Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
In Calcutta the position is equally unsatisfactory. According to the estimate of the Shipping Master, only about one-fourth of the total number seeking employment can hope to be successful. Here too there was for long the same indiscriminate registration of new recruits. From the 1st July 1922 to the end of 1925 over 29, 500 new men were granted certificates to enable them to go to sea, while the number of those who succeeded in obtaining employment at sea during these years was less than 16, 000. The position would have been even worse but for the fact that from 1926 the Shipping Master, on his own authority, stopped further registration of new recruits, except at the request of the officers of the ships on whose articles they were to be signed on. As a result of this action, the number of new men registered in the course of a year has fallen from 10, 000 to about 5, 000. An attempt has been made at Calcutta to construct a register of seamen, presumably in order to ascertain the numbers available and possibly to facilitate employment by roster. But the register in its present form is unwieldy and of questionable value; it includes the names of seamen who entered service as early as 1887, many of whom are now dead or have voluntarily retired from sea service. The Shipping Master declared that he had no authority to remove a name from the register and that his instructions were to register all seamen. As a result he had perforce inserted the names of men who had been out of employment for periods extending to 15 and 16 years and who were obviously unfitted for further sea service.