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Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

vm      CLAIM TO  "COMPLETE INDEPENDENCE"      153
was generally left to take care of itself. So it had come to pass that in the eyes of the fellaheen not only had the English long ago ceased to be their friends as in the early years of the Occupation, but had brought back for their own benefit the dark days of Ismail. For them too the beginning of this new " slavery" coincided with the proclamation of the Protectorate, and they were easily persuaded that their best hope of salvation lay with Saad Zaghlul and his friends, whose names they had scarcely heard of in former times.
But though all these different elements had been gradually hardening against the British controlling power, they would not have burst forth simultaneously into such sudden and explosive activity had there not been somewhere in the background real power of organisation. The East has always had its secret societies, but in contact with the West it has now learned to organise and sustain great political movements which, whatever their underground ramifications may be, work freely in the open and claim to derive their sanction from the force of public opinion behind them. We have seen this in the Indian Home Rule movement, and also in Persia, and even in China. But Egypt has naturally been much more closely affected by Turkish Nationalism. Not a dozen years have elapsed since, like a bolt from the blue, the Committee of Union and Progress struck down the Hamidian regime at Constantinople to the short-lived cry of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity for all the races of the Ottoman Empire. Badly hit by the Balkan wars, it gambled on its alliance with German militarism and plunged Turkey into the Great War. When her own armies and those of her allies had been finally crushed and she like them had to sue for peace, we fondly imagined that the Committee's power was broken for ever. But it merely bent for a while to the storm. Its organisation had been scotched, but not killed, and the vigorous resurgence of aggressive Turkish Nationalism was bound to find a responsive
K                                thousand pounds  judiciously  and  promptly  expended