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Trade Unions

Volume 148: debated on Tuesday 8 November 1921

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asked the Secretary of State for India whether, considering that many of the so-called trade unions in India are stated to be little more than strike committees, and in view of the acts of violence and intimidation which have characterised a large proportion of the disputes in which these committees have been concerned, it is the intention of the Government of India to proceed with legislation for the purpose of giving legal status to trade unions in India, and to define the law of agency in such a way that no act could be made the ground of a claim on trade union funds unless it was definitely proved that the governing body had sanctioned the act; and whether, having regard to the difficulty of obtaining definite proof in a country like India, and to the fact that the majority of these loose organisations publish no accounts and assign no functions to their governing body, he will consider the question of the unfairness to the rest of the community of either legalising picketing or of putting these so-called trade unions outside the law?

The Government of India are considering the lines on which legislation should be undertaken for the registration and protection of trade unions and are consulting local governments with a view to submitting proposals. Pending receipt of actual proposals for legislation. I feel it would be premature to discuss the tentative conclusions on which the Government of India are cot suiting local governments.

Is the question justified in saying that many of these trade unions are little more than "strike committees"?