I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, since the Denshawai incident in June last, the village of Denshawai has been deprived of its immemorial rights as a separate balad or district regulated by its own omdeh and ghafirs, a force of ghafirs being imported from Cairo for its regulation at a charge on the villagers of more than £400 a year for their salaries, and that its inhabitants are now subjected to restraints, seriously interfering with their ordinary avocations and protection of their property; and, if so, whether the British representative in Egypt will be asked to inquire into and report upon the situation thus brought about.
§ SIR EDWARD GREY
After the attack on the officers at Denshawai, the village was deprived of an omdeh, and was attached to the adjacent village of Abu Kullos. One sheikh, one wekil, and twenty specially selected ghafirs, recruited and equipped in Cairo, were left 1177 to take charge of the village, by the inhabitants of which they were to be paid. All the original ghafirs were dismissed, and their arms and equipment were withdrawn. I do not consider that the matter is one in which His Majesty's Government should interfore with such measures of detail which the Government of Egypt think necessary for the preservation of public security, or that it calls for a special report from Lord Cromer.
§ * MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)
Is it not the fact that the ghafirs did their best to protect the British officers after the affray, and did they not when they got them into their village protect them from injury?
§ SIR EDWARD GREY
I cannot say from memory exactly what their action was, but it is quite clear that they did not prevent them from being assaulted, and it is impossible for His Majesty's Government after what took place to interfere with the measures taken by the Egyptian Government to preserve public security.