Full text: Report on an enquiry into wages and hours of labour in the cotton mill industry, 1926

This Report on an Enquiry into the Wages and Hours of Labour in 
the Cotton Mill Industry in the Bombay Presidency, 1926, is the third 
conducted by the Labour Office on this subject. 
The first was made in 1921 and related to May 1914 and May 1921. 
The results of the Enquiry were published in the form of a special Report 
early in the year 1923. The second census for the year 1923 was taken 
in August of that year for all centres. The results were published also 
in the form of a special Report in July 1925. The third Enquiry was 
undertaken in May 1926 for Ahmedabad and in July for Bombay and 
Sholapur and the Report now published gives the results of that Enquiry, 
which, it will be seen, is more detailed and has entailed infinitely more 
labour in its preparation than either of the two others. The principal 
reason for this is that that Enquiry was conducted, not by the Schedule 
method as in the case of the other two enquiries, but by the Muster-roll 
method combined with the sample. A number of mills were selected at 
each centsg, employing about 30 per cent. of the operatives engaged in 
the industry, and special forms, following very closely the lines of a mill 
muster roll, were distributed to the mills, who entered upon them all the 
particulars appearing in their muster rolls for every individual employed 
by them in the mill. In the three centres over 70,000 workpeople were 
covered and when it is stated that the entries relating to each individual 
numbered from 12 to 16 the amount of tabulation necessitated by the 
Enquiry may be imagined. 
The labour of tabulation and analysis has been added to enormously 
by the astonishingly varied methods of wage payments in the textile 
industry. Not only do these methods differ fundamentally in the 
three centres themselves, but there are wide variations in every mill 
and even in departments of the same mill. At every stage in the 
tabulation difficulties arose which had to be solved by personal 
enquiry or correspondence and the census has shown, as nothing 
else could ever have shown, that the muster-roll method, where the 
information is derived from the pay-rolls of the mills, is the only method 
that can ensure the colléction of accurate wage statistics in the mill 
industry. The whole work has therefore been done by the ordinary 
staff of the office. No such enquiry has ever been undertaken before 
in India and I think I am right in saying that in few countries has so 
detailed and comprehensive an examination of the wage statistics of a 
particular industry been undertaken. 
A perusal of the Report will indicate the nature and the extent of 
the enquiry and there are several factors which contributed to its success- 
ful preparation to which I desire to draw attention. First, I would 
uo 8B 26—1

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