If it is, then how could the trade be carried on if no wood was available? It is only when timber was imported from far away, by traders from India and other faraway places, that the work was performed. By definition, no trade cannot be carried on without wood. In this respect, the Trade Agreements are not really trade.
Another misconception commonly held by people is that the work of woodworking, being a craft, takes place in a very limited circle of experienced persons. This is the most important misconception. No matter how many skilled woodworkers there are, there are still fewer than a hundred thousand such persons as there are trades in Europe and America. Therefore, it is true that very few trades make their living without the use of wood. I have never come across, even when I visited one of the finest woodworking institutes in England on my last visit to India, that any shopkeeper was able to be successful at any business without the use of wood.
As to whether there are many trade apprentices, this is not very difficult a question to answer. The figures published indicate that in the various trades of India, more apprentices are employed than in China, and there are more of them than have been born in England.
A third misconception is that it was not till the end of the nineteenth century that the Indian industry acquired the skill required to produce the very fine and beautiful furniture which is now available. The true situation is that it was not till 1891 that the British Government made any contribution to the growth of the Indian industry. In fact, its only contribution to it was in the matter of furnishing an outlet to the European trade, where the most important part of the foreign trade goes at the expense of those other countries. On a national basis, the British contribution to the growth of the Indian industry was nothing.
On a national basis the British Government had the following obligations to the Indian industry:
(i) It wanted to preserve Indian workers free from foreign competition and from their foreign employers;
(ii) It wanted to enable the development of their capacities for production, in order that their trade might be fully supported, and that those who had acquired these capacities might be able to take good advantage of them;
(iii) It wanted to promote the diffusion of industry throughout the country;
(iv) It wanted to give the working classes the advantage of the facilities which were to be given them by the English Government;
(v) It wanted
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