I have located an article by Bob Peters in 'The Australian Philatelist', Vol 2, No 2 from Winter 1989.
I have updated the catalogue references for the Australian Commonwealth Specialists' Catalogue (ACSC) to the 2020 third edition on postage due stamps and included Scott references (2013 ed) not included in Bob Peters' original articles.
It is about Australian postage dues and includes this section on high value postage due:
The Usage of the High Value Postage Dues, 1902 - 1927
During this period, usage of postage dues with denominations of 2/- and above was limited and sporadic. Some values are rarely, if ever, seen used with contemporary postmarks.
The major uses for high values were:
(i) Payment of the amount due on a number of unpaid articles received on the same day by large organisations such as banks. Postage dues to the total amount due would often be affixed to one such article (usually the top item of the bundle) and cancelled on receipt of payment.
(ii) For payment of an impost of 3d per pound (weight) payable on parcels from the U.S.A. This charge was levied to encourage Australian industry, by discouraging the importation of heavy machine parts and the like. Again, the amount due would be calculated, and postage dues to that value attached to an article and cancelled, or cancelled and handed over , as a receipt. As would be expected, the cancellations (often "Parcel Post") associated with this usage are found almost exclusively on dues being a multiple of 3d (viz., 3d, 6d, 1/-, 2/-, 5/-, 10/- and £1.
(iii) As a receipt for bulk mailings of various classes of mail, in which case the postage due stamps represented the amount of ordinary postage paid.
The Monocolour High Values (1902-09)
These were for use in all States except Victoria, which retained their own series. The values 2/- and above comprise:
- the 1902 'provisional' issue with "NSW" removed from the design (5/- SGD8, ACSC D11, Sc J8);
- the 1902 'permanent' issue with the base of design completed (2/- SG D20 & D32, ACSC D40 and D41, Sc J19 & 19a, 5/- D33 & D42, ACSC D42 & D43, Sc J20 & J20a, 10/- SG D43, ACSC D44, Sc J21, 20/- SG D44, ACSC D45, SC J22);
- the 1908 issue with stroke added after numeral of design to distinguish them more readily from the pence values (2/- SG D60, ACSC D63, Sc J35, 5/- SG D59, ACSC D62, Sc J36, 10/- SG D61, ACSC D64, Sc J37, 20/- SG D62, ACSC D65, Sc J 38).
The various 1902 2/- and 5/- values are regularly encountered used, but with these we discover the beginning of a curious preponderance of Perth Cancellations on the high values, dating from 1905. The numbers distributed to the various States do not suggest greater use in Western Australia, so it would appear that more were retained, perhaps within the Post Office. Those with Perth cancellations are often found in blocks and with full gum. The variety of Perth Cancellations include (on these and later issues):
- Letter Carrier Room ("L.C.ROOM PERTH W.A.", "L.C.R.PERTH W.A." cds);
- Poste Restante ("P.R. PERTH W.A.", "POSTE RESTANTE PERTH WESTERN AUSTRALIA" cds, and 'POSTE RESTANTE PERTH WESTERN AUSTRALIA W.A." oval rubber stamp);
- Registered ("REGISTERED PERTH WESTN AUSTRALIA" cds and "REGISTERED PERTH W.A." spoon cancel);
- Parcel Post ("PARCEL POST PERTH" cds and "PARCEL POST PERTH" roller cancel, and cds with "P.P PERTH" horizontally inside circle;
- Ordinary "PERTH WESTERN AUSTRALIA" cds.
Despite any suggestions to the contrary from the above, these cancellations are associated with the usages outlined earlier.
Various cancellations of Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Hobart may be found.
The 1902 10/- and 20/- (without stroke) are not particularly common in used condition. The cancellation on most copies is the triple-ring oval "N.S.W." of Sydney. In some instances this indicates the adhesives having been cancelled-to-order, but this device was also used to cancel stamps during normal usage (note: the CTO versions have a crisper cancel than postally used ones and the cancelling implement was different). A steel c.d.s in violet "PARCELS BRANCH GPO SYDNEY" is occasionally encountered. These two values were not distributed outside New South Wales and, possibly, used nowhere but at the Sydney G.P.O.
Of the 1908-09 high values (with stroke after value) only the 5/- is other than rare in used condition. This value (with the 1/- of the same series) is, again, usually seen with Perth cancellations. Only very small quantities of the 2/-, 10/- and 20/- postage dues were issued in 1909 in Sydney, shortly before being superseded by the bi-colour design printed in Melbourne. (The 1/- and 5/-, however, saw distribution to Perth and Adelaide beginning in September, 1908). There appears to be no evidence of the 2/- value surviving with a contemporary cancellation. One copy each of the 10/- and 20/- has been seen by the writer with the violet "PARCELS BRANCH GPO SYDNEY" cds. Presumably others exist, but anyone desiring a copy for a collection may anticipate a long search! Occasionally copies are seen with "favour" cancellations applied many years later (ACSC 2020 notes: "The usage of these three stamps was extremely limited, and genuinely cancelled stamps are worth a considerable premium over mint stamps. At present two examples each of the 2/-, 10/- and 20/- [now three for the 20/-] stamps, all cancelled with the Parcels Branch Sydney date stamp in violet are recorded and represent the only acceptable used stamps).
The Bicolour High Values (1909-27)
These were for use in all States of the Commonwealth. The values 2/- and above comprise:
- the 1909 printings on thick paper perf 12 x 12½ (actually 12.2 x 12.4) (2/- SG D70, ACSC D89, Sc J46, 5/- SG D71, ACSC D90, Sc J47, 10/- SG D72, ACSC D91, Sc J48, £1 SG D73, ACSC D92, Sc J49);
- the 1921 issue on thin paper, line perf 14 (10/- SG D86, ACSC D103, SC J48a, £1 SG D87, ACSC D104, SC J49a).
The 1909 thick paper issues are commonly found with the 25mm c.t.o. cancel with "MELBOURNE" at top and blank at base, dated 1909-1911. These were so cancelled, in common with the other values in the series and many Victorian stamps, for inclusion in presentation and specimen sets.
The 2/- and 5/- values saw wide distribution and exist with a wide range of cancellations. However, again there is a preponderance of Perth cancellations. The 10/- and £1 values on thick paper are not uncommon used, though the range of cancellations is rather restricted. The most common cancellations are large Sydney Parcel Post meter ('clock') cancellations in violet (at least three types), and the "DELIVERY ROOM G.P.O. SYDNEY" cds. (These cancellations are associated with the 3d per lb charge, and postage due by larger organisations, respectively). Melbourne, Adelaide and other cancellations are seen, but the 10/- and £1 appear not to have been distributed to Western Australia. Cancellations from outside capital cities are scarce, the writer having seen those of Fitzroy (Vic.), Bendigo (Vic.) and Mudgee (N.S.W.), all dated in the middle 1920s.
In contrast to the previous issue, the 10/- and £1 on thin paper, reported to have been issued in May, 1921, are seldom seen in used condition. C.T.O. examples (identifiable as such) do not exist. The few examples seen by the writer are cancelled with the "DELIVERY ROOM GPO SYDNEY" cds. The 10/- and £1 values on thick paper remained in stock, and apparently few of the thin paper issue were distributed.
By 1920 the small demand for higher values had become obvious, to the extent that it was decided to discontinue values above 1/- when the large stocks were exhausted. Attempts were made with limited success to encourage post offices to order and use high values, and in June, 1927 supplies of postage due stamps 2/- and above were recalled.
An interesting usage of the 1902-04 5/- monocolour (SG D33, ACSC D42, Sc J20) has been observed from Townsville in 1925. Quantities of these were used in large blocks, cancelled with the "PARCEL POST BRANCH TOWNSVILLE" cds, apparently to pay landing charges. It seems rather doubtful that these would have been held at Townsville since their original distribution (1902-08), so it would appear probable that these were distributed ex Brisbane or Sydney in 1924 or 1925. More than 100,000 5/- postage dues were sent to Brisbane in 1903, a quantity far in excess of likely requirements. It should, however, be noted that late use of monocolour stamps is not uncommon, particularly from Tasmania, where in the original distribution of 1902, certain values were over-supplied to such an extent that some of the provisional series of monocolours are regularly seen used at least until 1925.
In 1953, values above 1/- (2/- and 5/-) were again issued and, until the final withdrawal of postage dues in 1963, quite large numbers were used to pay the amount due for reply-paid mail, amongst other usages.
I will include colour images to this post shortly. THe original article contained only black-and-white images of low resolution and I can improve on those myself.