J.H. Whitley and the Royal Commission on Labour in India 1929-31

Amerdeep Panesar, Amy Stoddart, James Turner, Paul Ward, Sarah Wells

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter explores John Henry Whitley's relationship to India, and what the Royal Commission did in India, including what its recommendations were. Whitley's socially concerned Liberalism and approach to industrial relations made him ideal to examine the social causes of imperial precariousness in India. Whitley and the Commission witnessed the most impoverished conditions in India and their report sought to implement measures that would improve the conditions. Whitley's scrapbook, comprising photographs, news clippings and various other memorabilia, makes evident the element of Orientalist tourism for Whitley and the other British members of the Commission. Visiting Indian factories, villages and workers' homes allowed them an opportunity to relish the strange, 'other' way of life of the Indian people. Whitley can be conceptualised as a man of his time, a liberal imperialist. He fulfilled a role needed to maintain the colonial rule of India.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLiberal Reform and Industrial Relations
Subtitle of host publicationJ.H. Whitley (1866-1935), Halifax Radical and Speaker of the House of Commons
EditorsJohn A. Hargreaves, Keith Laybourn, Richard Toye
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781315231792
ISBN (Print)9781138293984, 9780367348830
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2017

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in Modern British History


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