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Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

vi       THE SECOND PHASE OF THE OCCUPATION
take on the equally difficult task of fashioning the political life of the Egyptian people. The relative calm that supervened on his arrival in Cairo was more apparent than real, but he himself believed in its reality sufficiently to initiate a much larger measure of consti-stutional reform than Sir Eldon Gorst's Provincial Councils Bill. The Organic Law of 1913 represented a really big advance on the Organic Law of 1883.
It did not touch the recently enlarged powers and duties of the Provincial Councils, but it separated them definitely from the one legislative body into which the earlier Legislative Council and Provincial Assembly were now merged. This new body, styled the Legislative Assembly, consisted of a much larger proportion of elected members (sixty-six) returned by indirect suffrage and of a much smaller one of members (seventeen) nominated by Government, and nominated solely for the purpose of securing the representation of minorities and of interests which might otherwise have been unrepresented. It remained, however, essentially a consultative and deliberative body, with no power over the Executive except in restraint of any increase of direct taxation, and to the subjects hitherto excluded from discussion were specifically added all questions affecting the relations between Egypt and foreign countries, and—to meet the Khedive's wishes—the Civil List. But the proceedings were made public, and new or increased powers were given to the Assembly to delay legislation, to compel Ministers to justify their persistence in passing any legislation of which the popular body disapproved, to initiate measures on its own responsibility, and to elicit information and give its opinion on all matters of administrative policy. The Egyptian legislation of 1913 moved in many ways on the same lines as the India Councils Act of 1909, which carried the well-known Morley-Minto reforms into effect. Lord Kitchener, who had shown his interest in the poorest 'class of the fellaheen by the enactment of the " IPive
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«*•:.not mind even if the authority of his own Ministerssocialf light railways and the introduc