Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
As our first winter's work progressed, it became steadily clearer to us that the material we could collect in the ordinary way would fall far short of yielding all the information desired. We therefore decided, at the end of our first winter's work, to appeal to Government for further assistance. In a circular letter, which was addressed to the provincial Governments and to the leading railways and is reproduced elsewhere, we asked them to utilise the period which was available in the collection of information bearing on the standard of living of the workers. What we desired, in particular, was " evidence of the same character " as the Commission " might itself have secured if it had had a much longer time at its disposal and had been able to obtain from a number of witnesses information of a somewhat intimate character regarding their manner of life ". We appended to our letter a schedule indicating the particulars for which we were looking. We are under a deep obligation to the Governments, the railway administrations, the employers, the workers and the numerous officials who co-operated in assisting us in this matter. Having regard to the very great difficulties which limitations of time, means and personnel imposed, the results obtained are by no means disappointing. Their value would have been enhanced if more attention had been paid to the crucial question of sampling, for in a number of cases the efforts have been dissipated over too wide a field. But practically all the enquiries have served a purpose' in throwing a sidelight on the subject, and providing some check on other material. Limited enquiries of the kind suggested cannot hope to do more. Much of the information obtained, which has been of help to us, will not be without interest for students of the subject, and we hope that it may serve to point the way to the more thorough enquiries that are urgently required. Of the Government enquiries, that of the United Provinces is the best example of the type of report we hoped to secure. Among railways, the South Indian Railway, in which a committee was appointed to investigate the subject, and the East Indian Railway have both furnished reports of special interest.