We venture in this despatch to address your Lordship on a most important and urgent subject, embracing two questions of great political moment which are in our opinion indissolubly linked together. This subject has engaged our attention for some time past and the proposals which we are about to submit for Your Lord ship's consideration are the result of our mature deliberation. "We shall in the first place attempt to set forth the circumstances which have induced us to frame these proposals at this particular juncture and then proceed to lay before Your Lordship the broad general features of our scheme.
2. That the Government of India should have its seat in the same city as one of the chief Provincial Governments, and moreover in a city geographically so ill-adapted as Calcutta to be the capital of the Indian Empire, has long been recognised to be a serious anomaly. We need not stop to recall the circumstances in which Calcutta rose to its present position. The considerations which explain its original selection as the principal seat of Government have long since passed away with the consolidation of British rule throughout the Peninsula and the development of a great inland system of railway communication. But it is only in the light of recent developments, constitutional and political, that the drawbacks of the existing arrangement and the urgency of a change have been fully realised. On the one hand, the almost incalculable importance of the part which can already safely be predicted for the Imperial Legislative Council in the shape it has assumed under the Indian Councils Act of 1909, renders the removal of the capital to a more central and easily accessible position practically imperative. On the other hand, the peculiar political situation which has arisen in Bengal since the Partition makes it eminently desirable to withdraw the Government of India from its present Provincial environment, while its removal from Bengal is an essential feature of the scheme we have in view for allaying the ill feeling aroused by the Partition amongst the Bengali population. Once the necessity of removing the seat of the Supreme Government from Bengal is established, as we trust it may be by the considerations we propose to lay before Your Lordship, there can be, in our opinion, no manner of doubt as to the choice of the new capital or as to the occasion on which that choice should be announced. On geographical, historical and political grounds, the capital of the Indian Empire should be at Delhi, and the announcement that the transfer of the seat of Government to Delhi had been sanctioned should be made by His Majesty the King Emperor at the forthcoming Imperial Durbar in Delhi itself.20a