1782: 22 George 3 c.70: An Act to enable the Commander in Chief of his Majesty’s Forces, and the Secretary to the Commander in Chief of his Majesty’s Forces, to send and receive Letters and Packets free from the Duty of Postage.
[Preamble. Recital of 4 Geo. III. Cap. 24.]
‘WHEREAS by an Act, made in the fourth Year of the Reign of his present Majesty, intituled, An Act for preventing Frauds and Abuses in relation to the sending and receiving of Letters and Packets free from the Duty of Postage, it is enacted, That from and after the first Day of May, one thousand seven hundred and sixty-four, so long as the Revenue arising in the General Letter-office, or Post-office, or Office of Postmaster-general, shall continue to be made Part of the Aggregate Fund, no Letters or Packets sent by the Post, to or from any Place whatsoever, shall be exempted from paying the Duty of Postage, except such Letters and Packets as are therein particularly excepted: And whereas the Privilege of sending and receiving Letters and Packets free from the Duty of Postage is not, by the said Act, extended to the Commander in Chief of his Majesty’s Forces, or to the Secretary to the Commander in Chief of his Majesty’s Forces for the Time being, who, by virtue of their respective Offices and Employments, necessarily send and receive many Letters and Packets relating to the Publick Concerns of these Kingdoms;’ may it therefore please your Majesty that it may be enacted, and be it enacted by the King’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same,
[Commander in Chief, and his Secretary impowered to send and receive Letters free hom Postage.]
That from and after the passing of this Act, the said Commander in Chief of his Majesty’s Forces, and the Secretary to the Commander in Chief of his Majesty’s Forces for the Time being, shall and may send and receive Letters and Packets free from the Duty of Postage, in the same Manner, and under such Restrictions, as other Officers mentioned in the said Act are thereby permitted, in respect of their Offices, to send and receive the same, in pursuance of the said Act.
[The said Commander to appoint two Persons to indorse publick Letters sent from his Office.]
II. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful to and for the said Commander in Chief for the Time being to authorize and direct certain Persons, not exceeding two in Number, in his Office or Department (a List of whose Names shall be, from Time to Time, transmitted by him to the General Post-office in London), to make and subscribe an Indorsement upon Letters and Packets, to be sent by the Post from his Office, which shall concern the publick Business of his Office or Department, signifying that such Letters and Packets are upon his Majesty’s Service ; which Letters and Packets, being so subscribed, and being sealed with the Seal of the Commander in Chief for the Time being, or his Secretary, shall and may be sent and conveyed by the Post, free from the Duty of Postage.
[Penalty on indorsing any Letter which does not concern the said Office.]
III. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Person, authorized to make and subscribe such Indorsement, shall knowingly make the same, or procure the same to be made, upon any Letter or Packet which does not really concern the Business of the said Office or Department of Commander in Chief such Person shall, for the first Offence, forfeit and pay the Sum of five Pounds, to be recovered and applied in such Manner as by the Act of the ninth Year of the Reign of Queen Anne, for establishing a General Post office, is directed with respect to the Penalties inflicted by the said Act; and for the second Offence shall be dismissed from his Office.
Source: Ruffhead, Statutes at Large, Vol. 14.