The following pages, with the exception of the last chapter, were originally written as a memorandum for the Conference of the Institute of Pacific Relations held at Shanghai in November, 1931. They are concerned, not with the relations between China and the West, but with certain aspects of the economic life of China herself. Works on that subject are not very numerous, and I am informed that the memorandum contained matter which may be of interest to some English readers. It is accordingly reprinted here, with corrections and additions. The Institute has, of course, no responsibility for statements of fact or opinion contained in it.
It is obviously impossible for visitors to China, unacquainted with her language and unversed in her history, to make any original contribution to the study of her economic organisation and social problems. No more is attempted in the present work than to summarise some of the material contained in the more easily accessible publications, in the light of the information which those entitled to an opinion, both Chinese and foreigners, were good enough to supply to my wife and myself. At the risk of appearing pedantic, references have been given for the statements made, in order that the reader may see for himself the evidence on which they rest. Unfortunately three important books, Mr. Lionel Curtis The Capital Question of China, Mr. Owen Lattimore Manchuria, Cradle of Conflict, and Professor J. B. Condliffe China To-day: Economic, appeared too late for us to make full use of them.
It is not possible for us to mention by name all those to whom our thanks are due. But we should like, in particular, to express our gratitude to the Institute of Pacific Relations and Dr. J. B. Condliffe, both for making possible our visit to China and for permission to reprint the results of it; the staff of the Agricultural College of the University of Nanking; Dr. Chang Po-ling, Professor Franklin Ho and Professor Fong, of the University of Nankai; Dr. L. K. Tao and his colleagues, of