Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
The official control of recruitment has always been regarded as a regrettable necessity and as a temporary expedient. On various occasions the Government of India have announced their adherence to the ideal of free recruitment, but little visible progress has been made towards the realisation of that ideal in recent years. As the preceding account shows, we have been impressed by the serious objections to control, and in particular the injurious effects it has on the tea, industry and, ultimately, on those employed in it. A further grave objection to the present system is its tendency to perpetuate itself, thus effectively preventing the industry from progressing to a more healthy form of recruitment. The system of control enhances the cost of recruitment, with the consequence that temptations towards abuses are increased. This, in turn, increases the difficulty of removing control, and so furnishes the justification for its retention. We are in entire accord with the view that the danger of serious abuses affords the only justification for the continuance of control, and we have examined with some care the possibility of abolishing all restrictions. We have been assisted in this direction by the official examination of the question in 1925 and subsequent years, when the Government of India again raised the question of free recruitment, but were advised by practically all those acquainted with conditions that the abolition of all control would be inadvisable. We have considered the opinions expressed at length in this correspondence and have reviewed them with the assistance of witnesses both in the recruiting provinces and in Assam.