that this cover was sent during a time hen there should have been 100% Canadian censorship to Holland. But he also states (p66) that some mail to numerous neutral counties including Holland was sent through uncensored during the neutral countries censorship period though "Why... is not clear." The few items that he illustrates show no good reason for lack of censorship.

In the case of the above cover, the lack of censorship could be another example of such "no good reason." Or, as it appears to have been sent unsealed (back flap over postmarks), there was no reason for the Canadian censor to cut it open and use a tape to reseal it. Or it could have been passed unopened (not only in Canada but also in GB, which it most likely transited) because of the diplomatic nature of the addressee -- even tough that diplomat represented a hostile power.

I have seen a 1942 cover from NY to the Italian Embassy in Washington, DC that was returned by the US censor with an enclosure form indicating that mail to enemy countries (which the Italian Embassy was, under international law, even though in DC) should go through the Red Cross. But a consular office is not an Embassy, and so this cover may have been seen as going to a neutral country (Netherlands) rather than to a hostile belligerent (Germany), and so entitled to transmission under UPU regulations.

Can anyone add to the discussion of lack of censorship on Canadian mail to neutral countries from April 1917? And also, what if any privilege (exemption from censor examination) was to be given to mail to/from consulates in WWI?
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