The change in the letter rate postage on 1st July, 1931 found the Post Office Department with a considerable surplus stock of 2-cent red postage stamps of the 1930 issue. A surcharge raising the value to three cents was printed to avoid waste. The British American Bank Note Company was instructed to overprint the surplus stock with a four-line surcharge. Sheets manufactured by the Company but not turned over to the Post Office Department, in addition to sheets returned by the Department, were surcharged in this way. The overprinting appeared in such a manner as to obliterate the numerals of value and to indicate clearly the new value, but without obliterating the subject on the stamp.
Portrait of His Majesty King George V by Carl Arlt.