Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Whatever steps are taken to regulate immigration, it is essential that satisfactory conditions of life and work should be maintained for the immigrant population. We are satisfied that, except where regular employment is available, the present conditions are unsatisfactory In several respects. Indian labour suffers from all the disadvantages of being in a foreign country and serving there for a short term; it is unskilled and leaderless and is divided into races that are not likely to combine among themselves, and still less likely to combine with Burmese labour. There is no Indian province where industrial workers are less organised than in Burma, and there appears little prospect, in the near future, of the effective and permanent organisation of the mass of Indian labour. The workers are aware that their only alternative to accepting such conditions as are offered is a return to penurious circumstances in India, and even that return is not always possible. The employers are In a position to ensure that their claims and difficulties receive adequate consideration; the workers, whose need of consideration is greater, are not vocal. In many cases, owing to the prevalence of the maistry system, they are not able even to press their needs on the firms under which they are employed. The continuance of the present conditions in Rangoon involves not merely hardship for many immigrants but peril to the healthy development of Burma. The maintenance of a large mass of labour which is inadequately protected, is bound to lower the general standard of life and health; and the interest of Burma, no less than that of the immigrants, demands that their welfare should be a constant care. In Rangoon we were struck by the contrast presented between the thought and foresight devoted to technical and commercial aspects of industry and the comparative neglect of the labour aspect. At the present stage of her development, Burma has; a great opportunity of profiting in labour matters from experience elsewhere. The need of, a labour policy is evident, and we would urge on the Government of Burma on employers and on all concerned the acceptance of a much greater measure of responsibility for the strangers within the gates .