The price of silver began to fall after 1873. The silver question was one of the most difficult problems facing British colonial banks in the 19th century. British colonial banks, whose operations involved financial transfers between Europe and Asia, suffered from constant fluctuations in exchange rates. This paper is an attempt to investigate how British colonial banks coped with this problem. The violent fluctuations in exchange rates were undermining their business with all silver using countries by introducing into it a strong element of speculation and uncertainty. Under these circumstances, the nature of China's foreign trade, especially the import trade, was undergoing a cmplete change from the late 1880s to the early 1890s, The very unsettled state of exchange rates had been compelling foreign importers to alter their mode of doing business, the socalled “Indent trade”. Under this “Indent trade”, a good deal of the import business passed into the hands of chinese merchants, while foreign importers were becoming merely commission agents. After the Indian mints stopped producing silver coinage in June 1893, the bulk of the “Indent trade” changed from a silver basis to a sterling basis. At this stage, it became possible for manufacturers in Manchester to quote for their piece goods in sterling and to obtain payment by drawing bills of exchange payable sterling on chinese indentors. In this system, the exchange risks inherent in the trade were transferred to chinese importers. As a result, sterling bills came to be widely used in the East and most of the “Indent trade” was conducted on a sterling basis. Through this mode of business, British colonial banks were able to carry on exchange operations on a stable basis, and to make remunerative profits.
There were many Japanese electric manufacturers who had introduced “modern” or “scientific” management as well as engineering technique from abroad. However, business historians did not bring forth detailed studies on this topic so far. In this case study, the author clarified the significances of Time Study Method at Kobe factory of Mitsubishi Electric Company in 1925, and analysed the backdrop and process of the introduction of this method and its application to the workshop. Furthermore, the author discussed the diffusion of this method to other Japanese firms. Some results from this investigation are shown as follows. 1) As for business circumstances in this period, three fundamental elements were pointed out : the expanding markets, the radical labour movement and the decreasing labour mobility. These changing business conditions urged managers and engineers to reorganize the structure of management at the workshop and to pay attention to the availability of the scientific management method. 2) Time Study Method was, first of all, introduced into electric fan shop of Kobe Works by Takeo Kato who had learned the scientific management method at Westinghouse Electric Company after the technical tie-up of the two companies in 1923. At the electric fan shop, the Time Study Method was succesfully applied to the fabricating process, and then the wage rate based on this Time Study, guaranteed the workers the average wage in the industry concerned. 3) The Time Study Method from Westinghouse was eventually diffused into the governmental factories such as Kokura Works of the Ministry of Railway and Kure Navy Shipyard. Nobuo Noda and Takeo Kato, pioneering in the introduction of the Time Study Method to Mitsubishi, took an leading role in the scientific management movement in the Showa Era.