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vi THE SECOND PHASE OF THE OCCUPATION 109
suffered when they were presumed to be acting under British inspiration. His personal authority was enhanced.
Yet Sir Eldon Gorst had lost no time in giving an earnest of the British Government's liberal intention by pushing on the scheme already initiated in Lord Cromer's time for the development of local self-government " as the best preparation and education for the ultimate exercise of more responsible functions." The Egyptian Provincial Councils owed their origin to the Organic Law of 1883, and they had fulfilled their principal duty, which was to depute from amongst their own members representatives to the Legislative Council. Their other opportunities of usefulness had been small. In order to meet the most reasonable demands for reform the property qualification was halved for those who held higher education certificates, the official element was reduced, and though the Mudir was to continue as ex-officio President of his Provincial Council, the framing of by-laws and the convocation of Council were no longer to be left to his good will. He had henceforth to convoke it on a requisition from one-third of the members. Its powers were enlarged, and most of all in regard to elementary education and trade schools, in which the people had begun to take an active interest, and to some extent in regard to more advanced education. The foreign Capitulations here again hampered reform, as they stood in the way of any general scheme of local taxation, but some tentative financial powers were conferred upon the Councils, who were authorised, subject to the general control of the Ministry of Education, to establish or take over schools and to give grants-in-aid. They were also empowered to appoint managing committees for schools or groups of schools and to co-opt additional members for educational purposes.
It was a distinctly progressive measure, and after lengthy debates in the Legislative Council effect was given to it in a law promulgated in June, 1908. Bute success, to divert into anti-British channels. He did not mind even if the authority of his own Ministerssocialf light railways and the introduc