Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
In the course of our tours, we endeavoured to visit as many factories as possible and we were impressed by the great contrasts which they presented. There are factories which would compare favourably in lay-out, cleanliness, atmosphere and general well-being with any factories in the world; there are others in which the welfare of the workers is almost entirely neglected. Even within the same industry in a single centre, there are often marked contrasts: and the example shown by some employers seems to have little effect on others. Fortunately for the majority of the operatives, the larger factories are, on the whole, better than the smaller ones, and there has been a marked general advance in recent years. This has been due, partly to a growing realisation by owners and managers of the importance of promoting the health and comfort of their operatives, and partly to an increasing unwillingness on the part of the operatives to tolerate unpleasant conditions. Both these influences are bound to gain in strength, and it is want of knowledge rather than unwillingness which prevents some factory owners from introducing further improvements. What is now required is some method by which the more backward employer may be brought at least up to the general level which has already been surpassed by the more enlightened and progressive employers. We do not here contemplate the inauguration of any new principle but rather the consolidation and extension of the principle already underlying those clauses of the Factories Act which deal with the general health, safety and welfare of the operatives. Circumstances necessarily vary in different centres and different industries, and it is expedient that, rather than overload an Act which is now general in its content and application, there should be a statutory method by which local Governments can secure a uniform minimum standard of welfare where the nature of the processes carried on or the special conditions and circumstances of employment demand it.