Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Although we have stressed the influence which employers can exercise over the future of the movement, we should be doing a disservice to it if we encouraged any trade unionists to suppose that its development depended upon the actions of employers rather then upon their own. There is already a lack of self-reliance and a tendency to wait too much upon the employers' attitude. No amount of encouragement from employers or of assistance from the State can infuse life into unions which have nothing vital in themselves; true vigour can only come from within. In those countries where the movement is strong, it owes that strength mainly to its own efforts, and perhaps more to the opposition it has confronted than to the support it has received from employers. One of the first needs, therefore, is the training of the members themselves. There is too great a tendency to allow the members to remain passive supporters of the union instead of making them an active force. We recognise the difficulties of the position. The dilemma which faces many trade union leaders resembles that which confronted a number of officials in the early days of local self-government. Presented with the alternatives of aiming at executive efficiency by undertaking most of the work themselves and of educating their members by giving them responsibility and letting them make mistakes, most of the leaders have chosen the former course. Labour is weak, leaders are few, and the training of members in trade unionism must in many cases involve ft diminution, for the time being, in the effectiveness of a union to protect its members. But the movement cannot prosper if it is allowed to depend almost entirely on a stimulus from the top; there must be an internal collective will. This can be developed in various ways, all of which require time and patience. Efforts should be made to give as many members as possible some share in the work. Meetings should be frequent, even if they are small; regular branch meetings are of more value than the infrequent mass meeting, which has little permanent effect.