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Jute No MoreTransforming Dundee$
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Jim Tomlinson and Christopher A. Whatley

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781845860905

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781845860905.001.0001

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Endgame for Jute

Endgame for Jute

Dundee and Calcutta in the Twentieth Century

(p.29) Chapter 2 Endgame for Jute
Jute No More

Gordon Stewart

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter discusses the competition between the jute industries of Dundee and Calcutta, India. Dundee's expertise in jute spinning and weaving helped start the Calcutta industry in the 1850s and continued to shape it throughout the next one hundred years. But by 1900 the Calcutta industry dwarfed its Dundee counterpart. In 1911, the peak year for employment in the Dundee jute mills, the total labour force reached 37,000 workers. When Calcutta achieved its peak in 1928 there were 339,000 workers, almost twice as numerous as the entire population of Dundee. During a parliamentary debate on the jute industry in 1936, Florence Horsbrugh, the Conservative MP for Dundee at the time, spoke in apocalyptic terms of ‘a new terror’ for Dundee workers as imports from India surged 125 per cent higher than they had been in 1935.

Keywords:   Dundee, jute industry, Calcutta, India, imports, competition, jute trade

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