Talk:Postage stamps and postal history of Madagascar

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British posts in Madagascar[edit]

Hi Maidonian, I uploaded several images on commons:Category:Stamps of British post in Madagascar. I would greatly appreciate if you create an article for British posts in Madagascar and use some of those pictures to illustrate it. Cheers, --Michael Romanov (talk) 20:24, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

I added it initially as a section within the main Madagascar article as I don't think either of the two service were official British Post Offices abroad (if they had been British stamps would presumably have been used), despite the involvement of the British Vice Consul in the earlier service. The 1895 service certainly wasn't official. I will see if I can find out more. If you know more, please add it. It can still be expanded to a stand alone article if enough information can be gathered. Nice scans. Thanks. Maidonian (talk) 02:06, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Both British services are recognized as the true postal administrations by the SG catalogue, Rossiter et al. Stamp Atlas, and Encyclopaedia of Postal Authorities. I was also able to locate, at least, BCM in the Scott catalog and SG shop. The 1895 service could not be official in any case because, as Rossiter et al. write, there was the French war of occupation. But before that, "the British accepted the imposition of a French protectorate over Madagascar in 1890 in return for eventual British control over Zanzibar (subsequently part of Tanzania) and as part of an overall definition of spheres of influence in the area." So, officially, the British could not pose as an administration on the island, especially when the French troops did a massive military intervention at that time (see Second Madagascar expedition). This might evoke an unnecessary tension between the British and the French. Moreover, in other sources I read that the French actually demanded to terminate the local British Inland Mail service, which was no wonder, since the French were the masters of the situation on the island. I think the above info, at least, from Rossiter et al. (, SG's, SG's, Scott, and Encyclopaedia of Postal Authorities (, can be used to create a separate article on the subject. Cheers, --Michael Romanov (talk) 06:35, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

I found a Google book on the subject: The postage stamps, envelopes, wrappers, post cards, and telegraph stamps of the British colonies, possessions and protectorates in Africa ... Volumes 1-2, Philatelic Society (London), 1895-1906. This is an official publication of the Royal Philatelic Society London. It describes in full details (as much as was available at that time) both services in question. There is no doubt that they were postal and used postage stamps. The first service was run by the British Vice-Consulate who issued the stamps, and the second one was arranged by a syndicate of British merchants who printed their own stamps that were "procured from the Postmaster of the British post, Antananarivo" (p. 114). The British syndicate was engaged by the Malagasy Government "to work the inland mail matter between the inland towns and with the ports" (p. 114). There is also a statement that "the stamps... were made with the idea of selling them to collectors and dealers... but a certain number of them were undoubtedly used for paying postage" (p. 115). The final remark (p. 116) states that "these stamps were only in use for a few months, as the post was suppressed when the French troops entered Antananarivo at the end of September, 1895." The whole chapter on the British post in Madagascar starts here. This is a very reliable source as to the recognition of two British postal services in Madagascar by the Royal Philatelic Society London. --Michael Romanov (talk) 07:39, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, I accept that the services were real posts, albeit there may have been some philatelic motives. I didn't think they were significant enough to warrant their own article as one lasted for only about three years and the other for months. In addition, there is plenty of room for a detailed explanation within the Madagascar article which otherwise is almost empty. I see that the other British post offices abroad articles seem to relate to more significant services. On the other hand, if you create a separate article using all of the sources you mention I certainly won't object and I don't think anyone else will either. There is plenty to write, it is just a matter of whether it meets the criteria for it's own article. If I were you I would create it. I think you know more about this subject than I do Michael. Maidonian (talk) 00:30, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Alright, let's leave it at the moment like this. And I will keep in mind that a separate article may be reserved for the subject. In the meantime, I will copy this discussion to the talk page for the Madagascar postal history. Thank you. --Michael Romanov (talk) 04:33, 30 November 2010 (UTC)