Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Behind immediate causes such as these, it is possible to trace the wider influences which have been at work. The great outbreak of strike after the war had obvious economic causes; a rise in wage levels was overdue, and the workers awoke to the disabilities from which they suffered in respect of long hours and other matters. By the end of 1922 the position was again more or less stabilised, hours had been reduced, conditions had improved and wages had risen, prices had fallen considerably from the peaks attained in 1920 and 1921, and the post-war boom was over. During the ensuing five years prices showed only small variations; the Bombay working class cost of living index number, for example, neither fell below 152 nor rose above 161 in any month after October 1922 and before October 1927. The State, the employers and the public now co-operated in introducing certain ameliorative measures. In consequence of all these factors, the quinquennium 1923-1927 was one of comparative peace, in spite of a steady growth of consciousness and cohesion among the workers and the survival of many sources of discontent. By the end of this period prices showed signs of falling again and, although industry did not cease to expand, profits steadily contracted and, in a number of cases, disappeared. Endeavours to meet the depression by improved methods of production, retrenchments of staff, or reductions of wages had a large share in the fresh outbreak of strife in 1928.