Skip to main content

Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

See other formats

The appointment, though announced in London on March 22nd, was not announced in Egypt till the day of General Allenby's return to Cairo, March 25th. By that time the storm was already abating throughout the Delta, and even in Upper Egypt the worst was over. In the capital itself the public peace had not been seriously disturbed since the riotous demonstrations which had set the fiery ball rolling in the early part of the month, and whilst there was still an underswell of dangerous agitation, there was a distinct lull on the surface. The most serious symptom was the continuance of a veritable epidemic of strikes. Some of these strikes may have originally had some economic justification or excuse. But they were now clearly being promoted or engineered by political agitators. Not only raUwayinen and tramway-men, but even the Cairo scavengers and road waterers were more or less continuously on strike, and whenever they were induced by fairly liberal concessions to return to work for a few days, they at once began to threaten to go out on strike again. The schoolboys and students were perpetually deserting their class-rooms in order to demonstrate their patriotism in the streets, and to these noisy demonstrations they also applied the quite inappropriate name of strikes.
The lawyers had been the first to set a mischievous example by remaining away from the Law Courts as a protest against the deportation of the four Pashas. It was believed, however, that they could not go indefinitely on strike without breaking the rules of their profession. But they found a way round that difficulty by causing their names to be transferred from the list of practising to that of inscribed but non-practising lawyers. Even then it was hoped that they would absent themselves only for a short time by way of recording their displeasure, and then resume theix duties. Such was perhaps originally their intention. But their attitude merely stiffened when the Government, faced with a paralysis of justice, stepped in and instructed the Law
Kwreckage. A sum of £E.1,000,000 has been allo in this year's Budget for the compensation of inno sufferers, but it represents only a small part of the dan remaining at Assiut to restore order in that neighbourhood. . . . Major-General Sir John Shea is moving south from Wasta with a strong column of all arms, restoring order as he goes. . . ."