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3. The maintenance of British rule in India depends on the ultimate supremacy of the Governor-General in Council, and the Indian Councils act of 1909 itself bears testimony to the impossibility of allowing matters of vital concern to be decided by a majority of non-official votes in the Imperial Legislative Council. nevertheless it is certain that, in the course of time, the just demands of Indians for a larger share in the government of the country will have to be satisfied, and the question will be how this devolution of power can be conceded without impairing the supreme authority of the Governor-General in Council. The only possible solution of the difficulty would appear to be gradually to give the Provinces a larger measure of Self-Government, until at last India would consist of a number of administrations, autonomous in all Provincial affairs, with. the Government of India above them all, and possessing power to interfere in case of misgovernment, but ordinarily restricting their functions to matters of Imperial concern. In order that this consummation may be attained, it is essential that the Supreme Government should not be associated with any particular Provincial Government The removal of the Government of India from Calcutta is, therefore, a measure which will, in our opinion, materially facilitate the growth of Local Self-Government on sound and safe lines. It is generally recognised that the capital of a great central Government should be separate and independent, and effect has been given to this principle in the United States, Canada and Australia.

4. The administrative advantages of the transfer would be scarcely less valua ble than the political. In the first place, the development of the Legislative Councils has made the withdrawal of the Supreme Council and the Government of India from the influence of local opinion a matter of ever-increasing urgency. Secondly, events in Bengal are apt to react on the Viceroy and the Government of India, to whom the responsibility for them is often wrongly attributed. The connection is bad for the Government of India, bad for the Bengal Government, and unfair to the other Provinces, whose representatives view with great and increasing jealousy the predominance of Bengal. Further, public opinion in Calcutta is by no means always the same as that which obtains elsewhere in India, and it is undesirable that the Government of India should be subject exclusively to its influence.

5. The question of providing a separate capital for the Government of India has often been debated, but generally with the object of finding a site where that Government could spend all seasons of the year. Such a solution would of course be ideal, but it is impracticable. The various sites suggested are either difficult of access or are devoid of historical associations. Delhi is the only possible place. It has splendid communication, its climate is good for 7 months in the year, and its salubrity could be ensured at a reasonable cost. The Government of India would therefore be able to stay in Delhi from the 1st of October to the 1st of May, whilst owing to the much greater proximity, the annual migration to and from Simla could be reduced in volume, would take up much less time and be far less costly. Some branches of the administration, such as Railways and Posts and Telegraphs, would obviously derive special benefit from the change to such a central position, and the only Department which, as far as we can see might be thought to suffer some inconvenience, would be that of Commerce and Industry, which would be less closely in touch at Delhi with the commercial and industrial interests centered in Calcutta. On the other hand that Department would be closer to the other commercial centres of Bombay and Karachi, whose interests are sometimes opposed to those of Calcutta, and would thus be in a better position to deal impartially with the railway and commercial interests of the whole of India.


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