Tuesday, January 24, 2012


CHAPTER  III
The Japanese Occupation and Military Administration of Burma period (1942-47)


(A) BANKNOTES OF JAPANESE GOVERNMENT (1942-45)

Burma had been a source of unrest in the Pacific area for several years when the World War II broke out. A strong movement for independence had developed there, supported by Prime Minister U Saw. He admired Japan and supported the training of agents to overthrow the British. The British, not willing to grant Burma independence, arrested U Saw to thwart his efforts. On January 18, 1942, the day U Saw was arrested, General Shojiro and his Japanese 15th Army moved from northern Thailand and took the sea port and airfield of Tavoy in southern Burma. By January the Japanese had captured Moulmein, and on March 7, Rangoon. After Mandalay fell on May 21, the British retreated into India, marking the end of British influence.  
The Japanese War Ministry made initial requests for military notes for certain unspecified areas as early as January 16, 1941. On April 1 of that year the Cabinet Printing Office was ordered to produce the first notes for the Dutch East Indies and Malaya.  
Small denomination banknotes of 1, 5, and 10 cents were prepared from a common design and size for each value, but with a different color and code letter for the five areas. The code letters for Burma began with B. These notes had no watermarks. All notes are headed with the phrase the japanese government written in English. Denominations from 50 cents upwards had a quatrefoil watermark, a common border but individual central design with a picture appropriate for each country—pagodas being the choice for Burma.  On April 1, 1942 the Japanese government established the Southern Development Bank to act as the central bank for all occupied territories. 
The Yokohama Specie Bank was opend in August 1942. Two months later, the Nampo Kaihatu Kinko (Southern Regions Treasury) Bank was opened. At the beginning of October 1942 Japanese notes with a letter M were in circulation in Burma, thought to be printed for Malaya. Denominations known were 1, 5, 10, 50 cents, 5 and 10 dollars, with the three highest values having a “promise to pay”.  Notes with prefix B were reported for 1/4, 1/2, 1, and 5 rupees. It was also noted that there was no promise to pay. The 1, 5, and 10 cents were issued in October 1943. The 1/4, 1/2, 1 and 5 rupees were issued in March 1942 while the watermarked 10 rupees, the 10 rupee with silk thread and the 100 rupees were issued in 1942, 1944, and 1945, respectively. 
On August 1, 1943, the commander of the Japanese forces in Burma declared a withdrawl as an occupation force and Burma became an “independent and sovereign state.” Dr. Ba Maw, a former prime minister under the British, was appointed as the Adipadi (head of the state) of Burma. Japan kept troops in Burma, allegedly to protect against invasion from India but actually to continue the occupation. The overall climate remained one of oppression, and certainly did not resemble independence. Economically, Japan continued to exploit Burma’s resources, especially agricultural products.


1 cent (1942) Japanese Government Bank banknote for Burma 

1 CENT (1942)

This banknote is 95 x 46 mm in red on light green blue background. “THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT” and the value ONE CENT in English in large type is at the center in red ink printed over light green blue together with the number 1 in white.  One of the following code letters—BA, BB, BC, BE, BG, BH, BJ, BK, BL, BM, BN, BO, BR, BS, BT, BU, BV, BY, BZ; or fractional code letters B/AA, B/AB, B/AC, B/AD, B/AE, B/AG, B/AF, B/AH, B/AI, B/AJ, B/AK, B/AL, B/AM, B/AO, B/AP, B/AQ, B/AR, B/AS, B/AT, B/AY, B/AZ; B/BB, B/BD, B/BF, B/BW, B/BX, B/BY, B/BZ; B/CA, B/CB, B/CC, B/CD, B/CE, B/CF, B/CG, B/CK, B/CL, B/CM, B/CN, B/CO, B/CP, B/CQ, B/CR, B/CS, B/CT, B/CU, B/CV, B/CW, B/CX, CY; B/DA, B/DD, B/DE, B/DF, B/DH, B/DI, B/DJ, B/DK, B/DL, B/DQ, B/DT; and B/EF, B/EL, B/EN—was printed in red ink. The numeral value in white was printed at each corner. 
At bottom center, “Government of Great Imperial Japan” in Japanese characters is printed with white on red at the center.  “Minister of Finance” in Japanese characters inside the circular seal is located at the lower left side.  The reverse design is a simple depicting of a floral arabesque, in red, as background. A large size numeral value in white is at the center and at each of the four corners. No watermark was present for this banknote.


5 cents (1942) Japanese Government Bank banknote for Burma 

5 CENTS (1942)

This banknote 100 x 48 mm is in violet and light green. “THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT” and “FIVE CENTS” in English in large type are printed at the center. One of the code letters, BA, BB, BC, BD, BE, BF, BG, BH, BI, BJ, BK, BL, BM, BN, BO, BR, BS, BT, BU; or fractional code letters B/AB, B/AH, B/AI, B/AJ, B/AK, B/AL, B/AM, B/AN, B/AO, B/AP, B/AQ, B/AR, B/AS, B/AT, B/AU, B/AV, B/AX, B/AY; B/BA, B/BB, B/BC, B/BD, B/BE, B/BF, B/BG, B/BH, B/BJ, B/BK, B/BL, B/BM, B/BN, B/BO, B/BP, B/BO, B/BQ, B/BR, B/BS, B/BT, B/BX is printed in red ink on the obverse side of this note. At bottom center, “Government of Great Imperial Japan” in Japanese characters is printed in white on light blue shape at the center. The Roman numeral V appears just above that. “Minister of Finance” in Japanese script at the bottom center.  A circular seal of the Government of Japan is located at the lower left side. The numeral value of the note in white is printed in the upper left and right corners. The reverse displays a violet floral arabesque, in violet color, as background. A large size numeral value in white is at the center and at each of the four corners. No watermark is present with this particular banknote.


10 cents (1942) Japanese Government Bank banknote for Burma 
10 CENTS (1942)

This banknote 106 x 51 mm is in brown and tan. “THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT”, at top center and TEN CENTS in large type is at the center. Any one of code letters, BA, BB, BC, BD, BE, BF, BG, BH, BI, BJ, BK, BL, BM, BN, BO, BR, BS, BU, BV, BW, BY, BZ; or fractional code letters B/AA, B/AB, B/AC, B/AH, B/AI, B/AJ, B/AL, B/AM, B/AR is printed on obverse in brown ink. At bottom center, “Government of Great Imperial Japan” in Japanese script printed in white on brown in a rectangular shape is at center. “Minister of Finance” in Japanese script inside the circular seal is at lower left side. The numeral value of the banknote is printed in white at each corner. The reverse displays a floral arabesque in brown tan as a frame. A large size numeral value in white is at the center and at each corner. There is no watermark for this note.


1/4 cents (1942) Japanese Government Bank banknote for Burma

1/4  RUPEE (1942)

This banknote 107 x 51 mm is in blue and tan. “THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT” at the top center, and 1/4 RUPEE in large type is at the center. One of the code letters, BA, BB, BC, BD, BE, BF, BG, BJ, BK, BM, BN, BO, BP, BQ, BR, BS, BV BA, BB, BC, BD, BE, BF, BG, BJ, BK, BM, BN, BO, BP, BQ, BR, BS, BV is printed in red ink on the obverse. At bottom center, “Government of Great Imperial Japan” in Japanese script is printed in white with a blue shadow in  a rectangular shape.  “Minister of Finance” in Japanese script, is inside the circular seal at lower left side. The numeral value of this banknote is printed in white at each corner. The reverse displays a floral arabesque in blue and tan as a frame. A large size numeral value in white is at the center and at each corner. There is no watermark for this note.


1/2 rupee (1942) Japanese Government Bank banknote for Burma 

1/2  RUPEE (1942)

This banknote is 120 x 58 mm with an olive and pale green background. The banknote issuer “the japanese government ” and half rugee in large type is at left. The drawing of the Ananda Temple of Pagan along with palm trees and a bullock carts is at the right. One of the code letters, BA, BB, BC, BD is printed on obverse in red ink. At the bottom center, “Government of Great Imperial Japan” in Japanese characters is printed in white over olive in a rectangular shape at center.  “Minister of Finance” in Japanese character is inside the circular seal at lower left side. The numeral value of the banknote is printed in white at each corner. The reverse is a display of floral arabesque in an olive background. A large size numeral value in white is at left and right. 

1 rupee (1942) Japanese Government Bank banknote for Burma 

1 RUPEE (1942)

This banknote is 141 x 67 mm, green and pink in color. The title of the banknote “the japanese government”, and the value, one rupee in large size type in English is printed at the center. A floral arabesque in pink is printed in the center as background. A fruitful pawpaw tree is shown at the left and a panel framing the value is in front of the tree. 
The drawing of the Ananda Temple of Pagan along with palm trees and bullock carts, is at right. One of code letters, BA, BB, BC, BD is printed on the obverse in red ink. At the bottom center, “Government of Great Imperial Japan” in Japanese script is printed in white over olive in a rectangular shape at center.  “Minister of Finance” in Japanese characters is inside the circular seal at lower left side. The numeral value of the banknote is printed in white at the lower left and right corner. 
The reverse is a floral arabesque display in green as a background. The numeral value of the note is printed in eight places. A large size numeral value in green is at the center, and a small size in white is at the top center. A very large size numeral value in white is on the left and right sides, with smaller ones at each corner. These banknotes were printed on off-white paper with block 62.5 mm apart, and on white paper with blocks 70.5 mm apart.

 5 rupees (1942) Japanese Government Bank banknote for Burma 

5 RUPEES (1942-44)

This banknote is 150 x 72 mm, in violet and yellow. The title “the japanese government” is at the top center. The value five rupees in large type, displays at center left. A fruitful coconut tree is shown at left and a panel with the value is beneath the tree. The drawing of the Ananda Temple of Pagan along with bullock carts and pawpaw trees is at the right. Code letter, BA or BB is printed on obverse in red ink. At the bottom center, “Government of Great Imperial Japan” in Japanese script is printed on white over olive in a rectangular shape at the center.  “Minister of Finance” in Japanese script inside the circular seal is above this. The numeral value of this banknote is printed in white at each corner. 
The reverse displays a floral arabesque in violet and yellow as background. A large size numeral value in white is in the center and on the left and right sides. 

10 rupees (1942) Japanese Government Bank banknote for Burma 

10 RUPEES (1942-44) 

This banknote is 161 x 77 mm, and dull red in color. The title of the banknote “the japanese government” and ten rupees in large type is printed at the center. The Roman numeral X is at the left. Fruitful coconut trees on the left and right serve as a frame for the banknote. The Ananda Temple of Pagan along with palm trees and bullock carts serves as a main illustration on the right. Code letter BA is printed on obverse in red ink. At bottom center, “Government of Great Imperial Japan” in Japanese script is printed on a white over olive in a rectangular shape at the bottom center. “Minister of Finance” in Japanese script inside a circular seal is at the lower right. The numeral value of the banknote is printed at each corner. 
The reverse shows a floral arabesque in dull red as background. A large numeral value in white is at the upper left and right; and a small one at bottom left, center and right. This banknote is printed on quatrefoil-watermarked paper with red and blue silk threads. Narrow base letters (6.75 mm wide, 61 mm apart) or wide base letters (7.5 mm wide, 64 mm apart) were used for this banknote. 

100 rupees (1942) Japanese Government Bank banknote for Burma 

100 RUPEES (1942-44) 

This banknote is 169 x 81 mm, dark green and gray violet in color. The title of this banknote “the japanese government” and one hundred rupees is printed at the center. The value number 100 depicted over a drawing of a floral arabesque in yellowish gray is printed at the center as background.
A palm frond is revealed at the left with the note’s value in large size in a panel in front of the frond. The drawing of the Ananda Temple of Pagan along with palm trees and bullock carts as a main illustration is on the right. Code letter BA is printed on the obverse in red ink. At the bottom center, “Government of Great Imperial Japan” in Japanese script is printed in white over olive in a rectangular shape at center. “Minister of Finance” in Japanese script inside the circular seal is at lower left. The numeral value of the banknote is printed in white at each corner. 
The reverse shows a floral arabesque in dark green and gray as background. A large size numeral value in white is printed at eight places: at center, right and left of center, top center and at each corner. This banknote is printed on quatrefoil-watermarked paper with red and blue silk threads. Narrow base letters (6.75 mm) were printed on nowatermark paper with silk threads, and wide base letters (7.25 mm) were printed on watermark paper.
On March 15, 1943 the Japanese Military Administration in Rangoon issued a regulation fixing the Burmese rupee at par with other Southern Development territories. 

 –––––––––––––––––––––––––


(B) BANKNOTES OF  THE “BURMA STATE BANK”

On August 1, 1943, Burma was declared an independent state from Japan. The Japanese Military Administration was withdrawn although Japanese troops remained and care was taken to ensure that Burma would not pursue a policy that would hinder the Japanese war effort. Dr. Ba Maw served as Head of State, General Aung San, Minister of Defense, General Ne Win, Commander-in-Chief of the Burmese army, U Nu, Foreign Minister, and Dr. Set, Finance Minister.
The Burma State Bank was established in January 15, 1944. Thereafter the Ba Maw Government, concerned by the reckless issue of Japanese notes, continually pressed for supply from Japan of the Burma State Bank notes with which it was intended to carry out a currency conversion. The Japanese however kept fobbing off the Ba Maw Government with excuses and produced only specimens of 5 and 10-kyats Burma State Bank notes. Ultimately they restricted the supply of Japanese notes and the Ba Maw Government in desperation ordered its own press in Rangoon to produce Burma Sate Bank notes of 100-kyats denomination. A number of these notes were printed but never issued.  
The name of the country “bama naing ngan” signifying Burma State is written in Burmese Script on the top center of the note. The banknote issuer “bama naing ngan daw ban” signifying Burma State Bank is also written in Burmese script at the bottom center. The numeral value as an underprint and denomination of the note in large size Burmese script is printed at top center. The main illustration is a dancing peacock on the left, and the scene of a small hut on a hill under a rising sun background is at the center. The Burmese character, bama, is depicted inside the panel at the right. Burma State Bank in Burmese script is at the bottom center. 
The value of this banknote is printed at the upper left in Burmese, and lower right in English. The watermark for the note is, bama, in Burmese script. Underneath the illustration of the dancing peacock, there is a numeral value of the banknote. A small circle is placed on the first unit of the numerical value of the banknote as the local style written of kyat (a small circle on the number).
On the reverse an illustration of the Mandalay Moat with a raising sun in the background is at the center. A large size value of the banknote in Burmese script is inside panels on the left and right. A small size numerical value of this banknote is printed at the upper left and bottom center in Burmese, and at the upper right in English. The serial numbers of the banknotes in English (with brackets) appear at lower right and upper left. These banknotes were printed in Japan.
All 1, 5, 10, 100 kyat notes have the same design except for color and denomination. They are watermarked with the three characters in the guilloche at the right of the face.



1 kyat (1944) Burma State banknote 

 1 KYAT (1944) 

This banknote is 109 x 63 mm and printed in pink, violet, lavender, and predominately blue. The denomination of this one kyat note is shown at the center in Burmese script  “kyat ta kyat.” The sun rising scene is in red. The reverse is predominately blue.  Blocks 3, 17, 21, 22, 26, 29, speciemen face/back are observed. 

5 kyats (1944) Burma State banknote
5 KYATS (1944) 


This banknote 130 x 72 mm is printed in on red, purple, gray and green, and predominately red.  The denomination of this five-kyats note is shown at the center in Burmese script “kyat nga kyat.” The sun rising scene is in blue. The reverse is  red, yellow and blue-gray, predominately red. Blocks 0 and specimen, mihon twice on face observed.


 10 kyats (1944) Burma State banknote 

10 KYATS (1944) 

This banknote 146 x 84 mm is printed in green, lavender and brown. The denomination of this ten-kyats note is shown at the center in Burmese script “kyat ta se.” The sun rising scene is in red. The reverse is in green, purple and gray-blu, predominately greenish blue. Blocks 0, 1, 23 and 24 and specimen on face/back are observed.


100 kyats (1944) Burma State banknote

100 KYATS (1944)

This note 160 x 90 mm is printed in bright orange, pale blue, green and light blue. The denomination of this one hundred-kyats note is shown at the center in Burmese script “kyat ta ya.” The sun rising scene is in bluish green. The reverse is bright orange, pale blue and green, predominately orange red. Block 1, Specimen on face/back, Mihon on face only observed. 

100 kyats (1945) Burma State banknote (signed by Hla Shein)

100 KYATS (1945) 

This banknote 155 x 95 mm is printed in dark blue on green. The name of the note issuer “bama naing ngan daw,” the Burma State, is written in Burmese script at top center. A stylized peacock is at the lower left. A portrait of the Head of the State Dr. Ba Maw is at the upper right. At the right side of this note, a drawing of a dragon emerges from the portrait of Dr. Ba Maw. 
The denomination of this “one hundred kyat” banknote is shown in Burmese script “kyat ta ya” in large type at the center. Underneath the name of the country “State of Burma” in Burmese script, “Legal tender in Burma only, guaranteed by the Burmese Government,” and signed by Hla Shein, Secretary of Finance Department, Burma State Bank is printed. The numerical value of the note in Burmese appears at upper left, and in Roman at the bottom right. There are two types, with and without serial numbers, but both are signed. 
The reverse is in pale blue. The Mandalay Moat scene with a raising sun background is at center. The panel of the numeral value 100-kyats (at right side in Burmese, at left side in English) with mythical dragons facing the center. The stylized peacock is at the bottom center. The numerical values in Burmese script are written at the upper left and lower right, and in Roman at the upper right and lower left. These banknotes were printed on unwatermarked paper in Rangoon. 
_____________________

(C) BANKNOTES FOR THE  “BRITISH MILITARY  ADMINISTRATION OF BURMA” (1945-47)

The British Special Operations Executive (SOE) counterfeited Burmese rupees under the code name Grenville. May 1, 1945 to January 31, 1946 is the period of British Military Administration. During this period of British military reoccupation of Burma, the overprinted banknotes with the words “military administary administration of burma, legal in burma only” were used. Overprinted notes were issued in bulk by the Deputy Paymaster-in-Chief, Area Cash Officer at Fort William, Calcutta and managed by the Civil Affairs Staff (Burma). 
Even with the Japanese occupation of Burma in 1942 and the Rangoon branch of the “Reserve Bank of India” evacuated to India, the British pursued plans to reoccupy Burma. After conditions were stabilized a special military currency of 4 and 8 annas was printed in 1943. Proofs of the 4 and 8 anna notes were sent to the King in May 1943, and he approved the designs at the beginning of June. This note was manufactured in India and printed on unwatermarked paper.
The British government planned to issue a special currency upon the eviction of the Japanese from Burma. Reserve Bank of India notes were overprinted for this purpose. 
Governor J. B. Taylor of the Reserve Bank of India died on February 17, 1943. He was replaced by Sir Vhintaman D. Deshmukh, whose signature replaced that of Taylor. The 5 and 10 rupee notes were prepared with both signatures. However, a new 10 rupee design with a full-face portrait of George VI was prepared with Deshmukh signature, because the Taylor signed note had been counterfeited by the Japanese.  
The British military administration currency was not issued until it was clear that civil authority in Burma would not be restored quickly. The actual date of issuance was May 1, 1945. 

I. PROVISIONAL ISSUED BANKNOTES (1943)

4 annas (1943) Military Administraton of Burma banknote

4 ANNAS (1943)

This note 71 x 44 mm is in Green. The title of this banknote issuer military administary administration of burma is printed at top center. The portrait of King George VI in profile is depicted at the right. The FOUR ANNAS denomination of the note is at the left. The monetary value in Burmese script shows at lower left and lower right, and in English at the bottom center. This note initiated a new method for expressing the Burmese monetary symbol (a small bar like a grace accent) written on the first unit of the numerical value of the banknote, 4` means 4 pe. These notes were printed in 1943 in booklet form, perforated at left edge but not released into circulation. Serial numbers are printed on the reverse. Specimen in black across, upper left corner, zeros are observed.

8 annas (1943) Military Administraton of Burma banknote

8 ANNAS (1943)

This bank note is 90 x 51 mm in violet and green. The title of the banknote issuer military administary administration of burma is printed at top center. The portrait of King George VI in profile is depicted at center. The numerical value of the note in English is at the left, and in Burmese script at the right. The word denomination of this note is at bottom center. This bank note also shows another Burmese monetary symbol (a small bar like a grace accent) written on the first unit of the numerical value of the banknote, 8` that means 8 pe. These notes were printed on unwatermaraked paper in 1943 in booklet form, perforated at the left edge but not released into circulation. Serial numbers are shown on the reverse. Specimen in black across upper left corner, zeros are observed.


II. OVERPRINTED BANKNOTES 

Both Government of India and Reserve Bank of India banknotes were used by the British Military Administration and were overprinted with the words military administary administration of burma, legal in burma only on the obverse. All have George VI in profile, with the watermark. These notes were overprinted by Nasik Security Printing Press, Bombay and were issued on May 1, 1945 and demonetized June 1, 1950. 

1 rupee (1945) Government of India 1940 banknote for Military Administration of Burma (signed by C. E. Jones)

1 RUPEE (1945)

This banknote 101 x 63 mm in gray is the Government of India 1940 issued banknote over printed with the word “military administary administration of burma, legal in burma only” in red ink in five lines. The image of the back of a one-rupee coin with the portrait of King George VI is at the upper right. Watermark for this note is the profile portrait of King George VI to right at the left window. 
This note is signed by C. E. Jones, secretary, finance department, for the Government of India. The serial numbers of the note appears at the bottom center right. Three types of this noteare observed; with large block A after green serial number, without block letter but black serial number, and overprinted for use in the government stores. Without large block, serial numbers black, Specimen in red across upper left corner, zeros; with large block letter A, serial number in green are observed. C. E. Jones signed on prefix code T/90, U/0-1, serial number in black; on inset A, prefix code C/86-89, D/0-71, E/42-99, F/0-61 serial number in green. Overprinted includes “for use in the goverment stores” is also observed.
On the reverse, the note issuer Government of India is printed at the top center. Underneath that the word denomination of the note in seven languages not including Burmese is printed at center. The portrait of King George VI to left appears as a watermark is at the right watermark window, and the image of the back of a one-rupee 1940 coin, India 1 rupee is at the left. These notes were issued on May 1, 1945, and ddmonietized on June 1, 1950. 

5 rupees (1945) Reserve Bank of India banknote for Military Administration of Burma (signed by J. B. Taylor)

5 RUPEES (1945)

This banknote 127 x 73 mm in brown and green is the Reserve Bank of India 1943 issue of 5 rupees banknote over printed with “military administary administration of burma, legal in burma only” in black or red. On the obverse, the note issuer, Government of India, is printed at the top center. The portrait of King George VI is at right. Watermark for this note is the profile portrait of King George VI to right at the watermark windowon the left. 
At the center over printed words “Legal Tender in Burma” are in two lines. The serial number is underneath these overprinted words at the bottom center above the signature. With signature of J. B. Taylor, Specimen in red across lower left corner of face, zeros are observed. J. B. Taylor signed on prefix code J/62-65. C. D. Deshmukh signed on prefix code N/20-31, N/75-80, P/11-48. Some banknotes exist signed by J. B. Taylor, and C. D. Deshmukh for the issue of June 2, 1944.
The reverse has the name of the note issuer at the top center and the denomination of the note in eight languages including Burmese script ‘ngwe dinga nga pya” signifying five silver pieces in the fourth line is at the center. Underneath that the word denomination of the note is shown the value of the note in word. The value of the note both number and words displays at left panel. A logo of a tiger walking underneath a palm tree at the right side window serves as the watermark. Paper is machine made, white thickness 3.5 to 4 thousandth of an inch. These notes were issued on May 1, 1945, and demonetized on June 1, 1950.


10 rupees (1945) Reserve Bank of India banknote for Military Administration of Burma 
            (signed by C. D. Deshmukh)

10 RUPEES (1945)

This banknote is 147 x 82 mm in brown violet is Reserve Bank of India’s 1937 and 1943 issued 10 rupees over print with “military administary administration of burma, legal in burma only” in red ink blue-violet on olive printed near the bottom center. The portrait of King George VI, facing to the left displays at the right panel. The watermark for this note is the image of the King’s portrait to right at the watermark window at left. The center illustration is a scene of a banana tree. This note was signed by J. B. Taylor in 1937, and C. D. Deshmukh in 1943. The portrait of King George VI to right as a watermark in the left window. The serial numbers of the note appears at the upper right. The signature of J. B. Taylor (specimens only), Specimen in red across lower left corner of face, zeros are observed. J. B. Taylor signed on prefix code H/12-16. Paper is machine made, white thickness 3.5 to 4 thousandth of an inch.
On the reverse the name of the banknote issuer, Reserve Bank of India, is at the top center. The image of two elephants walking towards serves as the main illustration in the center. The logo of the Reserve Bank of India, a tiger walking underneath a palm tree, is printed on the main illustration at the center. The denomination of the note in six languages including Burmese is in the left side panel. The value of the note appears on the right window.


10 rupees (1945) Reserve Bank of India banknote for Military Administration of Burma (signed by C. D. Deshmukh)

ANOTHER 10 RUPEES (1945)

This banknote 147 x 82 mm, is the Reserve Bank of India’s 1944 issue in violet on multi colors over print the words “military administary administration of burma, legal in burma only” are in red ink in four lines in the center. The name of the note issuer Reserve Bank of India is at top center. The portrait of King George VI facing in profile is in a panel at the right. The watermark for this note are the facing portrait of King George VI at left watermark window, and ten rupees/reserve bank/ of/india/ten rupees in five lines.  “I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of ten rupees at any office of issue in Burma” is printed at the center. The signature of C. D. Deshmukh, Governor, for the Reserve Bank of India is underneath the watermark window at left. This note has security thread. There is serial numbers at the bottom right beneath the portrait. C. D. Deshmukh signed on prefix code C/1-10, C/79-90, D/56-75, J/43, J/49.
The value of this banknote in Burmese script “ngwe ta se” (instead of using the words “ngwe dinga ta se” as before) signifying ten silver pieces is overprinted in large red script because there is no written in Burmese language on the original design. The numerical value of the banknote overprinted with the Burmese monetary symbol for kyat (a small circle on the number) in red ink. 
On the reverse the name of the banknote issuer is at the top center. The value of the note in number displays at both upper left and right panels. The main illustration of this note is a sailing boat. Underneath the boat is the logo of the Reserve Bank of India, a tiger walking underneath a palm tree. The word denomination of the note in seven languages is printed in the left side panel.There is no Burmese language in this panel. The portrait of King George VI facing in profile appears as a watermark at the right window. The denomination of the note displays at both lower left and right panels. 

 100 rupees (1945) Reserve Bank of India banknote for Military Administration of Burma (signed by C. D. Deshmukh)


 100 RUPEES (1945)

This banknote is 171 x 107 mm. This is the Reserve Bank of India 1937 and 1943 issue, green on lilac over printed with “military administary administration of burma, legal in burma only” in red and dark green lilac on four lines. The note issuer, the Reserve Bank of India is printed at top center. Place name Calcutta is overprinted in black. The portrait of King George VI, side view is on the right panel and as a watermark at the left window. This note is signed by J. B. Taylor on overprinted 1943, and C. D. Deshmukh on May 5, 1944 issues. The serial numbers are at the bottom left and right panels. J. B. Taylor signed on prefix code A/62- 90000 to 1000000, A/73- 000001 to 200000, A/89- 700001 to 1000000, A/98- 000001 to 100000;
C. D. Deshmukh signed on prefix code B/7- 600001 to 1000000, B/16- 000001 to 700000, B/23- 700001 to 1000000, B/47- 000001 to 100000.
The reverse’s main illustration in the center is the side view of a tiger’s head. The word denomination of the note is underneath the drawing of the head of a tiger. The name of the banknote issuer “The Reserve Bank of India” is printed at top center. The small panels of the monetary value are depicted at upper left, and lower left and right. The logo of the Reserve Bank of India, a tiger walking underneath a palm tree, is depicted at upper right corner. The denomination of the note in eight languages including Burmese script ‘ngwe dinga ta ya” signifying one hundred silver pieces is in the fourth line in the left side panel. The portrait of King George VI to left appears as a watermark at the right watermark window. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                        III. BANKNOTES FOR “BURMA CURRENCY BOARD”

Following the termination of the January 31, 1946 to March 31, 1947, British Military Administration over Burma, the Government of Burma took over the responsibility of banknote issue. In June 1946 it obtained from the Government of India the assets to cover the outstanding liability for the pre-war issues of Burma notes, which had been transferred from the Reserve Bank of India to the Government of India in June 1942. Under the Currency Notes Act of 1946, the Government of Burma continued to use the British Military Administration banknotes already printed but un-issued, for supplying currency notes. 
According to the India and Burma (Burma Monetary Arrangements) order, 1937, two year’s notice had to be given by either side to terminate the whole or any part of the order. As the Government of Burma was desirous of establishing a separate currency as soon as possible, the British Government agreed to amend the 1937 order (second amendment). Notice was given by the Government of Burma on September 30, 1947, and the monetary order ceased to operate. The Reserve Bank of India’s office in Rangoon was formally closed down on April 1, 1947.
The Currency and Coinage Act of 1946 established a Burma Currency Board constituted for the purpose of managing the currency on March 31, 1947. It was based in London. The Burma Currency Board was the civilian note-issuing authority that took over from British military administration. A currency officer, San Lin, was appointed and received training in Kenya.
In October 1946 the Burmese Government had appointed a committee to advise on the form, design and color of new currency notes and coins. The report of a committee utilizing the designs of four Burmese artists accomplished the creation of a new currency for Burma. In June 1947 the Government of Burma placed an order with Thomas De la Rue & Company Limited of London for the production of new banknotes. 
Both Government of India and Reserve Bank of India banknotes overprinted with “burma currency board, legal in burma only” printed by Nasik Security Printing Press were used as 1947 “Provisional Issue” notes from July 1, 1947 until demonetized on December 20, 1952.
1-rupee with red overprint, 5-rupees with dark blue overprint, 10-rupees with red overprint, 100- rupees with red overprint banknotes are observed.

1 rupee (1947) Government of India banknote for Burma Currency Board (signed by C. E. Jones)

1 RUPEE (1947)

This banknote is the Government of India 1940 issue, blue gray on lilac 1 rupee, over printed with the word “burma currency board, legal in burma only” on five lines in red ink. This note is printed in blue-gray on multi color. The portrait of King George VI within the coin is at upper right, and the portrait of George VI to right is as watermark at the window at left. This note is signed by C. E. Jones, secretary, finance department, for the government of India. C. E. Jones signed on inset A, prefix code K/27-66, Q/17-36, and R. The serial numbers of the note appears at the bottom center right.
On the reverse, the note issuer Government of India is printed at top center. Underneath the denomination of the note in seven languages exclusive of Burmese language is printed at the center. The portrait of King George VI as a watermark is at right window, and the image of the back of one rupee coin, India 1940 is at the left panel. The monetary value is depicted at the upper left and right on both sides. These notes issued on July 1, 1947, and demonetized on December 20, 1952.


5 rupees (1947) Reserve Bank of India banknote for Burma Currency Board (signed by C. D. Deshmukh)

5 RUPEES (1947)

This is the Reserve Bank of India 1937 and 1943 issue of 5 rupees banknotes in lavender brown on green, over printed with the word “burma currency board, legal in burma only” in blue or red on three lines. On the obverse, the note issuer, Reserve Bank of India, is printed at the top center. The portrait of King George VI is at right, and the watermark for this note is the profile portrait of King George VI to right at the watermark window on the left. At the center are the over printed words “Legal Tender in Burma Only” on two lines. 
The serial number is underneath these overprinted words at the bottom center. The 1937 issue banknote was signed by C. D. Deshmukh, and the same design banknote of 1943 was signed by J. B. Taylor, Secretary, Finance Department, for the government of India. C. D. Deshmukh signed on prefix code R/24-41, serial number in black.
The reverse has the name of the note issuer at the top center and the denomination of the note in eight languages including the Burmese script ‘ngwe dinga nga pya” signifying five silver pieces in the fourth line at the center. The word denomination of the note is shown at the bottom center. The value of the banknote in both word and number is shown at the left panel. The logo of the Reserve Bank of India, a tiger walking underneath a palm tree, is inside the right panel as a watermark. These notes issued on July 1, 1947, and demonetized on December 20, 1952.
10 rupees (1947) Reserve Bank of India banknote for Burma Currency Board (signed by C. D. Deshmukh)

10 RUPEES (1947)

This banknote measures 146 x 84 mm. This is a Reserve Bank of India 1943 issue in violet on multi color overprinted with the word “burma currency board, legal in burma only” in red ink at the center in four lines. The name of the note issuer Reserve Bank of India is at top center. The portrait of King George VI facing in profile is in a panel at the right, and the watermark for this note is the facing portrait of King George VI at the watermark window on the left. “I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of ten rupees at any office of issue in Burma” is printed at the center. The signature of C. D. Deshmukh, Governor, for the Reserve Bank of India is underneath the watermark window at left. C. D. Deshmukh signed on prefix code G/31-42, H/73-82, J/43-50.
The value of this banknote in Burmese script “ngwe ta se” (instead of using the words “ngwe dinga ta se” as before) signifying ten silver pieces is overprinted in large red script because there is no written in Burmese language on the original design. The numerical value of the banknote appears as the Burmese way to describe the monetary symbol for kyat (a small circle on the number) in red ink. The serial number is at bottom right, just underneath the portrait of the King George VI. 
On the reverse the name of the banknote issuer is at top center. The value of the note in number displays at both upper left and right panels. The main illustration of this note is a sailing boat. Underneath the boat is the logo of the Reserve Bank of India, a tiger walking underneath a palm tree. The word denomination of the note in seven languages is printed in the left side panel.There is no Burmese language in this panel. The portrait of King George VI facing in profile appears as a watermark at the right window. The denomination of the note displays at both lower left and right panels. These notes issued on July 1, 1947, and demonetized on December 20, 1952.

 100 rupees (1947) Reserve Bank of India banknote for Burma Currency Board (signed by C. D. Deshmukh)


100 RUPEES (1947)

This Reserve Bank of India’s 1937 and 1943 issue 100 rupees banknote measures 171 x 107 mm, is green on lilac overprinted with the words “burma currency board, legal in burma only” in red ink on dark green lilac in four lines. The note issuer the Reserve Bank of India is printed at the top center. The place name Calcutta in black is overprinted. The portrait of King George VI, side view, is on the right panel and as a watermark is at left window. This note is signed by C. D. Deshmukh. C. D. Deshmukh signed on prefix code B/47-600001 to 1000000, B/53-000001 to 800000, serial number in black. The serial numbers are both at bottom left and right. 
The reverse’s main illustration at center is a tiger’s head. The denomination of the note is underneath the drawing of the head of a tiger. The name of the banknote issuer “The Reserve Bank of India” is printed at top center. Small panels of the monetary value are depicted at upper left, and lower left and right. A small panel showing a tiger walking underneath a palm tree is depicted at upper right corner. The denomination of the note in eight languages including Burmese script ‘ngwe dinga ta ya” signifying one hundred silver pieces in the fourth line is in the left side panel. The portrait of King George VI as a watermark is in the right window.
When Burma became a fully fledged independent country, under the Military Administration of Burma, the Burma Currency Board banknotes were issued on July 1, 1947 demonetized on May 1, 1950, up to December 31, 1950, initially, then to March 31, 1951, finally to January 15, 1952. 



– Credits –

Most of these images are from various Websites and “The Coins and Banknotes of Burma” by M. Robinson and L. A. Shaw, Pardy & Son (Printers) Ltd., Ringwood, Hampshire, England, 1980.


to be continued on Chapter 4.




1 comment: