xi PASSIVE REBELLION 201
but it merely spurred the agitators to further efforts. They denounced not only the Ministers but with even more vehemence the C£ traitors " with whose disgraceful concurrence it had been issued, and forced the dissolution of the Special Committee, which was replaced by another and larger body who repudiated the appeal and decreed a strike a entrance. The Government retorted by yet another appeal (April 15th) curtly enjoining upon officials to return to work forthwith. In support of it a Notice under Martial Law was published the next day, stating that " a campaign of intimidation having been carried on against Government servants and others, the Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Expeditionary Eorce has given orders for the arrest of all persons detected in such activities."
But the recalcitrant officials snapped their fingers at appeals and warnings. They remained on strike, not to enforce any service grievances, but in order to dictate by disorderly threats the whole policy of the Egyptian Government. The Prime Minister, driven to despair, resigned on April 21st. The Cabinet had lived for just twelve troublous days. General Allenby, once more left solely responsible for carrying on the affairs of the country, was compelled to take action. He had held his hand as long as there was any chance of Egyptian Ministers showing that they were once more able to govern. But they had failed, and the country could not go on indefinitely, not only without a government, but without an administration. The strike of Government officials had not, it is true, spread to the provinces, and barely even to Alexandria, which is the second most important administrative centre in Egypt. But Cairo is the seat of administration, and for nearty six weeks the work of every public department upon which the administration of the country depended had been thrown into utter confusion, and whilst the great majority of Egyptian officials, even when not actually on strike, were engrossed in strike talk and strike schemes, the *