The Industry, Government and Decision-Making
The operations of the rubber industry in Malaya came to involve a close relationship with government in the making of policy-decisions on a wide range of matters, such as taxation, research, restriction of exports, etc. This relationship was mediated through an increasing number of institutions originating on both the commercial and official sides (e.g. associations, committees), as well as interpersonal contacts within and between the two spheres. The policy issues affected all categories of producer but, as the Chief Secretary’s remark cited above indicates, the industry was unable to represent its views to the government with anything approaching a united front. What this comment does not acknowledge, however, is that the government was not a monolithic institution either. There were divergencies over policy between the colonial and metropolitan governments, and between the various offices in the latter (Colonial Office, Treasury, Cabinet, etc.). Moreover, at crucial points in the formulation of policy, powerful individuals in business and in government played decisive roles which neutralised to a large extent the more formal institutional framework as a mediator between the interests involved.
KeywordsAdvisory Committee Rubber Producer British Government Rubber Industry Agency House
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