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Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

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Saad Pasha Zaghlul and nine other members of the Party of Independence were summoned by the General Officer Commanding His Majesty's forces in Egypt and sternly lectured on their conduct in promoting a great political agitation directed against the existing regime. General Watson reminded them that the country was still under martial law, and warned them against any action likely to disturb order or hamper the work of the Egyptian authorities. Otherwise, severe measures would be taken. It was a short, unequivocal statement. Some of the party wished to reply, but the General was not prepared to enter into any discussion. The party went away more in anger than in fear, and when next day they had sufficiently recovered their composure, they issued a firm but not undignified protest and a complete account of their interview with the General, which they circulated all over the country. The protest was considered to be so worded as to constitute a flagrant defiance of the warning. No time was wasted, and on the afternoon of the 8th four of the most prominent members of the Delegation were arrested and conducted to the Kasr-el-Ml Barracks. On the following morning they were sent to Alexandria and placed on board a British destroyer, which conveyed them to Malta. The four were Saad Pasha Zaghlul, Hamid Pasha el Bassal, Ismail Pasha Sidki, to all of whom I have already referred, and Mohamed Pasha Mahmoud, who after being educated in England and having distinguished himself at Oxford had risen to the post of provincial Governor in Egypt, and been dismissed from it, as many Englishmen in Egypt consider, very unfairly. Within a few days the whole valley of the Nile from Alexandria to the Sudan frontier was in a ferment of revolt.
But before describing the chief events of the next few weeks, which suddenly illuminated, and with a sinister light, the grave situation into which we had drifted largely through our own blunders (not merely during the last few months or during the war only, but throughoutost momentous decision. The British Government, still believing apparently that the Nationalist movement was merely the outcome of a shallow propaganda engineered by a handful of discontented politicians, imagined they could stamp it out by striking at the leaders. At six o'clock on the afternoon of March 6th,it  of   havin