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East & South-East Asia Titles:
Hong Kong: Annual Administration Reports 1841–1941

ISBN: (13) 978-1-85207-970-3
Extent: 6 volumes, 3,000 pages



Editor: R.L. Jarman
Author:N/A
ISBN: (10) 1-85207-970-3
Published: 1996
Paper: Printed on acid free paper
Binding: Library bindings
See sample pages: not available




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Resumé

This collection of administration and related reports covers the first 100 years of British rule in Hong Kong. On 26th January 1841 Hong Kong was occupied by British forces; two days after this initial occupation, on 28th January 1841, a Royal Proclamation placed the civil administration in the hands of Captain Elliot, then Chief Superintendent of Trade of British Subjects in China.
It naturally took time for the whole apparatus of colonial government to be developed in Hong Kong and for the standard reporting back to London to be established. Foremost among the reports that had to be sent back to London was the annual Blue Book: the collection of all available statistics for the colony, with details of all income and expenditure (including official salaries and pensions), and with the Blue Book was sent the Governor´s report summarising the events of the year.

This series has been established in its complete form for the first time by Robert Jarman, who also provides an archival introduction.
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Historical Overview

This collection of administration and related reports covers the first 100 years of British rule in Hong Kong. On 26th January 1841 Hong Kong was occupied by British forces; two days after this initial occupation, on 28th January 1841, a Royal Proclamation placed the civil administration in the hands of Captain Elliot, then Chief Superintendent of Trade of British Subjects in China. Captain Elliot was succeeded in his post as Chief Superintendent by Sir Henry Pottinger on 11th August 1841. A year later, on 29th August 1842, the British occupation of Hong Kong was recognised and confirmed in the Treaty of Nanking. The final stage of this takeover took place on 26th June 1843 when Hong Kong was proclaimed a Crown Colony and Sir Henry Pottinger became its first Governor.

There are no annual reports for these earliest years of the British presence in Hong Kong; but there are details of the income and expenditure of the fledgling administration which were presented to the British Parliament. There is also the report presented by the Colony´s Treasurer, Mr Martin, which describes the administration of the area at this point.

It naturally took time for the whole apparatus of colonial government to be developed in Hong Kong and for the standard reporting back to London to be established. Foremost among the reports that had to be sent back to London was the annual Blue Book: the collection of all available statistics for the colony, with details of all income and expenditure (including official salaries and pensions), and with the Blue Book was sent the Governor´s report summarising the events of the year.

Some of the reports were never published and these are reproduced in these volumes for the first time ever. The rest were published, though the method of publishing them changed over the years. Until 1886, all British colonial reports were published together in an omnibus report presented to Parliament entitled "Reports exhibiting the past and present state of Her Majesty´s colonial possessions"; from 1887 onwards each colony´s report became a separate publication. The actual publisher of the reports changed, too. From the beginning until 1919, Parliament itself published these reports as Command Papers; from 1920 onwards the Colonial Office published them through the agency of His Majesty´s Stationery Office. This series has been established in its complete form for the first time by Robert L. Jarman, who provides a detailed introduction to the sequence of reports, including archival references for each document.
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Documentary Importance

Detailed narrative and statistical summaries provide an exact and cumulative picture of the development of the colony from its foundation. The reports cover: Principal events; Trade and industry; Public works; Legislation; Finance. Relations with China can be followed from reports of trade and political events in Canton and the hinterland. The development of Hong Kong trade and finance can be traced in great detail. The issue of the prospectus for the 'Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Co.' is reported in July 1864. The progress of public works and civil administration in the colony is indicated by reference to specific construction projects and to new legislation. Political difficulties and civic unrest are reported and there is frequent news of losses from both typhoons and piracy in the China seas.
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Arrangement of volumes



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Contents Outline

The arrangement and division of the volumes in this publication reflects the successive changes in title, method of publication, and type of report. The arrangement is as follows:

Volume 1 contains the early reports from 1841-1844 before the system of annual reports was started; it also contains all the reports for 1844-1886, during which period the reports were published as one section of the omnibus "Reports exhibiting the past and present state of Her Majesty's colonial possessions".


Volume 2 contains the reports from 1887-1903, during which period colonial reports were published separately and not in a compendium. The title changed with the 1890 report but the form of the contents remained the same. There are two separate reports for the New Territories in this volume.


Volume 3 contains the reports from 1903-1919, continuing the particular sequence from Volume 2.


Volume 4 contains the reports from 1920-1930, during which period the form and title remained the same as for the years 1890-1919, but the publisher changed from the House of Commons to the Colonial Office through the agency of HM Stationery Office. Volume 4 also contains the Historical and Statistical Abstract of the Colony of Hong Kong 1841-1930.


Volume 5 contains the reports from 1931-1939, during which period the form (for all) and the publisher (up to 1938) were the same as for the period 1920-1930 but the title was changed to "Annual Report on the Social and Economic Progress of the People of Hong Kong".


Volume 6: no composite annual report was written for 1940/41 or 1941/42, but we do have certain departmental annual reports (viz: medical; education; botanical; prisons) and financial estimates, and these have been reproduced. At the end of this period, the worsening of the war situation prevented the preparation of any further reports until the beginning of British Military Administration in August 1945.


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Key documents

From: Historical and Statistical Abstract of the Colony of Hong Kong 1841-1930:

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Maps




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Editor's Introduction



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Related Titles:
China: Political Reports 1911–1960
China: Political Reports 1961–1970
Japan: Political And Economic Reports 1906–1970
Korea: Political And Economic Reports 1882–1970
Straits Settlements Annual Reports (Singapore, Penang, Malacca, Labuan) 1855–1941
Taiwan Political And Economic Reports 1861–1960 


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