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Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

122
THE EGYPTIAN PROBLlfM
CHAP.
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and Germany the Egyptian Government acted as if Egypt was practically part of the British Empire and therefore itself at war with Germany, and as early as August 6th, 1914, on the ground that " the presence of the British Army of Occupation in Egypt renders the country liable to attack by the enemies of His Britannic Majesty," the Prime Minister published a " Decision " of the Council of Ministers that, amongst other war measures, German ships in Egyptian ports were henceforth to be dealt with as enemy ships. Such action obviously implied a definite repudiation of Turkish suzerainty by Egypt, as Turkey, on the contrary, had proclaimed her neutrality and did not openly depart from it for another three months. No immediate breach ensued, as the Porte professed, for the time being, to accept the assurances of the British Government that " neither in Egypt nor elsewhere would the war be used as a pretext for any action injurious to Ottoman interests."
For the rest, the outbreak of hostilities, so long as they were confined to the European continent, produced less excitement in Egypt than had been generally anticipated. There was an undercurrent of hostility towards us amongst the more aggressive Nationalists, and Maho-medan feeling swung more and more towards the German Emperor, who had lavished so many ostentatious professions of friendship upon the Sultan and Khalif, as the probability of active co-operation between those two potentates increased. But most people were more concerned with the effects of the war upon the Egyptian produce markets and the general curtailment of trade with Europe. A great wave of prosperity had been suddenly arrested, and no one at that time foresaw that the period of economic depression was to be of short duration, and that the war was ultimately to pour fresh and undreamt-of wealth into Egypt.
It was only after the Sultan had finally thrown in his lot with the Central Powers that Great Britain pro-ay war was declared between Great Britainrary tendencies, heiscretion which he began to urge on his august master's credit was the visit which heocialf light railways and the introduc