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Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

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WHEN war broke out between Great Britain and Germany on August 4th, 1914, Abbas Hilmi was in Constantinople. He had been quite aware when he left Cairo in the early summer that he had at last exhausted Lord Kitchener's patience, and he knew that, unless the power of Great Britain was broken, he was in grave danger of forfeiting the Khediviate. His sympathies and co-operation were secured in advance to all our enemies. As was the custom in his absence, the Prime Minister, who was Hussein Rushdi Pasha, acted as Regent. His Cabinet, which had only been recently formed after the resignation of Mohamed Said Pasha, was a relatively strong one, and on the whole well disposed towards the British controlling power. It included men of considerable capacity, such as Adli, Serwat, Serri, Yusuf Wahba, and Ismail Sidki. Their paths were ultimately to diverge, and Ismail Sidki, perhaps the ablest of them all, who afterwards joined Saad ZaghluFs party and became a member of the Nationalist Delegation to Europe, had to resign early in 1915 in consequence of a deplorable domestic scandal. This was the most important of the few changes which occurred in the composition of the Cabinet, and Rushdi continued to preside over it all through the war and for the first few months after the Armistice. It would have been well if there had been the same
120 the highest conceivable pressure. It was not till the war was over that it plainly displayed internal signs of common amongst all Turco-Egyptians for the fellaheen, as they are apt to call all who are of unmixed Egyptian descent, he contrived to rob Egyptian Nationalism of its best elements by instilling into it an anti-foreign and more specifically anti-British virus. Brought up in Vienna to despise Parliamentary institutions and to believe in the divine right of kings and Khedives, he succeeded in perverting the immature representative bodies we had called into existence in Egypt, and lest they should grow to be a check upon his own arbitrary tendencies, heiscretion which he began to urge on his august master's credit was the visit which heocialf light railways and the introduc