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Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

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192
THE EGYPTIAN PROBLEM
CHAP.
Courts that all cases had to be proceeded with as usual and that none were to be adjourned without legally valid reasons being produced. It was an obviously proper step. The barristers nevertheless took it as a slight on their dignity. They held a meeting, two meetings, ten meetings, and after much debate they decided to send a protest to the Ministry of Justice. It was difficult to believe that a body of men, all of them intelligent and educated above the average of their countrymen, and who prided themselves on representing not only a very responsible profession but the intellectual elite of Egypt, could regard it as a patriotic duty to paralyse the administration of justice, which it was their special function to aid. But they persisted in doing so.
Worst of all was the spread of this strike contagion amongst Government officials. Only a few of them, mostly from the Ministry of Public Works, had at first stayed away from their offices, and only for a day, as a manifestation of their sympathy with Zaghlul. The majority remained at their posts during the worst part of the disturbances, though they showed signs of increasing unrest, and it was not till the very day of General AHenby's arrival from Paris that things assumed a much more serious aspect with the formation of a Special Committee of officials, some of them of very high rank, who took it upon themselves to examine the position of public servants " with regard to the existing situation " and to decide on any course which might be found necessary " in the interests of the country." The Under-Secretary of State for Public Works played a particularly prominent part in this movement, and the significance of such a self-constituted body assuming such functions under such auspices was unmistakable. It was nothing less than a threat of passive rebellion at the headquarters of Government, and General Allenby had to meet it at the same time as he had to complete the repression of active rebellion in the provinces.
Military operations continued and the rigour of martial000 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. . . ."