Lieutenant Curry Gabriel Treffenberg
Curry Gabriel Treffenberg was born in Gothenburg on 6 March 1791.
He was a son of Anders Leonard Treffenberg, a colonel of the Gotha Regiment of Artillery.
After his graduation as an officer, Curry Gabriel Treffenberg
was appointed a junior lieutenant of the above mentioned regiment, subsequently promoted
to senior lieutenant in 1815, transferred to the South Scania Infantry Regiment
He participated in the 1808-09 Finnish War and in the Swedish campaigns of 1813-14.
He resigned from the army in 1823. He was given a position
as a registrar in the State loan office at Gothenburg. He became bankupt and left this appointment
in 1827. He moved to Copenhagen to escape punishment. In 1830 he was declared bankrupt and sentenced "in absentia".
It was not till 1874 that Treffenberg was able to return to his native country. He died in Stockholm on 28 October 1875.
His son was Governor Curry Treffenberg, a prominent statesman and official.
PROPOSAL by Curry Gabriel Treffenberg
On 23 March 1823 Lieutenant Curry Gabriel Treffenberg introduced a bill,
for the use of stamped paper as a means for the prepayment of postage fees,
to the congress (Riksdag) of the four States of the kingdom in Sweden.
The text of
the bill is as follows (as translated by H Harald Kjellstedt and published
in The Philatelic Record Volume 32, January & February 1910).
|The method of collecting
dues and rendering accounts, heretofore in use in the Department of Posts,
I do not consider as safe as could be desired where public funds are concerned.
Although there has been no embezzlement, it is wrong not to guard against
the chance of such an occurrence, when conditions may make it a possibility.
The receiving and accounting at and from the post offices should, in my opinion,
disappear, and in its place I propose the use of some kind of stamped paper
of varying value which might be purchased for cash in different places, the
same as Chartae Sigillatae; this paper to be used as a cover for letters,
which thus provided, should, without further proceedings, be received at
the post offices, entered on the post-office way-bill and forwarded.
The proposition, in detail, for this change is too lengthy to be given here,
but I respectfully request that it accompany the motion to the committee
of State and Grants.
It is with no idea that my proposition is without fault that I take the liberty
of making it. I think, on the other hand, that in every section there is
room for improvement, but the main question, which is so secure to the State
a better and safer way of accounting for this part of its revenues, seems
to me not without claim to a closer investigation.
Scheme for Changes in and for the Postal Department.
(1) All cash payments at the post offices, under whatever name, should cease.
(2) No accounts for postage due should hereafter be permitted with private
persons or associations, except in the single case referred to in Paragraph
(3) The free franking privilege should continue and be regulated in the same manner as heretofore.
(4) Stamped paper of varying values, to be used as wrappers for letters,
should be introduced and kept for sale in the cities by the Chartae Sigillatae
deputies or by other persons appointed for that purpose by the General Chartae
Sigillatae Office at Stockholm, and in the rural districts, by the sheriffs
and other private persons.
(5) All private persons who apply for the privilege of selling these Postage
Charts (as I shall call them) should do so to the local Crown authorities,
who will give permission thereto, after demanding sufficient security for
the amount taken.
(6) An established maximum, for each locality, estimated on the basis of
a probable three months demand for the Postage Charts, should be arranged,
and above this amount nothing should be delivered to private persons, who
have undertaken such sales, except against cash payment.
(7) Tax collectors should be privileged to provide themselves with half
a year's supply of Postage Charts, subject to the same accounting as for
any other taxes due the Crown, and without giving further security than such
as has already been furnished.
(8) The provincial governments should make known the names of those who
have been authorized to sell, through announcements to be read in the churches.
(9) It should be permitted to the ordinary sales agents to entrust the sale
of larger or smaller quantities to other persons, the sales agent alone,
however, to be responsible for any loss incurred thereby.
(10) The Sheriffs should obtain Postage Charts from the Chartae Sigillatae
deputies and give receipt for the amount when received. Private persons who
apply without at the time paying cash, should show a certificate from the
provincial government that proper security has been placed for the amount
to be obtained, and should give a receipt when the Postage Charts are delivered
(11) Every half year there should be an audit of the Postage Chart sales
of the Chartae Sigillatae deputies, at which time they should show receipts
for Charts delivered and show the Postage Charts in their possession, and
be authorized to pay over proceeds from the sale of Charts.
(12) This audit should be in charge of the Provincial Treasurer, who should
also receive the cash and give the Chartae Sigillatae deputies a receipt
therefor, and then forward the amount to the Chartae Sigillatae Head Office
(13) The Postage Charts should be made of the size of an ordinary letter
sheet, but without being folded lengthwise as these are. The paper should
be strong, but not coarse, and, in order to make forgery more difficult,
should contain a circular design, easy to discover. It should also be of
some light colour.
In the centre of the paper two stamps should be impressed side by side, occupying
together a space of 6 square inches. One of the stamps should be impressed
into the paper and the other should be printed with black ink. Both should
contain, besides the value of the Chart, some suitable emblem which would
be difficult to imitate. The assortment of values should be made to meet
(14) Letters should be so folded that the stamps shall always be on the
outside and so placed that some part of the address shall be written over
them, thereby preventing a second use of the same wrapper. Perhaps a mark
at the side, indicating the date of mailing, would also be necessary. On
the other hand there seems to be no necessity for stamping the name of the
place of mailing, as at present.
(15) When larger packages are to be sent, and the Postage Chart is not strong
enough or large enough to be used as a wrapper, a Postage Chart of proper
value, according to the weight of the package and its destination, should
be loosely attached. This loose chart should be cut down to the size of one-eighth
of the full sheet, showing the stamps, over which should be written in ink
— Belonging to package which will be forwarded (date and year)—and when the
package is inquired for, the Postage Chart should be delivered with it by
the Post Office. On the package itself in such cases should be noted — Accompanied
by Postage Chart.
(16) If correspondents post letters or packages without Postage Charts,
the Post office should not refuse to receive them or to promptly forward
them, provided the address side has the note — without Postage Chart. Such
letters and packages on arrival should not be delivered until a Postage Chart
of the size of one-eighth of a sheet has been left as postage. On this Chart
should then be written in ink — Used [date and year)—also across the stamps.
(17) If a letter is found to be wrapped with a Postage Chart of less value
than the weight of the letter would require, it should not prevent it from
being forwarded, but not before the Postmaster has written plainly on the
address side —Postage Due. When it has reached the last station it should
not be delivered until the difference has been paid with a Postage Chart.
These Charts should also be cut down to the size of an eighth of a sheet,
but in order to differ from those mentioned in previous paragraphs — Complementary
Chart (date and year)—should be written across these stamps. The proposed
Charts mentioned in the last two paragraphs should remain in the Post office
in order to be shown at the time of auditing, as mentioned in Paragraph 25.
(18) Every way-bill accompanying letters should contain four divisions:
(1) for free letters. (2) for prepaid letters. (3) for insufficiently prepaid
letters, and (4) for non-prepaid letters, and in every case where the letter
is registered, it should be noted.
(19) Rural residents may arrange to have agents in the cities to examine
the way-bills, when the post has arrived, in order to ascertain whether there
are any letters to be redeemed with Postage Charts, in which case the necessary
Postage Charts must be handed to the Postmaster, who will write across them
with ink —Without Postage Chart—or—Postage Due—and the letters may then be
forwarded in care of the post office. The Postmasters may carry out everything
referred to in this paragraph. Peasants should arrange with persons of standing
in their own neighbourhood so that their letters may be redeemed through
the latter's agents.
(20) The Postage Chart should not cost more for registered letters than
for others and receipts should be obtained from the receiver as heretofore.
This should also apply to letters on which special registration is requested.
(21) Postmasters should receive from the State a fixed salary, sufficient
for the payment of assistants, rent, fuel, light and writing materials, and
should be solely responsible for any disorder occurring in their offices.
(22) Postmasters should be required to receive letters up to within one
hour before the post actually departs. On proof that they have failed in
this, they should be fined a half-year's salary, payable to the Postage Chart
fund, and in addition pay any damage caused thereby. No one may post letters
later than 8 o'clock in the evening nor ask to receive them earlier than
8 o'clock in the morning. The post offices should be open on all week days.
(23) Within two hours at the latest after the post has arrived the letters
should be delivered to those who inquire for them. Failure to do so should
be punished as stated in the previous paragraph.
(24) Postmasters should keep for sale Postage Chart tables of rates per
ounce charged between the cities, and on which are given days and hours for
the departure of the mails, as well as the probable time of their arrival,
also a tariff of postage rates for letters which exceed a certain number
of ounces. The price of such tables should be fixed and the income from their
sale should go to the Postmaster.
(25) Postmasters should keep all Postage Charts which have been handed in
for postage due, as noted in Paragraphs 16 and 17, and when the Provincial
Exchequer makes the semi-annual audit of the Chartae Sigillatae deputies'
accounts, an audit of the postage due charts in the post offices should also
be made. These charts should then be found to correspond with the information
regarding them given in the way-bills.
If a shortage is found the Postmaster should immediately refund the amount
in cash, and such money should immediately be forwarded to the Chartae Sigillatae
head office at Stockholm.
(26) Anyone detecting and proving embezzlement in a post office should receive
an award of 500 Rdr, bco., which should be recovered from the private property
of the Postmaster, who should also lose his position without possibility
I cannot hope that what I have now proposed will fulfil its purpose, and
it has not been presented with such a conviction, but rather to give an idea
to someone more able to work out in detail a better plan, and one which unites
a more secure control of the postal revenue to the State with convenience
to the letter writing public. I even believe that the Diet should award a
suitable premium to anyone presenting an acceptable proposition on this subject.
I do not think that I should omit, on this occasion, to mention how it often
happens that letters, which are sent with the loose mail, never reach their
destination, especially when they are accompanied by small change in an envelope
to pay the forwarding postage from the nearest post office. Such letters
are held back at some post stations, the money is extracted and the letters
burned, without there being any possibility of discovering at which post
station it happened, when the letter has passed through several and no list
has accompanied the letters from one station to the other. Not only may these
destroyed letters be of the greatest importance, but the peasants have a
temptation to vice, which may lead to greater crimes and this reason alone,
which in my opinion is very weighty, should lead to the adoption of such
measures as would not so openly tempt the citizens to become thieves.
As an additional control of the postal revenue which I find necessary, I also propose the following: —
(1) Postmasters should be compelled, through fines, to exhibit to the community,
the day after the departure of each mail, checked duplicate way-bills on
which have been entered letters received for and sent by the last mail. This
way-bill, on which should also be entered the weight of the letters in ounces,
should be accessible to the public until the way-bill for the next departing
mail takes its place. Later they should be sent to the General Post Office
for comparison as to conformity with the original copies held for the accounting.
(2) A suitable and fixed fine should be paid by Postmasters in case of any
difference, either in the number of letters .or ounces, being found in these
way-bills when compared with the entries on those that accompanied the mail.
In my opinion, the suggestions contained in the last two paragraphs, at least,
should be followed by the Postal Department in the future, if no other control
is found which is more to the purpose.
The Philatelic Record (Volume 32, February 1910) comments as follows:
"This, as it appears, well founded and
timely proposition, was referred to the Commission on Grants but did not
meet with its approval. In its deliberation, the committee bore in mind the
real purpose of the postal establishment : to provide, for a small fee to
the State, a communication between persons living in different places, which
should be sure, expedient and free from all extraneous interference. The
committee considered that the proposition certainly aimed at a desirable
and fixed control, but delays and inconveniences, which acted against the
purpose of the postal establishment and made communication between the citizens
more difficult, seemed to be connected with its execution. On account of
the extent of the country, it would be almost impossible, with a proper regard
for security, to furnish the people with 'charts' of many different values
without hindering, or at least delaying and making more difficult, the exchange
of letters, so important to the commonwealth as well as to the individual.
It would be difficult to adjust the value of the Postage Chart to the weight
of the letter, thus affording opportunity for chicanery, extortion and losses.
All senders of letters, especially the peasants, would be largely dependent
on the postal agents, who alone would be acquainted with the value of the
stamped paper needed to despatch letters, and would, therefore, be frequently
required to furnish them with necessary wrappers. Finally, persons residing
in the country, who would be obliged to keep special agents in the cities
to look after their correspondents, would thereby be caused considerable
expense and loss of time.
When the findings of the committee were debated in the proposer's
own division, he made a detailed argument against the reasons on which the
committee had based its disapproval, and in his remarks at that time Treffenberg
showed how far ahead of his contemporaries he was in a true insight into
the conditions of the future.
After an extended debate, during which the proposition met with
both antagonism and favour, the proposer's request for a return to the committee
was granted. As the three other divisions, without debate, voted against
the bill, it fell through.
This far-reaching proposition thus met with a fate which in
our time must be considered as particularly undeserved. It was 32 years after
Treffenberg had presented the above-mentioned bill that he saw the introduction
of postage stamps into Sweden. But in the meantime they had been introduced
under the English flag."