HC Deb 26 May 1884 vol 288 c1313

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether any steps have yet been taken to reform the forced labour system in Egypt, by supplying the peasants with food and tools, instead of requiring them to dig with their fingers, and to depend for food upon the supplies sent by their friends from their native villages; and, if not, whether, having in view the importance of winning the good will of the people at the present crisis, Her Majesty's Government will use their influence to obtain this reform for them without delay?


Her Majesty's Government are well aware of the objection to the system of forced labour which my hon. Friend has so forcibly brought out in his Reports, and Mr. Egerton will take every opportunity of pressing upon the Egyptian Government the necessity of remedying the evils alluded to; but such reforms depend on the restoration of the finances of Egypt, which is the principal object now in view.