Med verdifull last. Norske rederiers deltagelse i frakt av kinesiske arbeidsmigranter i perioden 1895-1930
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This master thesis examines Norwegian shipping companies` participation in the transportation of Chinese labour migrants, 1895-1930. The opening of the Suez Canal transformed the shipping markets of Asia, although slow at first, Norwegian ship-owners showed an increased interest in the Chinese shipping market from the 1890s, as the war between Russia and Japan in 1894-95 and a general period of strong economic growth in Asia, made this market especially attractive. Norwegian companies established a stronghold in certain market segments, due to specialization of ships and the founding of Norwegian trading offices. In addition they functioned as a neutral haven as for the Russian, Chinese and Japanese companies that tried to compete in a market dominated by major Western powers as Britain and Germany. One of these market segments was a regional trade between China and Southeast- Asia, and Norwegian ships established a stronghold in the transportation of Chinese labour migrants. The migrants, often referred to as coolie workers, were transported from China to Southeast Asia to work in the mines and rubber plantations of Singapore and Malaysia, and in the rice fields of Thailand. At first operating on casual time charter- contracts lasting 3-8 months, from 1906 the Norwegian ships were to operate on longer contracts lasting up to 3 years. The companies Bruusgaard Kiøsterud & co, Hans Kiær & co and Wiel & Amundsen & co were established in the passenger trade from the turn of the century and in addition to transporting passengers the ships were also carrying general cargo. Norwegian ships were mainly chartered by Japanese and Chinese/Siamese firms, which all were competing in a market dominated by giants as Butterfield & Swire and Norddeutscher Lloyd, two of the largest shipping companies in the world. After a slow and unsteady return after World War one, from 1924 the Norwegian ship-owners were well established in the passenger trade, even operating their own passenger lines - as Bruusgaard Kiøsteruds Chino Siam Line. Also the Norwegian companies Wrangell & co and Wallem & co joined the trade. From 1924 onwards Norwegian ships were also built more specialised for passenger transportation, and could carry as many as 1500 passengers. As Norwegian laws concerning passenger vessels did not apply to passenger vessels trading outside of Europe, regulation and control of these ships depended on the laws of Hongkong and China. As the Norwegian vessels to a very little extent sailed on Hongkong, which in turn had strict regulations concerning passenger vessels, and the regulations concerning the rest of China was insignificant, the Norwegian ships carrying passengers to and from China was excluded from law.Denne oppgaven vil ha som formål å drøfte norske rederiers deltagelse i frakt av kinesiske arbeidsmigranter i perioden 1895- 1930. Åpningen av Suezkanalen endret det asiatiske skipsfartsmarkedet, og norske rederier skulle vise en økt interesse for dette markedet fra 1890-tallet. Den japansk- russiske krig og høykonjunkturer gjorde markedet særlig attraktivt. For å etablere seg i dette markedet, krevdes en omlegging fra seil til dampskip spesialisert for den kinesiske kysten. Norske rederier skulle særlig etablere seg i frakt av kinesiske arbeidsmigranter fra Kina til omliggende sørøst- asiatiske land, og det er denne farten som vil bli behandlet i denne oppgaven. I et marked preget av sterk konkurranse, og mange mektige aktører, som Butterfield & Swire og Norddeutscher Lloyds, skulle de norske rederiene likevel klare å hevde seg. Frem til 1922 var den norske deltagelsen karakterisert av en diversifisert fart, hvor de fraktet både last og passasjerer. Utover 1920-tallet skulle imidlertid de norske rederiene spesialisere seg på passasjerfart, med mellom annet å drive egne passasjerlinjer med store skip spesialbygget for dette formålet.
PublisherThe University of Bergen
- History 399
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