(Part I of II) Passports are of all times. Thousands of years ago salesmen and Royal messengers were provided a laissez-passer signed by their head of state with the request to other heads of states to “let this civilian pass your borders and travel your country with peace”. End 18th century the French instituted the first census, the registration duty and the municipal population register in the Netherlands. On 12 December 1813 King William I established the first passport law.
It has been mentioned more than once at the NvFF meetings and written about frequently in the Cleyn Segel: is anybody willing to write a piece on his collection? As new member you tend to lean back and wonder: hasn’t anybody already written about this? And as longstanding member you think that by now everything has already been put to paper.
As a relatively newby at collecting fiscal revenues, I’ll try to share one of my collecting areas with you. Passport revenues came into my view through Peter van Huuksloot. Last year he cleared out his doubles on eBay, and (lucky for me) there were only a few bidders. Thanks to the summer vacation! And with several stamp exchanges you extend this starters-collection. You make use of the concept “Catalogus Nederlandse Fiscaalzegels” by Oscar van der Vliet and Peter van Huuksloot to get an insight what’s known on Netherlands passport revenues.
You visit the Museum of Communication the view the administrative records of the “Dienst Zegelwaarden Haarlem” and you find emission figures and some additional values. And so you get from passport revenue to the actual documents: passport, identity card, etc. And you want to get some examples to show the use of these revenues. By exchange with a Belgium collector I got my hands on a 1922 document: passport Model B, for foreign use by the Netherlands consulate / consulate-general. In this specific case the consulate-general of
No passport revenues, but instead several Kanselarij Rechten (Chancery / Foreign Office rights) revenues and
Consulaire Dienst (Consular Office) revenues with later passport renewals. And that triggered my taste for more
Passports are of all times. Thousands of years ago salesmen and Royal messengers were provided a laissez-passer signed by their head of state with the request to other heads of states to “let this civilian pass your borders and travel your country with peace”. End 18th century the French instituted the first census, the registration duty and the municipal population register in the Netherlands. On 12 December 1813 King William I established the first passport law.
The first passport was a just a piece of paper. Around 1914 the passport booklet was introduced. After that many transformations followed. The first use of passport revenues started around 1922, and seemed not to be mandatory. The latest use of Netherlands passport revenues was about 1984/1985, never to return again. The only Netherlands sticker you’ll find in a (foreign) passport is a Netherlands Immigration and Naturalization Department Visa.
From the 1960’s the foreign office rights revenue was triangular (cutoff) with the relevant article number and (local) costs. Latest use is also around 1984/1985.
The book “Paspoort. Een parade van Nederlandse reisdocumenten” from Tom van Beek (1995, at the occasion of the presentation of a new Netherlands passport with images on the pages depicting major historic events) gives an good insight in the early history, use and evolution of the Netherlands passport. Too bad, they missed an opportunity: no fiscal backgrounds or revenues mentioned.
Almost any information you might be looking for on the current versions of the passport and identity card (both models 2001 and 2006) can be found online: www.paspoortinformatie.nl. My own questions on the older types of identity papers and use of passport revenues were addressed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Agency “Basisadministratie Persoonsgegevens en Reisdocumenten” (BPR) and a number of Foreign Offices abroad. All questions were kindly accepted, but I never received an answer. Probably the specialists to answer my questions are for a few months out of the country… So I went to the National Archives myself, were all old records of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are kept, and the correspondence of a few chancery / foreign offices.
The organisation the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
In 1876 the first functional scheme of the organisation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was drafted. Before this departmental structure all tasks were just divided among the available staff; leaving only specific secret state affairs handled by a separate department since 1861: the Cabinet. The functional scheme of 1876:
- Kabinet (cabinet)
- Eerste Afdeling: Politieke zaken (political issues)
- Tweede Afdeling: Consulaire- en handelszaken (consular and trade)
- Derde Afdeling: Comptabiliteit (accounting)
- Algemeen Secretariaat :
- Bureau A – agenda, archief en index (agenda, archive and index)
- Bureau B – protocol en bibliotheek (protocol and library)
- Bureau C – expeditie (shipping and expedition)
The task description of the Second Department (the Tweede Afdeling, relevant to revenue collectors) was: to look after Netherlands trade- and shipping interests, including negotiations on treaties and protocols, and the preparation and execution of the Royal Decree that handles nominations and dismissal of consular civil servants, the consular regulations, and the publication of consular reports.
In 1886 the name of the Tweede Afdeling (Second Department) is changed into Afdeling Handelspolitiek en Consulaire Zaken (department of Trade Politics and Consular Affairs). And in 1909 the department is divided into two sub-departments. The sub-department Consular Affairs is occupied with the Netherlands Consular Service and the recognition of the foreign consular staff in the Netherlands and Netherlands Colonies; while the sub-department Trade Politics is looking after the Netherlands Trade- and Shipping Interests in foreign countries, and to prepare new treaties and contracts. This sub-department was also responsible for international contacts on rail- and waterways, telegraph and telephone. In 1919 another reorganization follows and this sub-department became the new Directie Economische Zaken.
After World War II (1940-1945) there came an and to the separate department Consular Affairs. It was integrated with the department of Diplomatic Affairs into the Foreign Department, which in turn was integrated in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1987.
The consular registry of births, deaths and marriages
In pursuance of the law ”Wet houdende regeling van de bevoegdheid der consulaire ambtenaren tot het opmaken van burgerlijke akten en van de consulaire regtsmacht” July 25 1871, Staatsblad 91 (Bulletin of Acts, Orders and Decrees 91), the possibility was introduced to appoint consular cival servants and empower them to draw up, among other things, certificates of the registry of births, deaths and marriages. By Royal Decree of Sep 19 1872, Staatsblad 93, a number of consular offices were appointed, starting Jan 1 1873, to act based on this law. Both law and enactment were often renewed, changed and updated, also naming consulate offices granted these rights or were revoked. The consular offices are named in the appendices of these law and enactment changes: many dozens in almost every country in the world, often several per country.
More information can be found in the Staatsbladen (Bulletin of Acts, Orders and Decrees):
- Consulaire Wet: 19 maart 1918 (Staatsblad No. 100)
- Wijziging wet Regeling der Kanselarij rechten: 17 juni 1918 (Staatsblad No. 376)
- Wijziging van de Consulaire Wet op 13 december 1918 (Staatsblad No. 603)
- Wet op Kanselarij rechten 1948: 1948 (Staatsblad No. I481) And several amendments:
- Staatsbladen: 1917 mrt 28 (Staatsblad No. 267/268), 1926 nov 19 (Staatsblad No. 384), 1930 mrt 20 (Staatsblad No. 98) / 1930 apr 18 (Staatsblad No. 367), 1934 mei 25. Staatsblad No. 271), 1938 jan 4 (Staatsblad No. 160), etc.
I looked further into one of these documents, a proposal to change the Chancery / Foreign Office rights law, just because there was a full concept version available in the National Archives. Including notes and remarks by the author. That gave a very nice insight in what was going on (and still is) in the consular arena.
(Illustrations by Theo J.F. Schalke, Peter van Huuksloot and Hanspaul Hager. The original Dutch text is also available on the NVFF website.)