4. But however solid may be the material advantages which you enumerate and however warm the anticipated response from Indian sentiment, it may be questioned whether we should venture to contemplate so abrupt a departure from the traditions of British Government, and so complete a dislocation of settled official habits, if we were able to regard with absolute satisfaction the position as it exists at Calcutta.
5. Your Excellency is not unaware that for some time past I have appreciated the special difficulties arising from the collocation of the Government of India and the Government of Bengal in the same headquarters. The arrangement, as you frankly describe it, is a bad one for both Governments, and the Viceroy for the time being is inevitably faced by this dilemma, that either he must become Governor-in-Chief of Bengal in a unique sense, or he must consent to be saddled by public opinion both in India and at home with direct liability for acts of administration or policy over which he only exercises in fact the general control of a supreme Government. The Local Government, on the other hand, necessarily suffers from losing some part of the sense of responsibility rightly attaching to it as to other similar administrations. It involves no imputation either upon Your Excellency's Government, or upon the distinguished public servants who have carried on the Government of Bengal, to pronounce the system radically an unsound one.
6. It might, indeed, have been thought possible to correct this anomaly with less disturbance of present conditions, by retaining Calcutta as the central seat of Government, under the immediate control of the Viceroy, and transferring the Government of Bengal elsewhere. But two considerations appear to forbid the adoption of such a course. In the first place it is doubtful whether the arbitrary creation of an artificial boundary could in practice cause Calcutta, long the capital of Western Bengal, to cease altogether to be a Bengali city in the fullest sense. Again, the experiment of turning the second city in the British Empire into an Imperial enclave would be certain to cast a new and altogether undue burden upon the shoulders of the Governor-General, however freely the actual work of administration might be delegated to subordinate officials. It is true that Washington, during the century since it became the capital of the United States, has grown into a large and wealthy city, with industries on a considerable scale, but even now it possesses less than a third of the population of Calcutta, while Ottawa and the New Australian foundation of Yass-Can berra are likely to continue mainly as political capitals. Such a solution may therefore be dismissed, while no parallel difficulties need be dreaded if. Delhi and its surroundings are placed directly under the Government of India.