Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
So far as the operatives are concerned, we cannot view the possibility of a reduction in earnings without misgiving. But we believe that, if too large a reduction of hours is not attempted, the effect will be small, and it is relevant to observe that real wages have recently risen appreciably and are now higher than they have been for some years. Ever if a fall in wages results, it need not be permanent. With greater time for genuine relaxation, many workers would probably require shorter holiday days and fewer days of absence than at present, and could thus reduce the loss which these breaks impose on them. Many employers believe firmly that the average operative desires to earn merely sufficient for his ban needs, and is unwilling to earn more by doing more work, i.e., that he prefers leisure to a margin in wages. We discuss this view elsewhere and cannot subscribe to it in the form in which it is usually presented. At the same time, the great importance which the Indian worker attaches to adequate leisure is a truth underlying it. It is also important to remember that, in the cotton mill industry in particular, there are still opportunities for increased effort on the part of the operative. So far as we are aware, there is no industrial country, except possibly China, where so little is expected from him in effort and so much in attendance at the factory. The average number of looms given to each weaver in India is less than two and one spinner is ordinarily required for each side of a frame. Attempts have recently been made to advance beyond the usual standard and, even with existing hours, it should be possible to secure improvement. We behave that, apart from any reduction of hours, employers will steadily increase their demand for efficiency from the operative Shorter hours should supply both an incentive and an enlarged opportunity for raising the general standard of work.