29 NOVEMBER 1940, Page 2

Indians in British Workshops

Mr. Bevin explained a scheme for the training of Indian labour in Britain to a conference of trade union representatives at Cardiff last Saturday. -He has obtained permission to bring over several hundred Indians from the workshops of India to be trained and sent back with a knowledge of trade unionism. The important point is that they are to receive the same rate of payment and allowances as British trainees, and in every way to be on an equality with them; and in addition instructors belonging to British trades unions are to go to India to train people there. This is a far-sighted, statesmanlike move on Mr. Bevin's part. In the process of industrialisation which is taking place in India nothing could be more valuable than that the workers should be able to draw upon the experience of this country, and apply a matured trade union spirit to the problems of labour. But in the course of applying Mr. Bevin's experiment the utmost care must be taken to ensure that the Indian workers are not put in a class apart, and that they are received by their work-mates no less than by their employers in the full spirit of equality.. It would do more harm than good if the Indians were allowed to go away with any sense of social grievance such as has embittered many Indians at British universities. This is an aspect of the question which should be watched.