The following- is the reply of His Imperial Majesty the King Emperor to the address presented to him by the Delhi Municipality :-
The Queen Empress and I thank you most heartily for the kind sentiments of welcome and goodwill to which your address gives expression. A few months ago we feared lest the occasion of our visit to India might be marked by a serious scarcity due to a period of unusual drought, thus causing a grievous calamity to the large majority of my Indian people. whose prosperity so closely depends upon an abundant rainfall and upon the produce of agriculture. I am thankful that the scarcity has been restricted in extent and that owing to better communications and the extension of irrigation, famine to-day is no longer so dreaded as in past generations.
I am glad to know that in other directions, the agricultural position of India has improved. The cultivator has always been patient, laborious and skilful, though his methods have been based upon tradition. Latterly the resources of science have been brought to bear upon agriculture and have demonstrated in a very short time the great results that can be secured by its application not only in the actual improvement of the land but in dealing with the diseases of live-stock and also with those insect pests which are such formidable enemies of the tiller of the soil. If the system of co-operation can be introduced and utilised to the full, I foresee a great and glorious future for the agricultural interests of this country.
We greatly appreciate the successful efforts made to beautify and prepare your city for, our visit. At the same time, I know how during the past 20 years you have not neglected sanitary reform. Steady progress with your drainage system has had most happy results and the supply of pure water which you have secured has fully justified its heavy cost in the immunity thereby given from cholera and other epidemic disease. The unusual freedom from malaria which Delhi has enjoyed this year is, I understand, to be ascribed largely to the clearance and drainage of the Bela, by which a jungle swamp has been converted into an extensive park. I most earnestly trust that these lessons may be more universally understood and utilised to ensure the better health and greater safety of my Indian-subjects. The remedy for protection from those terrible visitations of plague, malaria and cholera must be sought in the action of the people themselves and their leaders in cordial co-operation with the scientific efforts of the authorities.