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 prone to the commodity expense cave in of the Nineteen Thirties melancholy, didn't endure up to has been meant. It indicates how the consequences of the melancholy have been advanced, various among areas, among other kinds of financial actors, and through the years, and exhibits how the 'victims' of the melancholy weren't passive, operating imaginatively to mitigate their conditions.

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7 Interim Report of the Committee Appointed to Enquire into the Rice and Paddy Trade. Rangoon: Government Printing and Stationery, 1931, p. 7. 8 Report on the Maritime Trade of Burma, 1927–28. Calcutta: Government of India Central Publication Branch, 1928, p. 20. The next sentence noted that ‘Saigon and Bangkok are menacing [Burma’s] position [near to] home’. 9 Report on the Maritime Trade of Burma, 1927–28. Calcutta: Government of India Central Publication Branch, 1928, p. 20. 10 Between 1914 and 1928, the area under rice increased by 49 per cent in Siam, 45 per cent in French Indo-China, but only 16 per cent in Burma.

Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1984, p. 322. 14 See Thant Myint-U, The Making of Modern Burma. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001, pp. 193–98. 15 Robert H. Taylor, The State in Burma. London: C. Hurst, 1987, pp. 121–23. 22 Growth and weakness in Burma’s rice economy would be dominant in the province. 16 Tenants and labourers in the 1920s In the early 1920s the Burma government ordered an inquiry into the condition of agricultural tenants and labourers in the rice delta. The inquiry was led by Thomas Couper, a senior official with long experience in the province’s land administration, and involved investigations in the 13 delta rice districts.

Pp. 7–8. , pp. 28–29. , pp. 6–7. The marked rise in agricultural wages was not a reflection of labour shortages but, presumably, mainly a reflection of post-war increases in the cost of living. 21 The cause, it was argued, lay in the fact that the tenant commonly held just a singleyear lease, which gave him every incentive to work the land hard but invest neither time nor money in its maintenance, let alone improvement. Few tenants put manure on their holding, while damaged field embankments were ignored, remained unrepaired, leaving the rich top soil to drain away.

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