Qian Yongming

Name in Chinese
銭永銘
Name in Wade-Giles
Ch'ien Yung-ming
Related People

Biography in English

Ch'ien Yung-ming (1885-19 June 1958), financier, spent much of his career in the service of the Bank of Communications, of which he became chairman of the board of directors. After 1928 he held various economic posts in the National Government. He also rehabilitated the Chung-hsing Coal Mining Company, which became the second-largest colliery in China, and established the Chung-hsing Steamship Company and the Fu-hsing Steamship Company. Although his native place was Wuhsing, Chekiang, Ch'ien Yung-ming was born at Shanghai. He received his early education at the Yü-ts'ai Academy, the predecessor of the Nanyang Middle School. After he was graduated at the age of 16 sui, Ch'ien worked for a foreign firm in Shanghai for about a year to earn money for further studies. He then went to Tientsin, where he studied for a year at Peiyang College. After his return to Shanghai, he was married. Nothing is known about his wife. The next year Ch'ien received a government scholarship to go to Japan. From 1903 to 1908 he studied at Kobe Commercial College, specializing in business and finance. Although many Chinese students in Japan were drawn into the anti-Manchu activities of such groups as the T'ung-meng-hui, Ch'ien avoided political commitments. After his graduation from Kobe, he returned to China and taught at Nanking Commercial College from 1909 to 1911. In 1912 Ch'en Ch'i-mei, the minister of industry and commerce in the T'ang Shao-yi cabinet in the new republican government, sent Ch'ien Yung-ming to Peking to take over the defunct Board of Agriculture, Industry, and Commerce of the Ch'ing government. After completing that mission, Ch'ien was made chief of the accounting section of the new ministry of industry and commerce. After a few months, he left Peking to go to Shanghai, where he cooperated with C. T. Wang (Wang Cheng-t'ing) in founding the China Express Company, a transport business. Two years later he went to Manchuria to conduct a survey of economic conditions for the National Industrial Bank of China.

In 1917 Ch'ien Yung-ming began his banking career; he joined the staff of the Shanghai branch of the Bank of Communications. In the previous year, that bank—a semi-governmental bank with the power of issue—had suffered a loss of public confidence by submitting to an order from Yuan Shih-k'ai to suspend the redemption of its notes, and it was being reorganized. Ch'ien was appointed assistant manager of its Shanghai branch. Two years later, in 1919, he became the manager. Under his direction, the Shanghai branch of the Bank of Communications adopted modern banking methods, revamped its internal organization, and expanded its operations. Thus, Ch'ien helped to reestablish public confidence in the bank and to consolidate its operations during a period of acute political unrest in China. He also served as chairman of the Chinese Bankers Association at Shanghai from 1920 until 1922. The operations of the Bank of Communications were complicated during the early 1920's by political conflicts in north China which had a direct bearing on the career of its general manager, Liang Shih-i (q.v.). In December 1921, supported by Chang Tso-lin (q.v.), Liang Shih-i became premier of the government at Peking. That appointment was strongly opposed by Wu P'ei-fu (q.v.) and the Chihli clique, who forced Liang to resign. The ouster of Liang Shih-i became the immediate cause of a war between the Fengtien and Chihli factions in the spring of 1922. When Chang Tso-lin was defeated, it appeared likely that the Bank of Communications would be taken over by political leaders in north China. Ch'ien Yungming then suggested an arrangement whereby Chang Chien (q.v.), the veteran industrialist and former minister of industry, would nominally succeed Liang Shih-i as general manager of the bank. This was done, and Ch'ien himself became assistant general manager. He directed the affairs of the Bank of Communications from 1922 to 1925, during which period he succeeded in maintaining its independent status. However, when Liang Shih-i, with the support of Chang Tso-lin, was reinstated as the bank's general manager in 1925, Ch'ien relinquished his post. Already a well-known banker, Ch'ien Yungming won further recognition when the National Government headed by Chiang Kai-shek was inaugurated at Nanking in 1 927. He was named vice minister and, later, acting minister of finance, serving under Ku Ying-fen, then the titular minister. Ch'ien was transferred in 1928 to Chekiang province, where he served as commissioner of finance under Chang Jen-chieh (q.v.). In 1930 the National Government appointed Ch'ien chairman of the board, representing China, of the Sino-French Bank. He was also named Chinese minister to France, but he did not accept that diplomatic post. After leaving the Bank of Communications in 1925, Ch'ien Yung-ming became deputy director of the Joint Savings Society and Joint Treasury of the four major private banks of north China: the Yien-yieh Commercial Bank, the Kincheng Banking Corporation, the Continental Bank, and- the China and South Seas Bank. The director was the prominent financier Wu Ting-ch'ang (q.v.). When Wu Ting-ch'ang became minister of industry in the National Government in 1935, Ch'ien Yung-ming took over the management of the joint reserve board of the four banks.

In addition to his banking responsibilities, Ch'ien Yung-ming was associated with important industrial enterprises in north China. The Chung-hsing Coal Mining Company in Shantung province was a notable example. Located at Tsaochuang, Ihsien, Shantung, the coal mine had been founded in the 1870's. By the mid-1920's, its production was the third largest in China. By 1926, however, the Chung-hsing Coal Mining Company was in serious financial straits because of transportation and other difficulties caused by the recurrent internecine wars in north China; by 1928 production had come to a standstill. Ch'ien Yung-ming became general manager in 1929. Soon afterward a bank loan in the amount of CN$5 million was made to procure new equipment, electrify operations, and restore output. Four years later, agreement was reached with the Lunghai railroad to build a feeder line from the site of the mines at Tsaochuang to Lien-yun-kang on the coast, making it possible to haul coal directly from the mines to coastal steamers. In the middle 1930's Chung-hsing produced some 2,000,000 tons annually; its output was exceeded only by the Kailan mines, which produced 5,000,000 tons annually.

In 1938 Ch'ien Yung-ming was appointed chairman of the board of the Bank of Communications. During the war years, that bank, which had been rechartered in 1935 as one of the three principal government banks, was assigned new responsibility for financing industrial development. Among the important enterprises launched with its support were the Yu-t'ien Cotton Mill in Kunming, the Yu-hsing Textile Company in Changsha, and the Kweichow Enterprises Company in Kweiyang. The bank established the Kin-wei Textile Machinery Company to manufacture equipment for medium-sized mills. Under Ch'ien Yung-ming's direction, the Bank of Communications not only expanded its operations within China but also established overseas branches in Calcutta, Rangoon, Manila, and Saigon. In addition to his banking posts, Ch'ien served as a member of the People's Political Council after 1938, and he was elected a delegate to the National Assembly in 1947. After the war, he served as chairman of the Board of the Hsin Wen Pao, one of the leading Shanghai newspapers.

Ch'ien Yung-ming also played an important role in the expansion of China's shipping industry. He recognized the importance of developing shipping facilities for hauling coal from north China to major distribution points. In 1930, therefore, he established a shipping department as a subsidiary of the company. In 1937 that department was reorganized as the Chung-hsing Steamship Company, Ltd., with nine vessels. All of these ships either were sunk or were requisitioned by the National Government during the war. Ch'ien purchased surplus ships from the United States to revive the company after the war. He then operated ten vessels totaling 50,000 tons. He also established and became chairman of the board of the Fu-hsing Steamship Company. The National Government gave him a total of 1 1 ocean-going vessels aggregating 80,000 tons as restitution for wartime losses to the Chung-hsing Steamship Company. When the Communists gained power on the mainland of China in 1949, they took over most of the Chung-hsing vessels. The Fuhsing ships continued to operate from Hong Kong and Taiwan, and the company's headquarters was moved to Taiwan. After the Chinese Communist regime was established, Ch'ien Yung-ming retired and took up residence in Hong Kong. He later moved to Taiwan, where he died at Taipei on 19 June 1958.

Biography in Chinese

钱永铭 字:新之

钱永铭(1885-1958.6.19),财政专家,他一生中很长时期是从事交通银行的工作,他担任了该行的董事长职务。1928年后历任国民政府的各种经济要职。他还整顿了中兴煤矿公司,成为国内第二个大煤矿。他又创办了中兴轮船公司和复兴航业公司。

钱永铭原籍浙江吴兴,出生于上海。早年在南洋中学的前身育才学堂读书。十六岁毕业后,在上海的一个外国商行任职约一年,积资继续升学。他到天津在北洋大学读书一年,回上海结婚。关于他夫人的情况不详。

翌年,钱永铭获得官费去日本留学。1903—1908年,在神户高等商业学校学习,专攻财政。当时大多数留日中国学生参加同盟会等团体组织的反满活动,而钱永铭并未卷入。他在神户毕业后回国,1909—1911年在南京高等商业学校任教。

1912年,民国新政府唐绍仪内阁的工商总长陈其美,派钱永铭到北京接管清政府的已停止工作的农工商部。他完成任务后,在新政府的工商部任会计课长。几个月后,他从北京回上海,与王正廷合办了一家运输企业中华航运公司。两年后,他去满洲为中国实业银行作经济情况的考察。

1917年,钱永铭开始了他的银行生涯,进交通银行上海分行任职。这是一个有发行货币权的半官方银行,前一年曾因袁世凯下令停兑而丧失了信誉,正在改组中,钱永铭被任命为上海分行副经理。两年后,即1919年,升为分行经理。在钱永铭指导下,上海分行采用了近代银行业务的方法,整顿内部机构,扩大业务范围,钱永铭在中国处于严重的政治动荡时期,恢复了交通银行的信
誉,稳定了该行业务。1920—1922年,他还担任上海银行公会会长。

二十年代初,因华北政治纷争直接涉及交通银行总理梁士诒的地位,从而使交通银行的业务复杂化。1921年12月,张作霖支持梁士诒在北京组阁,但吴佩孚和直系军阀竭力反对,梁士诒被迫辞职,梁的去职是1922年春的直奉战争的直接导因。张作霖失败后,交通银行势必为北方的政治头目所接管。钱永铭建议,由老实业家、前工业总长张謇接替梁士诒任交通银行总理,这一建议即
被采纳,钱永铭本人成为协理。1922—1925年他主持了交通银行的工作,在此期间他成功地使该银行保持独立地位。但是在1925年,张作霖支持梁士诒再度担任了交通银行总理,钱永铭去职。

当1927年蒋介石在南京成立了国民政府,钱永铭这一知名的银行家得到了进一步的重用,他被任命为财政部次长,后为代部长,当时挂名的财政部长是古应芬。1928年时他被调往浙江,在张人杰手下担任财政厅长。1930年,国民政府任命钱永铭为中法银行中方董事长,又授命他为中国驻法公使,但他并未接受这一外交职务。

1925年,钱永铭离开交通银行后,任北四行(盐业银行、金城银行、大陆银行、中南银行)四行储蓄会及四行联合准备库副主任,主任是著名财政家吴鼎昌。1935年,吴鼎昌任国民政府实业部长,钱永铭任四行联合准备库主任。

钱永铭除了担负银行职务外,还参与了北方的重要工业企业,山东省的中兴煤矿公司就是一个显著例子。该煤矿在山东峰县枣庄,创办于十九世纪七十年代。二十年代中期,产量曾居全国第三位。但在1926年时因华北连绵内战而造成运输及其他困难,使中兴煤矿公司陷于严重财政窘境,1928年时生产停顿。1929年"钱永铭担任总经理,很快获得了一笔五百万元的银行贷款,添置
新设备,用电气化操作,恢复了生产。四年后,又与陇海路达成协议,建造从煤矿的所在地枣庄通往沿海的连云港的铁路辅助线,以便把煤炭从煤矿直接运到停靠在海岸的轮船上。三十年代中期,中兴年产二百万吨煤,那时只有年产五百万吨煤的开滦超过中兴。

1938年,钱永铭被任命为交通银行董事长,该行在1935年成为政府的三大银行之一,在抗战时期,该行负有新的任务,负责资助工业发展。交通银行资助的重要企业中,有昆明的裕滇纱厂、长沙裕新纺织公司和贵阳的贵州实业公司。交通银行还创立了经纬纺织机器公司,生产中型纱厂的机械设备。在钱永铭主持下,交通银行不仅开展了国内业务,而且在加尔各答、仰光、马尼拉、西贡等地设立国外支行。他除了担任银行职务外,在1938年,任国民参政员,1947年当选为国大代表。中日战争后,他又担任了上海主要报纸之一《新闻报》的董事长。

钱永铭在发展中国的航运事业中也起了重要作用。他认识到为了把华北的煤炭运到重要集散地,发展航运事业是极为重要的。因此,1930年他在中兴公司下设立了一个航运部,1937年将航运部改组成为中兴轮船公司,拥有船只九艘。这些船只在战争时期,不是沉没了就是被国民政府征用了。战后,他从美国购买了一些剩余船只恢复了中兴轮船公司,拥有十艘船只,总吨位达五万
吨。他还成立了复兴航业公司,并任董事长。国民政府给了他十一艘远洋船,总吨位达八万吨,作为补偿中兴轮船公司的战时损失。1949年共产党掌握了大陆政权后,接收了中兴的大部分船只。复兴公司的船只继续在香港和台湾担任运输任务,该公司的总部迁往台湾。

共产党政府成立后,钱永铭退休在香港,以后又迁往台湾。1958年6月19日在台北去世。

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