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Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

XV
THE MIL1STEB COMMISSION
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of receiving him, and serious rioting ensued for several days, and was only quelled, after one Indian soldier had been killed and another badly wounded, by bringing up two battalions to occupy the town. Fortunately this was the only occasion on which the campaign against the Commission led to any grave disturbances. Lord Allenby and martial law saw to that, and the quiet serenity of temper with which the Commission pursued its labours, undisturbed by the clamour of a largely artificial agitation, must have helped not»a little to baffle the worst mischief-makers' schemes. On several occasions when Lord Milner and his colleagues had to run the gauntlet of unfriendly demonstrations, the ready tact and good-humour with which they met the demonstrators promptly put them out of countenance. In Cairo itself no attempt was ever made to molest them, and their visit to Alexandria, the most important commercial centre in Egypt, brought them at least into fruitful contact with the great foreign communities, French, Italian, Greek, as well as English, that are, and must for a long time continue to be, the vital factors in its economic life.
The prolonged delay in the dispatch of the Commission had allowed abundant time for a campaign of gross misrepresentation, which had taught the Egyptians to believe that its main purpose was to induce them to subscribe to the maintenance of the Protectorate, and that any contact with it would be tantamount to a recognition of British " usurpation." The very conciliatory communique issued by the Commission three weeks after its arrival, giving the clearest assurances of its desire to hear " without prejudice " the opinions of all parties and classes, fell on wilfully deaf ears, and was merely construed into a reluctant acknowledgment of the efficacy of the boycott, which it was declared high treason for any to disregard.
Of all the extravagant protests which the presence of the Commission drew forth, only two public pronouncements deserve special notice. That one facet of Egyptian motor for Cairo.    So they turned their attentions to the Governor,   who   had   committed   the   heinous   offencecially in o particular case which Egyptian public opinion, rightly that Egypt' wan quit** unripe for such democratic