THE EGYPTIAN" PROBLEM
Can we possibly yield to this demand unless we are pared to reply in the affirmative to the following ^ questions : Is the Party of Independence ®really quali to speak, as it professes to do, on behalf of the Egyp people ? Has Egypt any case for claiming comf independence as of right, and is she in a position to m tain it if it is conceded ? Does her past history any n than her present condition of social, economic, or polil development warrant the belief that complete inde] dence is likely to conduce to the progressive evohstio] the Egyptian people themselves on the lines of moc civilisation, or to the restoration of permanent p< between the nations and more especially in the so disturbed regions of the Middle East ? I have failec attain the one object of this volume if I have not furnis the reader with sufficient data for him to frame Ms < answer to those questions.
But there are nevertheless, it must be admitted, cen currents of opinion amongst Englishmen, both in Eg and at home, in favour of withdrawal from Egypt whate may be the answer to those questions. This conclusio reached from two opposite directions. Some take Party of Independence at its own valuation as fa representing a nascent Egyptian democracy, capable governing itself, and refuse to admit any doubts as to applicability to Egypt of the principle of self-determ tion which is with them an article of faith. Otb frequently soldiers, contend that, the war having e] mously strengthened the whole position of the Bri Empire in relation to other Powers, its interests can ] be adequately safeguarded without maintaining direct control over Egypt proper, and that we had th fore better leave the Egyptians to stew in their < juice and rid ourselves as quickly as possible of a polit entanglement which makes, or may make, an excesi call on our military and financial resources. Th however, would not subscribe to unconditional w drawal. The conditions which they usually profess * 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