§ 3. Major POLE
asked the Secretary of State for India if he will make a statement concerning the present position in regard to the mill strike in Bombay, giving the number of workers affected and information as to the progress made by the court of inquiry set up under the Trade Disputes Act?
§ 4. Sir FRANK NELSON
asked the Secretary of State for India the present position in Bombay in regard to the stoppage of work in the cotton mills?
§ Mr. BENN
The latest information in my possession is that approximately 109,000 men and 64 mills were affected by the strike out of 77 textile mills in Bombay. Out of these 77 mills about 70 are working to-day with approximately 74,000 men. This number includes 46,000 strikers who have resumed work. A preliminary meeting of the Court of Inquiry was held on the 6th July, and has been several times adjourned to secure the attendance of representatives of the Girni Kamgar Union. The terms of reference of the Court were published in the Bombay Gazette Extraordinary of 3rd July, and are briefly: to inquire and ascertain the exact nature of the dispute in the 64 mills, the extent of the respective responsibility of employers or workers, the causes and responsibility for the prolongation of the strike, and the nature of the difficulties in the way of settlement.
§ Sir F. NELSON
Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that this unfortunate stoppage was purely a trade dispute, and will he assure the House that there were not more sinister reasons behind it?