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Administrative Reports

These are the annual reports laid to the Legislative Council from the Government, which include different sections in relation to industry and labour. From 1908 to 1937, these reports include a section “Industries” (which was retitled to “Manufactures” in 1927 and then to “Production” in 1931) in the chapter “Trade and Shipping, Industries, Fisheries, Agriculture and Land.” Between 1909 and 1923, the industries were classified into two types: (i) under European management and (ii) under Chinese management.

These government reports describe the general conditions of selected industries but no statistical data on production, employment or labour conditions are available. From 1910, the reports provided figures of the tonnage of ships built, but no similar statistical figures is provided for other industries. Occasionally the reports show quantitative data of some industries. For example, from 1915 to 1917, the export value of rattan furniture was shown in the reports. Any evaluation of particular industries however was only referred to import and export trade. In some years during the 1910s and 1930s, the government reports explain the performance of certain industries with respect to the economic and political changes in China and Europe, and occasionally the competition with other imported products. In 1938 and 1939, only shipbuilding industry was reported.