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Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

204
THE EGYPTIAN PROBLEM
CHAP,
•ill
still in a sullen and vindictive mood. Another stiff Proclamation threatening to close the Government Colleges and Secondary and Special Schools if a sufficient number of pupils failed to return by a given date had an equally salutary effect, and the strike demon amongst the students and schoolboys was at least temporarily exorcised. It required even less pressure to induce the barristers to return to the Law Courts. All the other strikes too collapsed almost automatically, showing how much more politics had had to do with them than economics. Every other overt form of agitation rapidly subsided, or lingered on only in inflammatory speeches delivered in the mosques and in scurrilous literature which could be surreptitiously circulated. But a whole month passed before General Allenby was able to find any Egyptian of real standing to accept the burden of office. The strike of the officials had shaken all sense of political stability.
From this point of view the passive rebellion of April, 1919, though confined almost entirely to Cairo, was an event of graver significance and had more enduring results than the active and violent rebellion which had spread over the whole country in the preceding weeks of March, 1919. It disclosed for the first time the intense resentment of British control which had been slowly accumulating at the headquarters of Government in the public departments most closely and intimately associated with the chief agencies of British control; and it gave thereby a fresh and powerful impetus to the political campaign of which it was itself the outcome for the abolition of the Protectorate and the complete emancipation of Egypt from the tutelage of the British " usurpers." Moreover, such an unprecedented strike as that of Government officials, in common with, and even more than, the lawyers' strike and the strikes of students and schoolboys, largely aided and abetted, it must be remembered, by their native teachers, dealt a blow to the whole principle of authority from which ho community could easily or speedily recover. Though, in the particular form it thenevident alacrity, the majoritym his work in the above circumstances" is committing an offence under the Proclamation above cited and any personrstatement.    The Special