Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Measures such as these will not provide an effective remedy for any general unemployment resulting from a time of economic stress such as that in which we are writing, and we have examined the possibility of dealing with this in a comprehensive way. Here we are handicapped by the complete absence of statistics. In no centre in India, so far as we are aware, is it possible to say how many industrial workers are unable to secure employment; information is equally lacking regarding the number of such workers who may be in the villages awaiting the return of better times. It has been suggested that, apart from any other advantages, the establishment of employment bureaux would provide means for measuring the extent of the trouble. We cannot accept this view, for we do not believe that a bureau, which was unable to offer any definite relief to persons genuinely unemployed, would provide any index to their numbers. Even if bureaux could offer prospects of employment to a proportion, it would be impossible for them to maintain accurate registers of the unemployed. As regards the other services which State bureaux could render, it is scarcely necessary to point out that they could not affect the volume of employment and could only increase the mobility of labour. In the present position of Indian industry, it is most unlikely that they would be in a position to offer an appreciable number of vacancies unless employers were compelled to recruit through them. Such compulsion is possible in special cases, such as shipping, but so far as industry generally is concerned, we do not regard it as practicable under present conditions. The maintenance by employers in a single industry and centre of a joint bureau for recruitment offers less practical difficulty. Such bureaux, not in the industrial centres but in the areas from which the workers are drawn, might have served a useful purpose in the past. We do not think that it would be wise to start them at a time when most factory owners can find sufficient labour at the gates.