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Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

OH. vi   THE SECOND PHASE OF THE OCCUPATION     101
him, came home on leave in 1914, the Great War broke out, and he was fated never to return to Egypt. Neither Sir Eldon Gorst nor Lord Kitchener himself, with all his great prestige in Egypt and the Sudan and his occasional flashes of intuition, ever filled the stage as Lord Cromer had done. Their temperaments were different, but both differed still more from Lord Cromer's, and for different reasons they put a different interpretation upon the exercise of British control. Sir Eldon Gorst had not the authority, and Lord Kitchener, masterful as he was, had not the capacity, or the patience, required to exercise the same close supervision and steadying influence over a bureaucracy which, as it grew in size, tended to become more mechanical and to split up into groups and cliques, often divided by personal antagonisms and jealousies.
A great deal of useful and excellent work still continued to be done, but, as compared with the earlier period of the Occupation, the later period has very few great measures of administrative policy to show. This was perhaps inevitable, for it was no small task merely to carry on and complete the work that was already under way. Irrigation still remained in the forefront. In Sir Eldon Gorst's time the great dam at Assuan was heightened so as to bring nearly a million acres of land lying waste in the northern Delta under cultivation, and large drainage works to relieve waterlogged tracts were taken in hand. Schemes for storing the waters of the Blue and White Nile in the Sudan were prepared under Lord Kitchener's personal direction, and he took the keenest interest in them, not only because they opened up prospects of an almost unlimited supply of water to Egypt as well as the Sudan, but because he saw what big political issues were bound up with the permanent control from the Sudan of the Nile waters upon which the very existence of Egypt depends. The war delayed them, and in the shape which they finally assumed they have provoked, partly owing to the secrecyEgypt than she had hitherto had, and the General Election of 1905 had brought the Liberal party once more into power.' Turkey and by the other Powers on Egyptian rights had to that extent strengthened her position as a separate, though still * good sense to set the example, became reconciled to it, and by the year 1906 Mixed Municipal Commissions, on which Egyptians and foreigners sat together, had been established in Mansourah and five other important s                        towns, the Central Government merely making certain