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Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

VII
EGYPT DURING THE WAR
127
Compare for a moment what we did in Egypt during the war and what we did in India. The genuine enthusiasm with which the princes and people of India rallied to the cause of the Empire elicited at once a generous response both in Simla and in London. Lord Hardinge rightly gauged the feelings both of the Indian Army and the Indian people when he urged that the Indian Expeditionary Force should be dispatched straight to France to fight shoulder to shoulder with the British troops, and to fill during the critical winter months of 1914-1915 a gap which until our new armies and those of the Dominions were ready to take the field could not have been filled from any other quarter. Later on, in Gallipoli, in Mesopotamia, in Syria, Indian troops, Mahomedans as well as Hindus, played a conspicuous part in every campaign against Turkey. The Viceroy's Legislative Council and the Provincial Legislative Councils, as the recognised bodies through which—subject as they were to many limitations—Indian opinion found constitutional expression, were drawn into constant consultation, and they associated themselves with, and sometimes took the initiative in, the various measures deemed necessary by the Government of India for the successful conduct of the war—even a Defence of India Act as drastic as our own Defence of the Eealm Act. Great Britain reciprocated by giving India access, for the first time, on a footing of equality with the self-governing Dominions and the United Kingdom itself, to the councils of the Empire at the Imperial War Conferences held in London and ultimately at the Paris Peace Conference. It was during the war that an Indian was first called to the House of Lords, and Lord Sinha with the Maharajah of Bikanir, a Rajput prince who had seen war service himself, signed on behalf of India the historic Peace Treaty of Versailles. More than that, Mr. Asquith, when he was still Prime Minister, had announced that India's loyalty required the problem of Indian governance to be approached from a new angle of vision, and in the very middle of thesh Represen- incorporatinghe visit which heocialf light railways and the introduc