World War Two – BAAG reports – Batch 2 – HK industry, factories, mines, CLP…

Elizabeth Ride has sent a further sample of British Army Aid Group reports sent during during the Japanese occupation of HK in WW2.

HF: There are many industrial references. Well known companies such as China Light & Power as well as smaller concerns such as those producing oil ,boat diesel engines and acids. Mines reopened by the Japanese. What was happening to transport – the introduction of horse- drawn buses. And food, at one time bread was cheaper than rice in HK…

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 12 30th Dec 1942 Currency- rumour HK dollar to go out of circulation, large numbers of Hong Kong notes shipped to Japan, Military Yen notes – possibility of dropping counterfeit notes over HK.
Result of raw materials being shipped out of HK – acute shortages. Japanese seeking stocks of Pig Iron, Copper, Wolfram and Wax[?].
HK imports – mainly foodstuff from Canton, Indo-China, Siam, Singapore. Exports – manufactured goods from old stock and Taikoo Refinery sugar.
Rumours buses to stop in four months. Kowloon, horse-drawn buses in use.

BAAG File 13 Smuggling into HK. Export Blockade zone.

BAAG File 14 27th Mar 1943 Living conditions in HK. Food – all employees in big factories, docks etc to have rations cut but not wages.
Acid manufacturing works in To Kwa Wan
Workers in Ngau Tau Kok
Evacuation of unemployed from HK. Inducements offered by the Japanese to do so. Arrests and “repatriation” to Kongmoon and Taiping by junk. Adverts for workersneeded in Hainan appearing in HK Chinese newspapers.

BAAG File 15 The Hong Kong News 3rd April 1943 – adverts for blacksmiths, ships carpenters, metal workers and coxwains.
Currency, Apr 1943, HK Governor’s Order No.16 replaces No.32 re regulations on exchange of currencies.

BAAG File 16 The Yokchama [Yokohama?] Specie and The Bank of Taiwan temporarily appointed as exchange banks.
24th Mar 1943 ten military trucks remove ‘Wang’s Central Government Banknotes’ to be shipped to Canton.
Control of Piers, Hongkong 26th Mar 1943, meeting of the Harbour Dept staff to discuss the control of piers [external ferries from HK].
Lists of Heads of various Depts in the Government of HK.

BAAG File 17 SCMP editor detained
Police training
Recruitment for Gendamarie
Economic – Food – essential commodities, rice, oil, sugar,salt and flour. Black market availability. China Provident Loan & Mortgages Co., West Point, quantity of rice, sugar, newspaper print, tinned goods. Metals. Aluminium scrap. Nickel coins stored at Ford [?] Godowns, Taikoktsui.
Motor Cars a) Only 200 cars left at Pehei [?] Sports Ground, Boundary Street, Kowloon, rest melted for scrap. b) All cars parked at Police Recreation Club, Boundary Street, Kowloon, being scrapped.
Mines at Lingmahang and Ngtungshan have been reworked since “last November.”

BAAG File 18 Fire Engines shipped to Japan
Ma On Shan Iron mine re-opened
Wolfram mine “in” the Shing Mun (Jubilee) Reservoir
Formosa firm buying ore (from both mines?]
Manganese ore stored in Mongkok awaiting shipment
Tanic Acid, Borax, Dry Batteries, Radio parts being bought by Naval Authorities
– Fook Hing Oil Factory, Castle Peak Road, Cheung Sha Wan
– Chun Hing Oil Factory, Kwan Yick, Kennedy Town (produces Diesel Oil obtained from Coal Tar obtained from the Hongkong Gas Company)

BAAG File 19 China Light and Power Co. Situation at the Japanese occupation of HK, Japanese staff
Foundry set up in To Kar [Kwa?] Wan, casting boat engines using scrap iron, copper and steel.
Finance – foreign exchange rates
The Commercial Press – bank note printing press arrival
HSBC – bank notes signing, bank to close “in 2 months”

BAAG File 20 Jun 1943 Control of Commodity Prices
“Repatriation” of people
Bread cheaper than rice in HK
Salt – distribution delayed, salt syndicate revising system of distribution
Takashimaya IIda[?] and Co. Ltd buying screws, Singapore Tin [?], Iron Sheets

Further information:

Related Indhhkk articles:

  1. World War Two – BAAG reports – Batch 1 – HK industrial companies, trading syndicates…
  2. World War Two – BAAG reports – Batch 3 – HSBC lions, Tricycle taxis, Industrial companies and much more…

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.

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