A BARREN PERIOD OF DRIFT
wrpngly, at once traced to the Sultan's personal influence. More general was the acceptance, even by the more sober Nationalists, of the revival of a certain measure of control over the Press^so long as it was confined within the limits of the existing Press Law, under which two native newspapers were suspended whose outrageous misrepresentations of the Alexandria disturbances had been certainly calculated, if not intended, to encourage further breaches of the peace.
With the advent of the Miner Mission now clearly in sight, Mohamed Said felt obliged to act up to his threat that he would resign if it came out in spite of his warnings. He did so on November 15th. Few regretted his disappearance, and some of his colleagues remained on in the new Cabinet formed by Yusuf Wahab Pasha, who, mainly because a Copt, had sat in almost every Cabinet since the murder of the Copt Prime Minister, Butros Pasha Ghali, in 1910. Yusuf Wahab showed great courage in accepting the post. The choice of a Copt was unfortunate, though perhaps unavoidable in the circumstances, as in a Mahomedan country the appointment of a Christian as Prime Minister is always received with suspicion. But even the Party of Independence could not openly resent it on those grounds without estranging some of their new Coptic allies. They were content to denounce Yusuf Wahab as a traitor to the Egyptian cause, and the chorus of abuse was taken up by his Nationalist co-religionists, one of whom only a fortnight later made an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate him in broad daylight in a much-frequented thoroughfare of the European quarter of Cairo. The new Cabinet was not a very strong or representative one, but its members were men of good standing and character, and it had a respectable head. Its successful formation was in itself a disappointment to the Party of Independence, who had hoped that the Miner Mssion would find no Egyptian Ministers in office to receive it when it arrived.
For a moment there seemed some prospect of a morest leade who were during the next few days invited in the sai way to withdraw into the country, was always equa deserved or wise may be doubted—especially in o particular case which Egyptian public opinion, rightly that Egypt' wan quit** unripe for such democratic