Mr Chernyavskyj was a lawyer in Kolomyya and the above study was written by him in three separate versions: german, Polish and Ukrainian, in 1928. entitled "The story of the Postage stamps of Kolomyya - (1) Ukrainian, (2) C.M.T. - Roumanian Occupation" , the three editions were published by Evhen Velichkovskyj and printed by Wilhelm Brauner, both of Kolomyya. The translation above is from the Ukrainian version, books being kindly loaned by Mr J.S. terlecky, our Ukrainian editor.

This is the only extensive treatment so far published of this obscure phase of Ukrainian philately and his legal training has enabled Mr Chernyavskyj to set down the facts as he knew them in an orderly manner. In this way, they can be easily checked. his treatment of the postal history of the occupation is especially useful, as it is backed up with authoritative documentation.

Let´s go back over his information and see what conclusions may be drawn. From Ill 1 we can see what kinds of Roumanian stamps were available on 12 June 1919, namely the 5 bani (10 heller) regular with circular overprint showing the monogram of King Ferdinand and the initials "P.T.T." (Posts, Telegraphs and Telephones). the other 5 bani stamp, inscribed "TIMBRU DE AJUTOR" (auxiliary stamp), was printed in green and was obligatory as a tax on postal sendings. It is to such "auxiliary" stamps that the decree in the Appendix refers to, the tax required for the most part being 20 heller or 10 bani, which could have been paid by pairs of the 5 bani, or a single of the 10 bani value printed in black. In other words, most classes of mail covered by the official notice required combination franking of the Roumanian auxiliary stamps and the "C.M.T." surcharges. We have yet to see such frankings on cards and covers and they are obviously rare, as can also be inferred from Mr Chernyavskyjs work.

it will be noted from the decree that the rates were adequately covered by the values of the surcharged stamps (40h, 60h and 1k20h) in one way or another, with the exception of the 20h tariff for visiting cards. In the event these would have been sent, the rate may possibly have been paid with a 10 bani roumanian regular stamp with the overprinted monogram, similar to the 5 bani stamp shown in Ill 1.

As the surcharges on the austrian postages dues only cover the 40h and 1k20h values, rather than double the deficiencies in the postal rates, it would seem that they were only utilized as postage stamps. Does any reader have any definitive information about this?

The names of the eight known post offices have primarily been given in their Polish versions, as they are inscribed in this way on the old Austrian cancellers, which were still being used during the Roumanian occupation. Some unused copies have been seen of the 40h surcharge on Austrian 10h postcards, all of them of the external type (See Ill 2). It would therefore seem that the internal type is scarcer, which stands to reason as it would have been in more frequent use during the Austrian administration and consequently a smaller quantity would have been left over for surcharging.

The reference by Mr Chernyjavskyj of the application of the Kolomyya postal seal to sets of unused Austrian postage stamps at the instigation of the professor from Chernivtsy (Cernauti) is a little vague, as it is not clear whether they were actually postmarked, or had the seal placed on the margins of the sheets to "authenticate" them. That there was such a professor involved in illegal reprintings of this issue seems to be true, as can be borne out by the chance discovery of a used Roumanian postcard, the message on which being shown in Ill 3. Adressed to Mr Marcel Biro in Debrezen, Hungary and written by a professor D. Gronich of Pitzelligasse 2 in Cernauti on 9 Oct 1921 it read as follows:

" Coming back to our earlier exchange relationship, I am taking the liberty to ask if you are interested in C.M.T. rarities (Michel 1922, Nos 11, 23, 28, Porto 4, 6). I have not given these stamps in exchange until now as they were either not correctly priced to correspond with the numbers printed, or had been unpriced.
In echange I am thinking about the Debreczen 1st and 2nd issues in complete sets if possible and in convenient quantities.
Awaiting your reply with pleasure at your earliest convenience, I remain,
Yours faithfully
Prof. D. Gronich

This is possibly the same professor that Dr W.R. had refered to.

With regard to the color of the original surcharges, Mr Chernyavskyj stated in the Polish version of his work that it was in dark blue-black ink. The postcard shown in Ill 2 has it in greyish blue-black ink and it is in the same color on the used 60h/20h stamp given in Ill 3 (not shown). The postmark on this latter item is from somewhere in GALIZIEN (Galicia) and the date is 17 July 1919, which is in the correct period. The 40h surcharge in Ill. 6 (not shown) is in glossy black ink on a 10 h Austrian stamp, which, according to the study, was never issued. It must therefore belong to the illegal reprints done by either the professor or the consortium at Cernauti.

Several of the mayor catalogs list the "C.M.T." stamps, including the additional values that Mr Chernyavskyj says are speculative. As to the color of the surcharges, Michel says it varies from black-violet to violet.
It also lists the following as proofs:

          STA MPS             DU ES
Blue surcharge   40h/5h   60h/5h 60h/20h 60h/25h 60h/30h 60h/40h 60h/50h 60h/60h   1k20h/1k 40h/20h 40h/ 50/42h
Red surcharge 40h/3h 40h/5h 60h/3h 60h/5h   60h/25h 60h/30h     60h/60h 1k20h/30h      

Until a couple of years ago, it also stated that the stamps were used at 10 post offices in Southern Galicia and Bukovina. The wording has now been changed to several post offices in the same areas. Since Mr Chernyavskyj accounts for 8 post offices, all in Pokutia, which forms part of Southern galicia, there is no reason why the stamps would have been utilized in Bukovina, all of which latter area had by now been incorporated into the Kingdom of Roumania. The possibility cannot be excluded that the professor or the consortium in Chernivtsy (Cernauti) had their illegal reprints cancelled with the Austrian cancellers still being applied in Northern Bukovina. Please see Ill 7 for an example of an Austrian CZERNOWITZ postmarker still being utilized in Cernauti on 25 Feb 1920. If such a marking appears on a used "C.M.T." surcharge, then the stamp must be an illegal reprint.

The Zumstein catalog states that the stamps were used in Pokutia, Southern Galicia and Bukovina. As the Roumanian army only occupied Pokutia, postmarks from other parts of Southern Galicia would appear to be suspect. Its listing of the proof surcharges is as follows:

          STA MPS             DU ES
Blue surcharge 40h/3h       60h/20h 60h/25h 60h/30h 60h/40h 60h/50h 60h/60h 1k20h/5h   1k20h/25h/20h 1k20h/ 50h
Red surcharge 40h/3h 40h/5h 60h/3h       60h/30h              

It is interesting to note from Article No 13 of the official notice that international mail was permitted only to countries which were allies of Roumania during WW 1 as well as two neutral countries, namely Spain and Switzerland. Any such examples, if they exist, must be of considerable rarity.

The final conclusions reached in this survey may be summarized as follows:

(A)  Roumanian stamps were the only ones available up to 14 June 1919 and their usage was rare
(B) The "C.M.T." surcharges were used at eight post offices in Pokutia only, from 14 June to 20 August 1919. For a map of the area involved see Ill 8
(C) Postmarks from other parts of Southern Galicia or Northern Bukowina must have been fraudulently applied on the illegal reprints
(D) The color used for the original surcharges could have varied from dark blue-black to greyish blue-black.
       The black-violet to violet shades mentioned by Michel may have resulted when used stamps were soaked off cards or covers
(E) The stamps should only be collected in used condition with legible postmarks of Pokutia applied within the proper period,
      until it has been determined beyond doubt what colours were used by the professor and the consortium for their illegal surcharges
(F) All stamps with glossy black surcharges are bogus
(G) It is possible that the proof surcharges in blue and red are authentic, as they could have been tried out by the Roumanian military authorities in Cernauti
      prior to the issue of the original surcharges, and thus would have been unknown to Mr Chernyavskyj. Further evidence is required to support this,
      as several values with proof surcharges (3h, 40h and 60h postage stamps of Austria) do not exist among the surcharged stamps as issued.
(H) Only the 13 values listed by Mr Chernyavskyj were issued, and all other stamps noted in several catalogs should be regarded as bogus.
(I)  The possibility exists of forged surcharges on Austrian stamps, i.e. surcharges applied on Austrian stamps after the original dies had been destroyed.
      although none have been seen so far. They may even exist on Austrian stamps selected for the correct period of use, but otherwise showing
     indistinct portions of the rest of the cancels.

Any further findings arrived at by readers on this difficult issue will be gladly published by the Editorial Board.

(Webmasters note: 2 illustrations are not shown, since quality is too bad)