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Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

Ill
LIMITATIONS OF BRITISH CONTROL
61
entirely aloof from the commercial, financial, and industrial business of the country, out of which most of the cases arise that come before the Mixed Tribunals.
In regard to the third point, reserving the trial of all criminal charges against foreigners to the Consular Court of the defendant's own nationality, Egypt cannot expect foreign Powers to surrender that privilege until the Native Courts have been raised to a far higher standard of efficiency and to a far higher conception of justice. But the Powers themselves must realise the drawbacks and sometimes the scandals that arise out of the inconsistencies in the administration of criminal law by a number of different Consular Courts following different procedures and having not only different rules of evidence, but different ideas of equity and impartiality. The remedy for the present would seem to lie in the extension to criminal cases of some such jurisdiction as the Mixed Tribunals possess in civil cases.
The fourth restraint imposed upon Egypt by the Capitulations is far more serious, for it operates mainly nowadays for the protection of the foreign evildoer. When the Ottoman Empire was a formidable Power and the foreigner was only admitted on sufferance because the Turk, incapable of creating a commercial organisation of his own, was fain to recognise his usefulness as a trader, it was no mean achievement for the Christian Powers to have obtained by treaty for their subjects personal immunity from arbitrary arrest and the security of their homes and warehouses from molestation, save with the express sanction of their Consular authorities and in the presence of a Consular official. Nor did the Turk himself consider provisions of this nature unreasonable or inconvenient at a time when he had to deal with small foreign communities, living only in a few seaports and all confined within one particular quarter of the town. In Egypt to-day there are foreign subjects numbering scores of thousands, some of them scattered all over the country, and each of these large