Skip to main content

Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

See other formats

212                    THE  EGYPTIAN PROBLEM                CHAP.
bearance in which they are seldom themselves lacking. It was a point on which Lord Cromer felt very strongly, but it seems to have been forgotten under his successors.
The lower the scale of the official hierarchy into which a British element was introduced the greater became the jealousy with which it was viewed by the Egyptians. They are more or less willing to recognise the need of British advisers and of British experts if they are carefully selected. Even in this respect their faith in the British controlling power was put to a severe strain. But when young Englishmen were imported in increasing numbers whose qualifications were not often at once apparent, whilst appointments were made in the higher ranks for which it was difficult to make out any prima facie justification, the Egyptian complained bitterly that he was not given a fair chance and that Englishmen were preferred before Mm simply because they were Englishmen. If it were argued that there were no Egyptians fitted for the posts, lie disputed the argument, or he retorted with equal bitterness, and with some show of reason, that the fault lay with our own failure in the course of so many years to educate and to train up, as we had ourselves undertaken to do, Egyptians who should by this time have been fit for responsibility.
No information with regard to the actual number of Englishmen employed under the Egyptian Government has been made public since Lord Cromer's Annual Report for 1906, in which he gave the full figures in that year, as well as in 1896. During that decade there had been an increase from 286 to 662. The increase of foreigners of other than British nationality had been only from 404 to 590. The increase in the whole strength of the Egyptian Civil Service, foreigners and natives together, had been considerable, viz., from 9,134 to 13,279, the number of Egyptians having increased by 3,583. Lord Cromer was evidently not quite happy about the large increase in the number of Englishmen, and in his comments on the subject he gave about the only indication* to be foundble, to get on with Egyptians,                         jit