Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
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The difficulty which confronted us in dealing with the constitutional responsibility for labour arises again in connection with the discussion of the participation of organised labour in the legislatures. The question is of such cardinal importance for the welfare of labour that we cannot ignore it, but it is intimately bound up with other questions which lie outside our province. We consider that we should best fulfil our duty and assist those who have to consider wider constitutional issues by limiting ourselves to a brief statement of what appear to us to be the just claims of labour in this matter and of the advantages that will accrue from their recognition. Dealing first with the latter aspect of the question, we would observe that there are several directions in which the adequate representation of labour should benefit both itself and the community. In the first place, the presence of representatives able to voice the desires and aspirations of labour and to translate these into concrete proposals is essential for the proper consideration of measures specially affecting labour. But the welfare of labour does not depend purely on what may be called labour measures its good depends on the whole trend of policy and legislation. More adequate representation of labour is necessary for its protection in this respect and, if given the opportunity, organised labour can make a valuable contribution to the wise government of the common wealth. Further, the proper representation of labour is itself educative; the recognition of its claims as a part of the body politic will bring increased responsibility and a sense of unity with the community as a whole. Conversely, exclusion of labour from a fair share in the councils of the nation will inevitably drive it to rely unduly on other means of making itself felt, with injury to itself and to the nation. What we have stated is applicable to labour generally, both agricultural and industrial, and those who have to deal with the representation of labour in detail will no doubt have regard to the whole field. We, however, must confine our suggestions regarding representation to such labour as comes within our terms of reference.