Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Among the causes responsible for the low standard of living of the worker, indebtedness must be given a high place. Here, as elsewhere, we are confronted with an absence of reliable statistics, but there is general agreement as to the main fact, and we are satisfied that the majority of industrial workers are in debt for the greater part of their working lives. Many, indeed, are born in debt and it evokes both admiration and regret to find how commonly a son assumes responsibility for his father's debt, an obligation which rests on religious and social but seldom on legal sanctions. Many come to industry because they are in debt; some are enabled by industry to clear themselves and a few then become money-lenders instead of money-borrowers. More often the debts remain and fresh obligations are incurred. It is estimated that, in most industrial centres, the proportion of families or individuals who are in debt is not less than two-thirds of the whole. We believe that, in the great majority of cases, the amount of debt exceeds three months' wages and is often far in excess of this amount. We are not including in debt, for the purpose of these calculations, the amounts owing for the ordinary purchases of the month, which are generally made on credit.