In the late 1800s, led by Britain's Cunard Lines, steamship liner operators serving the colonial India to Europe textile and jute trades established the world's first organized liner conferences, to set common freight rates and publish commodity tariffs. The major Indian textile shippers, unhappy with the system and furious at the higher freight rates charged by conference lines, formally appealed to the conference directorate in London for negotiated rates. They claimed that the conference rates would injure their businesses, and threatened that if not granted rate reductions, they would organize their own independent steamship line. The conference lines did not take the threat very seriously and resoundingly denied the Indian shippers' petition for rate relief. The textile mill owners returned to India and subsequently organized The Scindia Steam Navigation Company, Ltd. (Scindia Lines), which eventually grew to operate a very large fleet (about 50) of general cargo ships for the next century.