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68                       THE EGYPTIAN  PROBLEM                 CHAP.
come in regard to Egypt was a policy of efficient and honest administration.
I shall only review briefly the most important achievements that must be placed to its credit, for the subject has been already far more authoritatively dealt with by those who actually helped to accomplish them, by                i
Lord Milner in his " England in Egypt/' by Sir Auckland                I
Colvin in " The Making of Modern Egypt," and, last but not least, by Lord Cromer himself in the two volumes in which, shortly after his retirement, he supplemented the masterly Reports issued by him from year to year whilst he was in Cairo with a fuller and more intimate account of his stewardship, under the title of " Modern Egypt."
Lord Cromer was nothing if not thorough. His knowledge of Egypt in Ismail's days saved him from any illusions. He would have to build everything up from the very foundations if he was to save Egypt from the worst penalties of bankruptcy ; the only foundations on which he believed it possible to build were those of sound finance, severe retrenchment wherever useless or extravagant expenditure could be cut down, and, on the other hand, no stinting, even if it meant fresh borrowing, where production could be stimulated and the people encouraged to take heart and put forth fresh energy. He had little faith in the so-called ruling classes of Egypt, but he had great faith in the industry of the masses, and it was their interests and their good will which he applied himself from first to last to cultivate. Has experience as Finance Member of the Viceroy's Council in India, where he had come in for some very lean years, stood him in excellent stead. In Sir Edgar Vincent, who succeeded to Sir Auckland Colvin as Financial Adviser to the Egyptian Government, he had a brilliant helper, but he was himself such a master of finance that so long as he was in Cairo it did not very much matter who was the Financial Adviser. His first Budgets were marvels of accurate law with them.   They had recognised with him that the only policy for England to pursue for a long time to