World War Two – BAAG reports – Batch 1 – HK industrial companies, trading syndicates…
Elizabeth Ride has sent a sample of BAAG reports from 1942 to 1944. These cover mainly commodity prices and supply in Hong Kong during this period plus snippets about currency, utilities, transport, trade syndicates and the Canton Army Commissariat which operated factories in Canton producing for the Japanese army.
File 11 mentions four HK companies.
HF: I have given each file Elizabeth sent a new name, dates where known and a brief summary of contents.
WIS = Waichow Intelligence Summary KWIZ = Kweillin Weekly Intelligence Summary
BAAG File 1 Conditions in HK from Jan to Aug 1942
general, commodity prices – rice, oil, firewood, vegetables, pork, bread
BAAG File 2 Comparison of pre-war and post-war (presumably meaning Jap occupation) commodity prices – suits, towels,soap, shoes, pens. Similar comparison of utility and transport prices. Currency rates of exchange 1942.
BAAG File 3 Commodity prices extracted from various HK News 1943 – food. Arrival into HK of Thai rice. Three syndicates formed – Yaumatei, Kowloon Pawnshop, Herb. Meeting of Sugar Assoc – improving sugar rationing.
BAAG File 4 1944 Commodity prices – rice, pork, beef, fish, lard, firewood. Forced collection of rice from NT farmers. Black market prices – food, firewood.
BAAG File 5 1944 Commodity supply and prices – rice (various types), suet, firewood,cooking oil. Transport (“Communications”) – tram service ceased – hand carts being used on HK as public transport.
BAAG File 6 1944 Commodity supplyand prices – cigarettes, food. Formation of Hongkong Trading Syndicate – 94 companies, including leading ones, Mitsui and Mitsubushi.
BAAG File 7 1944 Currency exchange rates. Commodity supply and prices – rice, sugar, kerosene, cloth.
BAAG File 8 1944 Commodity supply and prices – gold, rice, potatoes, peanut oil, firewood. “Local conditions” – cases of robberies increasing. ban on hoarding and profiteering. The Canton Army Commissariat – factories producing for the Japanese army at Tung Kau Cheung, Canton.
BAAG File 9 1944 Finance and currency – exchange rates, gold prices. Commodity supply and prices – fish, shrimp, eels,clams,crabs, frogs, turtles.
BAAG File 10 1944 Finance and Currency – bank interest rates. Commodity supply and prices – beef, pork, fish, cabbage. Gold price increases.
BAAG File 11 Air raid – food price increases. Fish stall owners face prosecution for over-charging. Wheat arrival from Hunan. Rationing – sugar, salt, matches. Commerce and Industry – Green Island Cement, “Oxygen Factory”, Hip Tung Wo Machine Works, Bailey’s Shipyard.
The undated photo that accompanies this article is of “The bombardment of Hong Kong Island during the Second World War” courtesy of the HK Public Records office.
See: http://gwulo.com/node/19946 The price of rice in WW2
Related Indhhk articles:
- World War Two – BAAG reports – Batch 2 – HK industry, factories, mines, CLP…
- World War Two – BAAG reports – Batch 3 – HSBC lions, Tricycle taxis, Industrial companies and much more…
- For general information about the Elizabeth Ride collection, her father Sir Lindsay Ride, and the British Army Aid group during WW2 a very useful introduction is through http://gwulo.com/node/13968
- The BAAG papers are kept at the Hong Kong Heritage Project –
The website has several articles about BAAG reports from HK during WW2 and about various aspects of life in HK during the Japanese occupation. The index shows all of these.