Skip to main content

Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

See other formats

helped us materially to win it, broke out for the first time since the Occupation into tumultuous and widespread risings again^b us. The disturbances were quickly repressed, anc^ martial law has since then prevented any serious renewal of disorders. But it has by no means restored peace. We are still confronted by an organised political movement against the proclaimed Protectorate to which leaders of undeniable popularity in the country, with Saad Pasha Zaghlul at their head, have succeeded in giving at least th$ appearance of a national protest.
The Sultan and his Ministers carry no weight in the country, and least of all amongst the politically-minded classes, that can be set against the whirlwind activities of the Party of Independence. This party, which claims to be " the nation," has adopted the formula of " complete independence " as its watchword, and it insists that we are bound by our own professions to apply the principle of self-determination to Egypt and to withdraw forthwith and altogether from Egypt when the Egyptian people, speaking through its mouth, formally demand our withdrawal.
Without conceding the claim of the Party of Independence to be or to represent " the nation," one must admit                        p that we can hardly go on assuming as we have hitherto                        (I done the consent of the people of Egypt to the main-                        f* tenance of the Protectorate, or indeed of British control ( \ in any form. We must face a situation which has never before existed since 1882. After trying vague declarations !\ of policy that satisfied no one, and using strong language '^ that frightened no one, the British Government sent out                        i. \ at the eleventh hour a Commission of Inquiry under Lord                         , j Miner. It stayed three months in Egypt and it did its work, though it was stubbornly boycotted by the Party of                          * Independence, who never budged from their position I that they could no more negotiate with the Commission ," than with the British Government so long as the com- ! * plete independence of Egypt was not unconditionally tj recognised. jrupted  expansion  of  Egyptian  revenue which has been going on since the early years of the