A Colonial Economy in Crisis: Burma's Rice Delta and the by Ian Brown

By Ian Brown

The publication demanding situations the orthodox argument that rural populations which deserted self-sufficiency to develop into unmarried commodity manufacturers, and have been supposedly very liable to the commodity rate cave in of the Nineteen Thirties melancholy, didn't endure up to has been intended. It exhibits how the consequences of the melancholy have been complex, various among areas, among other kinds of financial actors, and through the years, and indicates how the 'victims' of the melancholy weren't passive, operating imaginatively to mitigate their situations.

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Extra resources for A Colonial Economy in Crisis: Burma's Rice Delta and the World Depression of the 1930s (Routledgecurzon Studies in the Modern History of Asia)

Sample text

19 Then, in 1930, the depression crisis struck Burma’s rice economy with full force. The year began strongly. 20 Prices were down: but not markedly so. And yet, as rice cultivators in Burma and elsewhere then turned to plant the new crop that would be harvested in the closing months of 1930, they brought the crisis in the world rice market to a head. As noted above, Solomon estimated that in the crop year 1930/31, world production of rice, excluding China, increased by between 3 and 4 per cent, more if China were to be included.

Once again, why did the Burma administration fail to intervene? The explanation lies, I suspect, not in some distinctive feature of the delta economy but in Burma’s constitutional position between 1886 and 1937 as a mere province of British India. There are two points here. 11 Most provincial governments, including of course the Burma administration, feared that such legislative restriction on the freedom of contract would harm the revenue. 12 10 J. S. Furnivall, Colonial Policy and Practice: A Comparative Study of Burma and Netherlands India.

Pp. 61–62. Solomon did not identify the firm. However, another source notes the failure at this time of the prominent Chinese rice exporters, Beng Huat. The firm ‘has [almost certainly] been losing money for a considerable number of years, principally owing to speculation and probably considerable expenditure (bribery and corruption) in the political world’. Moreover, Beng Huat’s failure exposed a substantial fraud – it was alleged – against the Western banks in Rangoon. A. H. Ensor to the Joint General Managers, Lloyds Bank, Head Office, London, 18 December 1928.

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