§ Mr. JOHN WARD
asked the Under-Secretary of State for India, whether it is the custom for employers to retain two months' wages in hand from the workers; whether in case of bankruptcy the workers have the legal right to claim one month's pay only from the defaulting employer; and, if so, whether it is proposed to alter the law relating to the payment of wages to prevent the victimisation of the working population?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for INDIA (Mr. Montagu)
Such enquiries as the Secretary of State has been able to make go to show that in factories, 1009 as in other kinds of employment in India, wages are generally paid by the month. Where this is the case, payment is made about the middle of the month following that for which the wage is due. The Secretary of State is not aware that as much as two months' wages is ever kept in hand by employers. In some factories fortnightly payments have been introduced, and in others a portion of the staff is on weekly wages. In these cases the amount of pay kept in hand is small. Under the Indian Insolvency Law the employé has a priority claim in respect of four months' wages up to a maximum amount of Rs. 100 in the Presidency towns and of Rs. 20 elsewhere. No amendment of the law is at present contemplated.
§ Mr. JOHN WARD
asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether he can secure from the Mill Owners' Association of Bombay Returns showing the total amount of lapsed wages of their operatives for the last three years; and the number of weeks' labour such lapses represent, in the current coin?
§ Mr. MONTAGU
The Secretary of State will ask the Bombay Government to ascertain from the Mill Owners' Association of Bombay whether they can supply the return mentioned in the question.