Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
As a result of these events, and although the original parties to the dispute had reached a common basis, Government was forced to intervene, and a settlement was reached with the stevedore firms and the shipping companies by which Burmese and Telugu labour was to be employed on a 50—50 basis. This settlement followed conversations between the Governor and a number of Burmese and Indian representatives. The details were worked out by a Conciliation Board appointed under the Trade Disputes Act; but the resolution appointing them stated that a settlement " had in principle already been arrived at "and indicated that this settlement involved the allocation of a proportion of ships to labourers of each race. The instructions to the Board were that they were " to promote a settlement on the above lines and to work out the details of the settlement." We confess, in passing, to some doubt if the appointment of a Board of Conciliation in a manner which does not leave entirely to their judgment the line most likely to lead to a settlement is in accord with the spirit of the Trade Disputes Act; but at the time it would have been difficult, and probably perilous, to pursue any other line. Since then the principles of the settlement have been carried out. There is no question that Burmese labour generally has not attained the efficiency of Indian labour in the loading and unloading of ships; but competence in such work cannot be gained immediately. and those whom we examined were guarded in their estimate of what the future held. Apart from the question of efficiency, there would seem to be some uncertainty as to whether, if the economic position became easier, there would be adequate Burmese labour available for work of this kind. Burmese opinion generally is naturally in favour of the employment of Burmans not merely in this branch of work but wherever possible. So far as Indian labour is concerned, it is clear that before the strike there was more labour available at the docks than would suffice for the work, and, although the daily wage was increased, the result of the settlement was to leave this labour worse off than before.