Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
So fur as cases of this kind are concerned, we would observe that the need of regulation appears to us to be so imperative as to justify the risk involved. Looking at the matter from the wider point of view, we do not believe that it is to the ultimate advantage of any part of India to permit the working of young children, or any inhumane conditions, and we suggest that, where danger of the kind we have mentioned appears to be real, an effort should be made to obtain the active co-operation of adjoining States. If the considerations which we have endeavoured to set out commend themselves to the people of British India, they should not fail to evoke a response from the Rulers of the States. At the same time efforts at local co-operation will not secure any lasting solution of the difficulty. In discussing the merits of central and provincial legislation, we limited our view to the provinces. But we must point out that even the closest co-operation between provinces is insufficient. So long as there exist side by side areas in which legislation is comparatively backward, there will be a handicap to progress in the rest of India. There are, therefore, good grounds for making labour legislation both a federal and a provincial subject. If this were done, it would be essential in the application of legislation in the States to secure the observance of the principle of gradualness, to which we have referred elsewhere. Any attempt to secure uniformity by a rapid process of levelling up might prove a serious bar to lasting progress. But if there is reasonable security against such a danger, federal legislation offers a more complete solution of the problem than can be obtained otherwise; and we urge that this possibility should be carefully considered. If it does not prove practicable at present, efforts should be directed towards securing that, as early as possible, the whole of India participates in making progress in labour matters. The end should be to reach a stage when, in respect of the leading labour laws, recognised minimum standards are applicable throughout the whole of India.