The effects of the Great War on Indian imports and exports

Ainscough, Thomas M[artland]. Trade of India. Report on the Conditions and Prospects of British Trade in India, at the Close of the War.

London, His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1919.

Folio (214 x 334 mm). 148 pp. With large colour-printed folding map in rear and colour folding chart of imports and exports. Modern purple wrappers.


A detailed and nicely executed British colonial report on the state of Indian trade at the end of the First World War, authored by Thomas Ainscough (1886-1976), a colonial administrator in the Department of Overseas Trade, and Senior Trade Commissioner for India, Burma, and Ceylon. Ainscough carefully compares pre-war and 1917-1918 imports and exports in India, focusing on the changing trade situations of the main combatants of WWI (Britain, Germany, Italy, Austro-Hungary), but also noting the shifting trade with other regions which would be on the rise in the interwar period, such as Hong Kong, Persia, Aden, and the Gulf region - the latter, for example, being the fourth largest supplier of carpets and rugs to India after Britain, Germany, and Italy.

Indian trade relations with the United States and Japan constituted the most notable changes (shown in increased imports and exports to each after the war), as well as a steep decline in Indian imports from the United Kingdom, and an increase in Indian exports to the same. Ainscough stresses that British manufacturers and exporters "failed to appreciate the changed conditions obtaining in India as a result of the war", and that "many of these changes very considerably weaken our position in the market, and call for special efforts and revised methods and organisation in order to meet them". Key points of interest are cotton, tea, hides and skins, silk, seeds, and sugar. A notable economic summary from the beginning of the interwar period, important for understanding both the economic standings of India and of the global trade networks of the time.

In fine condition.


OCLC 19287415.