Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
So far as the method of recruiting is concerned, we recommend that the shipping companies should have liberty of choice from men who, have been in their employment within a specified period. We would put this period in the first instance at 2 years, and the aim should be to reduce it steadily until it has reached 9 months. Here again the speed of reduction must be determined by circumstances, the effect of each reduction being carefully watched. At the initiation of the system, the company would be able to select any men who had been discharged from one of their ships not less than 24 months previously, while after the necessary period of adjustment their freedom of choice would be restricted to men who had served on one of their ships during the last 9 months. If they were unable to complete a crew by the employment of such men, they should be required to recruit the men they needed through the shipping office, which would select them from those on the live register. We hope that this system will reduce the number of seamen with reasonable speed to less than twice the number that are required at sea at any time. A substantial margin must, always remain to allow of seamen from time to time spending periods at their homes. The final periods of 18 months suggested in the preceding paragraph and 9 months suggested in this are both tentative; after the scheme was in operation, experience might show that different periods were better, and there should always be a readiness, if necessity arose, to alter the periods in consultation with representatives of both sides. It will probably be advisable to determine the extent of reduction of the periods for any year at least a year ahead, so that seamen could be warned on being discharged.