§ 6. Mr. BUCHANAN (forMr. MAXTON)
asked the Secretary of State for India whether he will make a statement regarding the present position of the textile workers in India; whether the millowners of Bombay have agreed to the demands of the workers; what arrangements are proposed regarding the payment of dear-food allowance; whether there is now a general resumption of work in all the mills in Bombay; what is the position in other textile towns; the number of trade union leaders arrested in connection with the strike in Bombay and in other towns; and whether he is satisfied that economic grievances rather than Communist propaganda were at the bottom of the general strike?
§ Mr. BUTLER
Work has been resumed in all the towns in which disputes recently occurred in textile mills except in Nagpur, where no settlement has been reported in respect of the Empress Mills. The workers' list of demands, which are of a very far reaching kind, has not been agreed to. But in Bombay, the Mill-Owners Association are reported to be working on a scheme for a uniform dear-food allowance and have also been considering the question of standardising wages. The Government of Bombay have received and are now considering the report of the Bombay Labour Office on wages and unemployment in the Bombay textile industry. As regards the latter part of the hon. Member's question, 28 leaders were arrested and detained during the strike in Bombay and five in Nagpur. While not denying that economic grievances exist among the workers, at any rate in Bombay, I think it is fully established that Communist leadership was largely responsible for what has happened.