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Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

xvn THE NEED FOR AN HONOURABLE SOLUTION 299 *
regard as essential are the retention of the Suez Canal territory and of the Sudan, together with an acknowledged right of re-entfy should an independent Egypt relapse into a* state of disorder so gravely affecting the interests of other Powers as to render foreign intervention again inevitable. Our retention of the Suez Canal territory, which covers the most vulnerable of Egypt's land frontiers, would be such a boon to an independent Egypt that they cannot imagine any serious difficulty arising over it. The Party of Independence, it is true, claims not only the recognition of Egypt's complete independence,but also, and very vociferously, the complete surrender to it of the Sudan. But that claim is naturally dismissed as quite untenable. The Egyptians could not possibly have reconquered the Sudan for themselves, nor hold it to-day if we did surrender it to them. So little indeed is the Sudan regarded to-day, even by foreign Powers, as part of Egypt, that since its reconquest it has remained outside the domain of the Capitulations. More tenable would be the claim that, if we left Egypt and retained the Sudan, we should make good the expenditure which Egypt has incurred in connection with its reconquest and its subsequent administration under Anglo-Egyptian rule, and also bind ourselves to supply Egypt in future with the legitimate share of the waters of the White and the Blue Nile essential to her existence. So reasonable a proposal as our right of re-entry in the event of grave internal troubles could not, it is urged, be rejected, as the Egyptians would merely make a damaging admission that they doubted their own capacity to govern themselves and prevent the case for re-entry ever arising. Moreover, the Egyptians need have the less anxiety on that score, as the old burden of financial obligations abroad which first led to foreign interference, and indirectly to the British Occupation, no longer weighs upon them, and they could easily raise to-morrow an internal loan to repay the whole of the Egyptian debt still outstanding.ion ," 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