§ SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL (Kirkcaldy, &c.)
asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, If he can explain how the British officer commanding the Egyptian Army got the title of "Sirdar," borne by Native Chiefs in Afghanistan and the Punjab, but unknown to Arabs and Turks? The hon. Gentleman said, after the news which had come to hand that day, he was rather ashamed to ask a Question about a mere name. Perhaps he might supplement it by asking whether the troops supplied from Suakin were under the orders of the Sirdars; and whether the news published in the papers was authentic?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE (Sir JAMES FERGUSSON) (Manchester, N.E.)
There is nothing in the records of the Foreign Office to show how the title originated, but I believe that Sarcar is the generally recognized title among the Arabs for Commander-in-Chief, as Seraskier is among the Turks, and that the word is Persian in origin. It was preferred for the reason I have mentioned by Sir Evelyn Wood. As to the news from Suakin—[Order, order!]