Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Since the middle of last century, Bombay, on account of its excellent slipping and railway facilities and business enterprise, has dominated the cotton textile industry. There are still about 118, 000 workers in the mills of Bombay City and Island. The second centre of the industry is Ahmedabad, in Gujerat, with about 70, 000 operatives; other centres in the Bombay Presidency include Sholapur, Surat, Broach and Jalgaon. The 203 cotton mills of the Presidency employ in all about 232, 000 pet-sons. The remaining 92 mills with about 106, 000 operatives are distributed over many provinces and towns. Most important among these are Madras, Madura and Coimbatore in the Madras Presidency, Nagpur in the Central Provinces, Cawnpore in the United Provinces, and the vicinity of Calcutta. There has recently been a tendency for the industry to push into the smaller towns in the cotton-growing tracts. These have the advantage, not possessed by Bombay, of proximity to recruiting grounds for labour and to the markets for both the raw material and the manufactured article. Generally speaking, the industry has been expanding nearly everywhere except in Bombay, and the decline in employment in that city has been balanced by the expansion elsewhere, as the following figures show:—
There has also been an expansion in Indian States, which are not included in any of the figures given above. The industry is largely in Indian hands. In Bombay, Parsees, who were responsible for its initiation, and Gujerati Hindus have the biggest interests and the latter class control nearly all the mills in Ahmedabad. Europeans control some mills in both these centres and they and Hindus of various provinces are responsible for most of the mills in the smaller centres. Musalmans control some mills in Bombay, but few, if any, elsewhere. A considerable number of English-men, drawn mainly from Lancashire, are employed in the mills as managers or heads of departments throughout the industry; bat there are now many mills where the whole of the managing staff is Indian.