HC Deb 26 July 1883 vol 282 cc550-1

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether the attention of Her Majesty's Government has been called to the alleged "administrative anarchy" in Egypt and to the statements made by the correspondents of English papers now in that country, especially to those published in the "Times" on Monday, the 23rd of July:— Trustworthy reports from the interior show that the administrative anarchy is almost beyond credence. Every official is trying to thwart some other, and rejoicing at every calamity, the cause of which he hopes to attribute to his rival. From one end of the country to the other, from Sherif Pasha to the meanest effendi, both country and people have proved themselves beyond all expectation incapable of self-government. It may be safely said that the hardships and cruelties of Ismail's despotic thirteen years did not exceed those of the last four months of experimental self-government; to the further statements in the "Times" of Wednesday, the 25th of July:— The utter breakdown of the whole administration has now become apparent, and, like the cholera, is no longer confined to the villages. Nothing saves the present Ministry from dismissal but the impossibility of finding less incapable men in the country. We are almost face to face with an alternative long foreseen, and which Lord Dufferin's Vice-Royalty only served to stave off—namely, of undertaking the complete administration of the country, or of leaving it literally to stew in its own juice; also the similar statements in other leading newspapers; and, what steps Her Majesty's Government, who are now in Military occupation of Egypt, propose to take in order to remedy this administrative anarchy?


Sir, I stated on Monday last the steps which had been taken by Her Majesty's Government in connection with the cholera outbreak, and I have nothing to add at present to those explanations.


I must be allowed to point out that that is not an answer to my Question. My Question does not relate to the sanitary condition only, but to administrative anarchy. I would call the noble Lord's attention to the paragraph from The Times, in which the "administrative anarchy" is mentioned, and also to the concluding paragraph of my Question.


Sir, it seems to me that anyone reading the Question would understand it to refer to "administrative anarchy" in connection with the outbreak of cholera. ["No, no!"] I have answered it in that sense; and if the hon. Member has any other Question to ask, I shall be glad to give whatever answer I am able to give. Very voluminous Papers have been presented to Parliament in connection with the administration of Egypt, and I de not think I can give any further information than is contained in them.


said, he would be reluctantly obliged to put the Question down for to-morrow.



asked, with regard to the administrative anarchy which prevailed in Egypt, whether the Government would pursue the same policy with respect to the Departments in question as had been pursued with respect to other Departments—that, namely, of appointing a British officer to do the work of the Department, and dismissing his Egyptian superior if he could not work with him?


, in reply, said, he thought the hen. and gallant Member could not expect him to reply to this Question.