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Report No. 62

1B.21. Amendment of 1933.-

It appears that the legal difficulty in extension of the Act beyond the Indian, territorial waters to ships not registered in India (from the point of view of international law) was noticed by the officers of the Government, and this was one of the reasons advanced (in the beginning), when the Bill of 1932 was introduced, for not proposing an amendment in the Act so as to cover Indian seamen employed on ships not registered in British India-a situation specifically emphasised in the Report of the Royal Commission on Indian Labour.

1B.21A. However, several members of the Legislative Assembly1 stressed the need for covering such seamen.

The amendment regarding ships was made at the Select Committee stage.2-3 The Committee observed:

"Sub-clause (a)(ii) and (iii) and clause 9-we have omitted the definition of "registered ship" from the Act, as we consider that there is no longer any need for making any distinction between ships which are registered elsewhere and ships which are unregistered. We have inserted in item (vi) of Schedule II, the ships to which we consider the Act should be applied."

Material in the file relating to the period when the Select Committee on the 1932 Bill made its report, does not indicate how the objection4 from the point of view of international law was taken to have been satisfied. But it may be stated that most of the non-Indian ships employing Indian seamen were of British ownership, and obviously they could not raise a legal objection in those days, in the then constitutional set-up. The present position is obviously different.

1. Particularly, Shri N.M. Joshi.

2. Legislative Department File No. 160/32-C&G 1932 (relating to Act 15 of 1933) (National Archieves).

3. Record of the Select Committee, (10 February, 1933), para. 3.

4. Para. 1B.21, supra.

Workmens Compensation Act, 1923 Back

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