Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
An equally urgent need is the development of leadership from within the ranks of labour. At present the unions depend for their leaders mainly on social workers, lawyers and other professional and public men. A few of these have interested themselves in the movement in order to secure private and personal ends. The majority, however, are actuated by an earnest desire to assist labour The work involves much toil and many discouragements, is nearly always unpaid, and brings more criticism than thanks. A survey of the position will. we hope, show sufficiently clearly how necessary the assistance of these men has been in the past. The movement could not possibly have reached its present stage without them, and for many years to come there is likely to be a useful field of service for all who are anxious to assist. At the same time, as many of the present leaders would be the first to recognise, the man drawn from outside the world of labour is handicapped in more than one direction. He has seldom a complete knowledge of the technical details of the industry to which his work is related, and cannot hope to meet the employer on equal terms in this respect. His training makes it difficult for him to feel that complete sympathy with labour which is the inspiration of those who have " gone through the mill". Some of the present leaders, motivated no doubt by the great need, seem to us to diminish their effectiveness further by attempting too much. No man can take an effective share in the organisation of half a dozen unions simultaneously; in existing conditions the fostering of one good union is a hard task and more than enough for a man who can generally devote only part of his day to such work. Finally the fact that the work is gratuitous tends to weaken its intensity, and in some cases to diminish the sense of responsibility.