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ideas, it is provided that the Khedive cannot construct any ironclads (bâtiments blindés) without the authority of the Sultan. The Turkish flag is to be the Egyptian flag. The distinctive marks of military rank are to be identic in the two armies. The Khedive may grant the rank of Colonel to military, and that of Sanieh (second-class Bey) to civil officials, but he may not confer any higher titles.
In the fifth place, the coinage of Egypt is to be issued in the name of the Sultan.
In return for concessions made at various times by the Sultans, Ismail Pasha undertook to pay a Tribute of £682,000 a year to the Porte." The original sum paid in 1841 by Mehemet Ali was £377,000, but under the combined influence of ambitious Khedives and of impecunious Sultans, the figure was nearly doubled at subsequent periods.
It has been already stated that, save in respect to one point, the Firman of 1892 was a reproduction of that of 1879. It will be as well to allude briefly to the exception.
The Firman of 1879 laid down that the Khedivate of Egypt was to be “tel qu'il se trouve formé par ses anciennes limites et en comprenant les territoires qui y ont été annexés.” When the Firman of 1892 was in course of preparation, the British Ambassador at Constantinople was assured that it was identic with that of 1879. There was, however, reason to believe that this statement was incorrect. The Porte had always been sensitive as regards European interference in or near the Hedjaz. Indeed, the law allowing foreigners to acquire real property in the Ottoman dominions forbids any European to settle in the Hedjaz.
1 Practically the whole of the Tribute is mortgaged to the Ottoman
More than this, the Sultan's suspicions had been aroused by two recent incidents. One was that Turkish misgovernment had produced a revolt in the province of the Yemen, which was, without a shadow of foundation, attributed to British intrigue. The second was that a well-intentioned German enthusiast, named Friedmann, of Jewish origin, was, at the moment when the Firman was under discussion, endeavouring to establish a settlement of some couple of dozen Jews, who had been expelled from Russia, on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Akaba. This was suspicious. Moukhtar Pasha pointed out that the Jews had always been waiting for a Messiah to reconquer Jerusalem, and that, without doubt, they would think he had now appeared in the person of Mr. Friedmann. It was not difficult to convince Moukhtar Pasha that Mr. Friedmann was devoid of any such pretensions. But the suspicions of the Sultan were not so easily calmed. The result was that the Firman laid down the Egyptian frontier as drawn from Suez to El-Arish. The Peninsula of Sinai, which had been administered by the Khedives of Egypt for the last forty years, would thus have reverted to Turkey. It was undesirable to bring Turkish soldiers down to the banks of the Suez Canal. When, therefore, the Firman arrived, the British Government interposed and placed a veto on its promulgation. After a short delay, the Grand Vizier telegraphed to the Khedive accepting a proposal, which had been offered to the Sultan some weeks previously, but which His Imperial Majesty had then refused to entertain. Under
1 Mr. Friedmann may be known to some Englishmen as the author of a history of Anne Boleyn.
3 The settlement of this question was in a great measure due to the skill with which the negotiations at Constantinople were conducted by the late Sir Edmund Fane, who was at the time in charge of the Embassy
this arrangement, the frontier of Egypt was drawn from El-Arish to the head of the Gulf of Akaba. The incident was thus for the time being terminated, and the Firman was promulgated with all customary pomp. Occasion was taken to lay down again the principle that “no alteration could be made in the Firmans regulating the relations between the
Sublime Porte and Egypt without the consent of Her Britannic Majesty's Government.”
In 1905, another and more determined effort was made by the Sultan to occupy the Sinai Peninsula, but after a brief, and somewhat stormy negotiation, the arrangement made in 1892 was confirmed. Shortly afterwards, the Turco-Egyptian frontier was delimitated by a Joint Commission.
Such, therefore, are the official relations between the Sultan and the Khedive. From the observations which have been made in the course of this narrative, it will have been gathered that the constant endeavour of the Sultan has been to encroach on the rights of the Khedive. On the other hand, the sentiments of the ruling classes in Egypt towards the Sultan may be described as a compound of fear, religious sympathy, and political dislike. Which of these sentiments is predominant depends on the fleeting circumstances of the moment.
2. The Khedive. It was explained in the first part of this work how an unwilling recognition of the principle of ministerial responsibility was wrung from Ismail Pasha. Ismail's Rescript of August 28, 1878," was, indeed, violated almost immediately after its issue. Nevertheless, it forms to this day the Magna Charta of Egypt. Naturally enough, more depends on the spirit
1 Vide ante, vol. i. p. 62.
in which the Rescript is applied than on the terms of the document itself. By a fortunate accident, Ismail Pasha was succeeded by a Khedive who had a natural turn for constitutionalism. Tewfik Pasha acted up to the spirit of his father's declarations. He asserted his legitimate prerogatives, but he governed “through and with his Council of Ministers.” The terms of the Rescript are, however, sufficiently elastic to enable all the most objectionable abuses of personal government to be re-established without any apparent violation of the letter of Ismail Pasha's declaration. So long as the British occupation lasts, a solid guarantee exists that any tendency towards the re-establishment of a bad form of personal government will be checked before disastrous consequences ensue.
8. The Ministers.
The Egyptian administrative machine is divided into seven Departments, over each of which a Minister presides. These are Foreign Affairs, Finance, Justice, War, Public Works, Education, and the Interior.
The Post Office, the Customs, and the Lighthouses are under the Financial Department. The Sanitary Department and the Prisons are attached to the Interior. The Wakfs (religious endowments) are administered by a Director-General, who in practice takes his orders direct from the Khedive.
The proceedings of the Council are conducted partly in Arabic and partly in French, the latter language being employed to suit the convenience of those European officials who have a right to be present at the meetings of Council, and of Egyptian Ministers who are not acquainted with the Arabic language.
· E.g. Nubar and Tigrane Pashas.
The position of an Egyptian Minister is difficult and delicate. There are usually in his Department one or more high European officials, who are subordinate to him. The ideal state of things would be if the Minister showed no jealousy of his subordinate, worked cordially with him, followed his advice when it was sound, and stated his objections intelligently when he thought it was questionable; and if, on the other hand, the European official was careful never to be aggressive, or to press unduly for the adoption of his views in doubtful cases. It has not always been easy to find Egyptian Ministers who will carry out the first, or Europeans who will carry out the second part of this programme. Nevertheless, the system has on the whole worked smoothly. More especially of late years, the relations between the Egyptian Ministers and their British coadjutors have been most cordial and friendly.
4. The Organic Law of May 1, 1888. Briefly stated, the provisions of the Organic Law of May 1, 1883, which was framed under Lord Dufferin's auspices, are as follows :
A Provincial Council, composed of from eight to three members, according to the size of the province, is established in each Moudirieh. The Moudir is the President. The functions of these Councils are to deal with local matters, such as the alignment of roads and canals, the establishment of markets, etc. The total number of Provincial Councillors is seventy. When we are liberal in Egypt, we do not content ourselves with halfmeasures. The members of the Council are elected by universal suffrage.
The Legislative Council is composed of thirty members. Of these, fourteen, including the