Skip to main content

Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

See other formats

peaceful atmosphere. On the surface there was undeniably a very wide difference between the British declaration of policy and the demands of the extreme Nationalist Party. In substance, however, it might be held to have gone some way to meet them. For if no reference was made to their claim to an immediate recognition of the principle of Egyptian national independence, a self-governing Egypt, such as His Majesty's Government appeared to contemplate, would in due course attain in fact to such a measure of independence as it is possible for a small country to maintain without the material support of a Great Power interested in its conservation. In proportion an that measure of independence increased, Egyptians would presumably recognise that the word " Protectorate/' robbed of the imaginary terrors which our silence as to its real significance had conjured up, meant;, above*, all the assured protection against foreign interference; and aggression which many even of the extremists admitted to be at present indispensable for the safety of Egypt, together with the advice and cooperation in the progressive development of their country for which, they also declared, they would always look to Great .Britain rather than to any other .Power. Those, however, who wort* trying in Egypt to induct' the Egyptians to place a favourable construction upon the declaration were not helped by the language of British Ministers at home. To make up presumably for live years of almost unbroken silence on Egyptian affairs, British Ministers now suddenly let themselves go, Mr. Balfour declared in the* House of CYmimotiH with unaccustomed energy that ** British supremacy exists in Egypt, British supremacy is going to be maintained, and let nobody either in Egypt or out of Kgypt. make any mistake upon that cardinal principle, of His Majesty's Government," and then proceeded to administer a special rebuke to that particular section of the. ruling classes in Kgypt who are of Turkish origin, though it was just amongst them that at that time the few men of someys 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