Division of Classification Case No. 90929-PC
POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
August 19, 1939
My dear Sir:
Receipt is acknowledged of your letter of August 3(WHMcC:MC), transmitting a copy of a letter addressed to the First Assistant Postmaster General in regard to metered mail of the United States Penitentiary, Alcatraz Island, California.
The present arrangement with respect to the return card and slogan printed in connection with the metered permit indicia notifying correspondents to address their replies in the exact form shown in the return card was adopted at the request of the Bureau of Prisons and is followed generally in such cases in other places.
While your statements have been noted with sympathetic interest, we do not feel that it would be desirable to make the changes suggested.
Very truly yours,
UNITED STATES POST OFFICE
August 24, 1939
Mr. James A. Johnston
I am very sorry to be compelled to send you the enclosed. It is quite a disappointment to me and I know a disappointment to you.
It is evident that the Third Assistant has based his refusal on the fact that the exact form shown in the return card was adopted at the request of the Bureau of Prisons.
The Bureau is now, I take it, desirous of a change. It might be well to have the Bureau itself contact the Third Assistant Postmaster General and endeavor to persuade him to reverse his ruling.
If there is anything further that I can do, let me know your wishes and I will be glad to follow them.
With warm personal regards,
Sincerely, William H. McCarthy Postmaster.
TO: James V. Bennett, Director, Bureau of Prisons
RE: OUTGOING METERED MAIL
Dear Mr. Bennett:
Following receipt of your note of August 16, 1939 I endeavored to set in motion the changes necessary to carry out the plan which we had agreed upon for handling of inmates' mail.
I am in receipt of a communication from William H. McCarthy, Postmaster of San Francisco, inclosing copy of letter that he received from Ramsey S. Black, Third Assistant Postmaster General, Washington, D.C. stating that the present plan was adopted at the request of the Bureau of Prisons.
Apparently, it will be necessary for you to affect the changes desired under the cooperation and order of W.W. Howes, First Assistant Postmaster General, and Ramsey S. Black, Third Assistant Postmaster General.
I am inclosing a copy of Postmaster McCarthy's letter and copy of the letter of Ramsey S. Black, Third Assistant Postmaster General.
Will you please take up with Mr. Howes and Mr. Black and have them give the necessary permission and authorization to Mr. McCarthy. Please keep me advised.
August 31, 1939
Mr. James A. Johnston
My dear Warden Johnston:
I have your letter relative to the difficulties you are having in carrying out the plan suggested for handling inmates' mail.
My suggestion now would be that you drop that part of the stencil that contains the words "Caution - in replying use this exact address". Also that instead of having the inmate place his return address in the upper lefthand corner of the envelope, a slip be inserted in each envelope with instructions as to how the reply should be addressed.
It seems to me also that that part of the stencil meter which contains the date and the words, "Alcatraz California" is larger than is necessary.
If you reduce the size of the date stamp to about the size of the inner circle, use black ink instead of red, and eliminate the return address in the upper left hand corner of the envelope I believe that the Alcatraz date mark will be relatively inconspicuous, and I believe this is the best we can do at the present time.
With best regards,
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