Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
The evidence we received on the question of the prevalence of bribery was conflicting. The seamen's representatives were unanimous in the view that there had been no improvement since 1922; on the other hand, the Shipping Masters and the shipping companies were of opinion that, whilst bribery in recruitment had not altogether disappeared, it was by no means serious. It was even maintained by the companies that the picture drawn by the Seamen's Recruitment Committee was exaggerated. It was not possible for us to sift the truth from these conflicting statements, particularly as we had been supplied with no figures that could be compared with those collected by the 1922 Committee. But the present system represents an improvement in method on the old one, in that, if properly worked, it will bring the employer and the employed a stage closer together than was the case when the brokers were responsible for engagement. But it does not seem to us to be designed to remove one of the basic causes of bribery, namely, the large volume of unemployment amongst seamen. So long as this remains, the temptation to offer a bribe is not likely to be diminished, and, quite apart from its connection with bribery, the reduction of unemployment appears to be essential if labour in this industry is to be placed on a satisfactory footing.