54: THE EGYPTIAN PROBLEM
any scheme which was likely to improve u work on which Sir Evelyn Baring and his s3oaa.ll b British fellow-workers were already enga/^o<^- • theless, Lord Salisbury, who had not yet :realisei he was backing the wrong horse, sent him o**-tinople, and after much haggling a actually signed, on May 22nd, 1887, between-Wolff and the Ottoman Minister for Foreig"**- Affa the defence and reorganisation of Egypt a**^ "^e drawal within three years of the British Army* o^ 0( tion. The Ottoman Government was to be f roo thei to " use its right to occupy Egypt militarily" ** *& c more or less clearly defined emergencies, in- "whicl Great Britain " might " also send troops to co-opcrat the Ottoman forces. To this British right/ of re France and Russia took very strong exooptioi they prevailed on the Sultan not to ratify the vention.
Neither England nor Egypt had any reason to ; this diplomatic rebuff. But Turkey—very fort/unal lost her one great chance. The Sultan si>ill ret* however, his suzerain rights, and however mnch the; been curtailed under Mehemet Ali and MB succe they could still be used to embarrass both. Kgyp1 Great Britain, as they were, for instance, in. 1 892, the Sultan tried hard to import new conditions int Firman confirming Abbas Hilmi's succession tc Khediviate on the death of his father, Towfik. Porte, moreover, could also always exploit) 33gy frontier questions, which, in 1906, suddenly ansi serious proportions, when Turkish encroachme>rit<s to\ Akaba and in other parts of the Sinai Peninsuluu were stopped by the dispatch of the British fleo1> intc Eastern Mediterranean, and the delivery of cu very Note, amounting almost to an ultimatum, by t>ho Bi Ambassador at Constantinople, who intimated " His Majesty's Government had no intentioicx of ma the suzerainty of the Sultan over Egypt iaaicompauhammadan world which exists under his rule will be much assured by a due recognition of his legitimate position in respect to Egypt."