Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
In respect of labour there is not usually a department of this kind, and expert advice on labour subjects comes from miscellaneous sources.
Madras has the nearest approach to such a system in the Commissioner of Labour, who is, however, responsible for much more than industrial labour. This officer is Commissioner for Workmen's Compensation and Registrar of Trade Unions and is also responsible for the administration of the Factories Act and for other matters connected with labour. He has also acted as conciliator in trade disputes and should be in a position, after gaining some experience, to view labour questions as a whole and give expert advice to Government. Unfortunately the value of the department has been greatly diminished by frequent changes of its head. We understand that there has been more than one such change in a single year, and in recent years no officer seems to have continued in the appointment longer than the time necessary to gain moderate familiarity with the subjects for which he is responsible. The Bombay Labour Office represents the sound nucleus of a labour department. Here some regard has been paid to the principle of continuity in the Director's appointment, and that officer, in addition to being responsible for both statistics and intelligence, is Commissioner of Workmen's Compensation and Registrar of Trade Unions. He is thus in a position to act as expert, adviser to Government on labour matters. But he is not concerned with the administration of the Factories Act, nor Las he (or any other officer) been expected or permitted to act generally as a conciliation officer in trade disputes. On the other hand, he has duties quite unconnected with labour. Bengal has adopted the device of combining in one officer expert knowledge of labour and secretarial duties. The Labour Intelligence Officer acts also as a Deputy Secretary to Government and as Registrar of Trade Unions, and the same officer has held charge of the post more or less continuously for about 10 years, with obvious benefit to Government. There is a separate specialist Commissioner for Workmen's Compensation; but this subject, the administration of the Factories Act and other labour subjects are all dealt with in the Secretariat by the Labour Intelligence Officer and co-ordination is thus secured. On the other hand, the Labour Intelligence Officer has no investigating staff, while he has duties outside his labour work.