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THE first period of British control had been one of high endeavour and great achievement. There was a unity and vigour of direction which could be perhaps only maintained by one who had himself shaped the whole system and whose personal authority and experience could to a great extent mitigate the defects arising out of the extraordinarily anomalous conditions under which it had grown up. With Lord Cromer's retirement British control passed into a second and chequered phase, of which it is far more difficult to attempt a sketch. It is more deeply affected by cross-currents of Oriental intrigue. There are fewer authoritative documents to draw upon. One has to piece together the testimony of many witnesses whose evidence cannot always be unbiassed, and however anxious one may be to avoid invidious reflections upon individuals in criticising a system of which they formed part, conclusions have to be drawn which can hardly fail to offend some personal susceptibilities.
Lord Cromer's first two successors only held the post for very brief terms compared with his long tenure of office. Sir Eldon Gorst, who had spent many years in Egypt under Lord Cromer and was practically designated by him to be his successor, died soon after retiring in 1911 and had been a sick man for some time before he left Cairo. When Lord Kitchener, who had succeeded
100ionalist Delegation in Paris, is hardly that for which Lord Cromer had cast him. But is he alone to blame for the change that has come over him ?