Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
As regards the method of recruitment, the Committee recommended that, in the case of the leading ratings (i.e., serangs and butlers), the shipping companies should be allowed to nominate anyone who had been discharged from a ship of the same line not more than three months before, but if they failed to do so, the selection was to be made from a fair proportion of men from the top of the roster maintained by the bureau for that line. The object of this recommendation was, as stated by the Committee, " to encourage lines to give men, as far as possible, continuity of employment and to ensure that each man on the list shall have his claims regularly considered ". So far as seamen were concerned, the Committee recognised that in Bombay the crews, especially the deck crews, were closely attached to particular serangs, frequently coming from the same or neighbouring villages and forming almost a family on board. They therefore proposed to interfere with the serangs' power of nomination only in the case of a particular type of crew. In Calcutta, on the other hand, they believed that there was no close attachment between the serang and his crew, and proposed a system whereby the seamen would be taken by roster from a register maintained for the line concerned and from a general register. At the same time shipowners were to be free to take men who had been discharged from ships of the same line not more than a month previously. This scheme, had it worked satisfactorily, would have tended to encourage continuity of employment by giving the shipowners the choice between selecting the crew from those most recently discharged, and having the crew selected on an arbitrary system which might give a miscellaneous crew. The Committee also recommended that bribery, whether indirect or direct, to obtain employment as seamen should be regarded as a serious offence punishable with a considerable term of imprisonment.