88 THE EGYPTIAN PROBLEM CHAP.
given in a Khedivial Decree of the same year promulgating the constitution of a Legislative Council and of a General Assembly, as well as of Provincial Councils. The Legislative Council consisted of thirty members, of whom fourteen, including the President and one of. the Vice-Presidents, were nominated by the Khedive, and the other sixteen were elected on the basis of universal but indirect suffrage. Every village elected its own delegate, and these delegates elected the members of the Provincial Councils, which chose from among themselves the representatives who were to sit in the Legislative Council. The General Assembly was merely an expansion of the Legislative Council obtained by the addition to the latter body of the Ministers for the time being and of forty-six Notables, eleven representing the principal towns and thirty-five the rural districts, all elected by the same process as the members of the Provincial Councils. These bodies possessed only one substantial hold over the Executive. No direct tax, land tax, or personal tax could be imposed without the assent of the General Assembly. But the Capitulations so completely tied the hands of the Egyptian Government in the matter of new taxation that only on one important occasion did the General Assembly have an opportunity of exercising a right which in theory is of the essence of popular control over the Executive. In all other respects both bodies were merely consultative bodies with powers analogous to those of the Indian Legislative Councils as at first constituted. Every law and every decree of an important administrative character had to be submitted to the Council before promulgation, but Government was not compelled to accept any amendments, though it was bound to state its reasons. The same was the case with Budget estimates, as well as with financial accounts. The Assembly had also to be consulted as regards public loans, the construction of intra-provincial railways and canals, and certain questions affecting the land tax.ich he could clearlynterested, are devoted to purposes which are of real benefit to the country ? If all these, and many other points to which I could allude, do not constitute some moral advancement, then, of a truth, I do not know what the word morality implies."