PAPERS RELATING TO THE DURBAR CHANGES.
- That a Governorship of Bengal would not be compatible with the presence in Calcutta of the Viceroy and the Government of India.
- That had it been decided to create a Governorship of Bengal, the question of the transfer of the capital from Calcutta would have been taken into consideration.
- That although a majority of the Governor-General's Council and the
Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal (Sir William Grey) were in favour of
the creation of a Governorship, Sir John Lawrence, the Governor-
General, was opposed to the proposal, but for purposes of better
administration contemplated the constitution of a Lieutenant-Gover
norship of Behar aDd the separation of Assam from Bengal under
a Chief Commissioner. Since the discussion:: of 1867-68 considerable
and very important changes have taken place in tl1e constitutional
development of Bengal. That Province has already an Executive
Council, and the only change that would therefore be necessary
for the realisation of this part of our scheme is that the Lieutenant-
Governorship should be converted into a Governorship. Particular
arguments have from time to time been urged against the appointment
of a Governor from England. These were that Bengal, more than
any other Province, requires the head of the Government to possess an
intimate knowledge of India and of the Indian people, and that a
Statesman or Politician appointed from England without previous
knowledge of India would in no part of the country find his ignorance
a greater drawback or be less able to cope with the intricacies of
an exceedingly complex position.
18. We have no wish to underrate the great advantage to an Indian administrator of an intimate knowledge of the country and of the people he is to govern. At the same time actual experience has shown that a Governor, carefully selected and appointed from England and aided by a Council, can successfully administer a large Indian Province, and that a Province so administered requires less supervision on the part of the Government of India In this connection we may again refer to the correspondence of 1867-68 and cite two of the arguments employed by the late Sir Henry Maine, when discussing the question of a Council form of Government for Bengal.
- That the system in Madras and Bombay has enabled a series of men of no conspicuous ability to carryon a difficult Government for a century with great success.
- That the concession of a full Governorship to Bengal would have a good effect on English public opinion, which would accordingly cease to impose on the Government of India a responsibility which it is absolutely impossible to discharge.
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