EGYPT DURING THE WAR
to make money, they were generally speaking content to leave it at that, and even the Protectorate and the dethronement of the Khedive made little impression on them, as, to them, Sultan Hussein .was well known as an excellent landlord and agricultural expert. They grumbled a little when, at the time of the Gallipoli expedition, the army began to place large contracts for clover and hay in the hands of Greek and other contractors, -who bought up the Egyptian supplies at low prices and made huge profits for themselves. But the civil authorities redressed this first grievance by taking the purchase into their own hands and paying liberal prices direct to the fellaheen themselves, Gradually, however,, in 1917 and 1918, under increasing war pressure, the question of army supplies assumed a different complexion. They became practically forced contributions. Those who had the stuff to supply had little cause for complaint except that payments were often slow to reach them or melted away in transit. But the small fellah who had not sufficient barley, or hay, or chopped straw of Ms own to provide the quota demanded of him had to buy it at ruinous prices from his more fortunate neighbours, who, it was often suspected, had friends at court and themselves got off lightly. Worse still was it when, in November, 1917, his precious beasts of burden, his donkeys etnd his camels, began to be requisitioned for army transport. They were hired, it is true, at reasonable rates, but nothing could fully make up for the loss of them, and even if he ultimately received compensation for those that were lost during the war, it was calculated, not on the very much higher prices at which he could alone replace them, but on the original valuation.
The most serious trouble of all came with the recruitment of tlae Labour Corps in Egypt. It was started in the summer of 1915 for participation in the operations on the Gallipoli Peninsula, as an adjunct to the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, but in an entirely non-combatant capacity. Its object was to furnish wholesale
ft-e Canal—and Turks were marched into Cairo as