Publication Details

Hagan, J. & Wells, A. D. 2005, 'The British and rubber in Malaya, c1890-1940', in G. Patmore, J. Shields & N. Balnave (eds), The Past is Before Us: Proceedings of the Ninth National Labour History Conference, ASSLH, Business & Labour History Group, University of Sydney, Australia, pp. 143-150.


This paper aims to explain the relations between Capital and Labour on the rubber plantations in Malaya until the time of the Japanese invasion. It examines the way in which the British acquired and controlled land as a resource, and the ways in which companies raised and applied investment capital. It considers the means of recruiting an adequate supply of labour, and controlling it as a workforce; it demonstrates a close relationship between the rubber companies and the State, which was modified by the special interests of the State itself.

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National Labour History Conference