Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
We have referred to the increasing economic unity of India and the need for co-ordination in labour matters. Our enquiry, however, has related only to a part of India, for the Indian States lie outside our scope. But their presence cannot be ignored in considering the problems of British India, for they share increasingly its economic unity and its industrial development and are bound to exercise an important influence on its political development. They lie in some cases close to industrial centres in Indian provinces but the laws and regulations which protect labour in those centres do not extend across the boundaries of the States. A number of States have copied various Acts of the Indian legislature; but, except in rare cases, their labour laws are substantially behind those of British India. Industrialists not unnaturally feel the danger involved in making advances in British Indian legislation while their rivals within the boundaries of the States remain unaffected by these advances. There is already, in fact, on a small scale, the problem which would face all India if central labour legislation disappeared. In making our proposals we have had to recognise that it would be a poor service to labour and the country so to raise standards in one part of India as to drive industry into another part where standards are lower.