mentioned in the previous chapter, the relationship between Sultan Husein
Kamel and the British High Commissioner, Sir Henry Mc Mahon,
was relatively smooth and their collaboration towards the war effort was
well known; but, a year before his death, the Sultan criticized
on several occasions the occupying power which caused a deterioration in
their relationship. To avoid the worse, the British Government recalled
Henry and appointed in his place General Sir Francis Reginald Wingate
who was already in Egypt and the Sudan as Sirdar of the
Egyptian Army and Governor General of the Sudan. Wingate
was chosen because of his military experience in that part of the world
and because of his knowledge of the Arabic language and the tradition and
culture of its people. He was also more popular amongst the Egyptian
Army that he led than his predecessor Lord Kitchener. Wingate
his new position before, the end of 1916, with great pomp and brilliant
in Pert Glasgow (Scotland), he was educated at the Royal Military
Academy, Woolwich, and was commissioned in 1880 as a second
lieutenant in the Royal Artillery. He was posted in India
then sent to Aden to learn Arabic. He joined the Egyptian
Army in 1883, becoming an Aide De Camp (ADC) of its then
Commander in Chief, Sir Evelyn Wood. Wingate took part
in the relief expedition for General Gordon, but saw no other
active service. He was named Assistant Military Secretary, then Assistant
Adjutant General, and in 1889 Director of Military Intelligence,
with special responsibility for the Sudan about which he wrote “
Mahdism And The Egyptian Sudan”. He accompanied
during the 1896-1898 campaign and succeeded him as Commander-In-Chief
of the Egyptian Army, serving from 1899 to 1916; he was concurrently
Governor General Of the Sudan. He officially brought Darfur
under Anglo-Egyptian control in 1916.
He officially succeeded
Sir Henry Mc Mahon as Egypt‘s High Commissioner
in January 1917. This office proved challenging because of the
large influx of British Empire Troops during World War 1, the shortage
of foodstuffs and animals, and rising popular opposition to British rule
in Egypt. He had to maintain cooperation between civilian
and military officials in Egypt, to carry out the policies of (and
provide information to) the British Foreign Office. Wingate
was well aware of rising discontent among Egyptians in 1918 but
his warnings to the British Government were ignored. When the 1919
Revolution broke out, demonstrating that Wingate had better
grasped Egypt's situation than the Foreign Office, the British Cabinet
replaced him with
General Allenby. (1)
that death was near,
Sultan Husein Kamel urged his only son, Prince
Kamal-El-Dine Husein, to prepare himself to access power. But,
in a letter that he sent to his father, a day before the Sultan‘s
Prince declined the offer knowing probably that his appointment
would certainly be refused by the British Authorities because of his dislike
of the British policy towards Egypt. At the death of the Sultan
the British Government, as expected, offered the Throne to Prince Ahmad
Fouad, the youngest son of Khedive Ismail and the brother of
the late Sultan Husein Kamel, who promptly accepted the offer.
Following the tradition then prevailing, Hussein Rushdy Pasha offered
the resignation of his Cabinet to the new Sultan Ahmad Fouad who,
at the request of the British Government, asked Rushdy to form a
new Cabinet, his third.
the youngest son of Khedive Ismail, Ahmad Fouad spent most
of his youth with his exiled father in Naples and was educated in
and at the Military Academy in Turin. When he returned to
after his father‘s death, he led a dissolute life for a time.
His first marriage to Princess Chevekiar, failed and he was shot
and seriously wounded by her deranged brother. Fouad
for a time a
Military Attaché in Vienna and as Aide-De-Camp
to his nephew,
Khedive Abbas. As the nominal rector of
the Egyptian University, 1908-1913, he lectured only on marksmanship
and horsemanship, at which he excelled.
Considered in 1914 for Albania‘s Throne, Albanian nationalists
and the European Powers both preferred a Christian ruler instead.
The British chose him for the Egyptian Sultanate in
Husein Kamel, whose son was viewed as anti-British. Fouad secretly
encouraged the agitation that led to the 1919 Revolution.
In April 1919 he married
Nazli Sabri (2) so that he
could beget an heir and thus forestall the return of ex-Khedive Abbas
or his son, Prince Abdel Mon’em. He outwardly tolerated but
secretly loathed the 1923 Constitution, the Wafd Party, and
Zaghloul and yearned to replace them with institutions and politicians
more amenable to Palace control. He ascended the Egyptian Throne
in 1923 and, in 1930, aided by Isma’il Sidqi Pasha,
he suspended the 1923 Constitution and promulgated one that greatly
increased his powers to the detriment of the Parliament’s. Five years
later he accepted the restoration of the earlier Constitution. He died
on April 28, 1936. From the above it is obvious that
Ahmad Fouad was unfit to rule over a Constitutional Monarchy.
his negotiation with
Wingate, prior to his accession to the Sultanate
throne, Fouad expressed his wish to make a few changes in the Rushdy
Cabinet but the British High Commissioner, who was very satisfied with
the Cabinet ‘s collaboration in the war effort, refused that request.
Thus, not only did the Cabinet continue its policy of conciliation and
harmony with the occupying power but it also intensified it support for
the British war effort. 1917
was a critical year in World War I,
particularly in the Middle East. The new Allied Commander
was Sir Edmund Allenby believed that, unlike his predecessors, the
best way to achieve victory was to be always on the offensive. He
planned to attack across the Sinai and, in collaboration with the
Arab rebels of Cherif Husein of Mecca (led by Prince Faysal,
the Cherif‘s son) who had just taken the strategically important
town of Aqaba from the Ottoman Turks, invade Palestine.
that purpose more British Empire troops came into Egypt, which required
more supplies including food and beasts of transportation. Only Egypt
could fulfill that need and the Third Rushdy Cabinet more than obliged.
third Cabinet held, all in all, fifty-three meetings of which Sultan
Fouad attended forty nine, much more than the Cabinet meetings attended
by Sultan Husein Kamel. It is not that Fouad
was suffering from an excess of zeal, but it was his way to show his Prime
Minister and the Ministers that he was in charge!!
Government issued a Sultanate decree encouraging more volunteers to join
the Empire Forces as civilians in the transport units (by camels, horses
and donkeys), by excluding them from doing their military service.
Needless to say that very few took advantage of that decree which forced
the Government to cancel it.
decree requested farmers and breeders to bring over to their Governorates
and districts chiefs whatever they could spare of their donkeys, camels
and horses that were then bought by the Government at acceptable
prices and delivered to the British Military Authorities. The decree
also prohibited the animals‘ owners from transporting their beasts from
one District or Governorate to another, or from selling them to any buyer
except the Government.
decree created a great shortage of animals in the country and increased
the daily hard labor of the already overworked fellahs.
decree promised a Government job for any laborer who joins the British
Army for at least six consecutive months, which created a shortage of hands,
during the Nile
flood season to build protective levees.
in all, the Egyptian Government spent on behalf of the occupying Power,
from the beginning of the war until March 1917, the amount of three
millions and a half Pounds, which were considered by both sides as
a debt to be paid back to Egypt at the end of the war. But,
in a gesture of generosity and magnanimity, the Cabinet presided by Sultan
Fouad, agreed to cancel that loan!!!
Cabinet concurred with the Ministry Of Agriculture request to stop the
cultivation of “HASHISH” which occupied about two thousands four
hundreds feddans of prime agricultural land, and grow instead the wheat
that was needed by the Foreign Troops. It is interesting to note
that it was the British Authorities which legalized and encouraged the
cultivation of that drug and the spread of its use, in Egypt, as
it flooded China with “OPIUM” grown in India and even invaded
to punish its Government for prohibiting the import of that addictive dangerous
drug (The Opium War).
Cabinet decided to export the Egyptian cotton only to the British market.
It also prohibited the export of silver, and, because of the silver high
price on the international market, to stop the circulation of the silver
coins and to print and circulate instead (for the first time in Egypt)
paper money for five and ten piasters.
of the cholera epidemic scare, the Cabinet authorized the Ministry Of Public
Health to vaccinate the public, strictly confining the vaccination to the
Egyptian Nationals and not the many foreigners that lived in Egypt
at that time!!!
Cabinet granted the “Order Of The Grand Cordon Of The Nile, First Class”
to Saad Zaghloul Pasha, the then Vice-President of the Legislative
Assembly, Ismail Sidqy Pasha. The ex-Minister of Religious Affairs
(AWQAF), James Heinz the British advisor to the Egyptian Ministry
Of Interior and Sir Murdoch MacDonald the British advisor to the
Ministry Of Public Works. The same decoration, but Second Class,
went to Ahmad Zulfiqar Pasha and Mohammad Tawfiq Nesim Bey,
both of them Appeal Judges, and to Abdel Aziz Fahmy Bey, The President
of the Lawyers Society.
Yusef Aslan Qattawi, a wealthy Egyptian
Hebrew and close friend to Sultan Fouad was created a Pasha, while
Aly Ibrahim, the Palace Doctor was created First Class Bey and Makram
Guirguis Ebeid, a member of the Qena Assembly, received the
title of Bey Second Class.
(To be continued)
Kamal K. Katba
(June 25, 1894 - May 29, 1978), was the Queen consort of Egypt (May
26, 1919 - April 28, 1936) as the second wife of King Fouad.
She was the daughter of H.E. Abdu'r-Rahim Pasha Sabri, sometime
Minister of Agriculture and Governor of Cairo, by his wife, Tawfika
Queen Nazli also was a maternal granddaughter
Major-General H.E. Muhammad Sharif Pasha, sometime Prime Minister
and Minister for Foreign Affairs. She was also a great-grand-daughter of
Queen Nazli had
five children, the future
Farouq I and four daughters, the Princesses
Faiza, Faika, and
Fathiya. After a prolonged rift with her son,
Farouq, she left Egypt and went to Rome where she converted to Catholicism
in 1950 and took the name Mary Elizabeth. In consequence
she was deprived of her rights and titles in Egypt by her son on August
1 of that year. She eventually settled in the United States. She died in
Los Angeles, California, and is buried at the Garden of the Holy Cross
Cemetery, Culver City, California
TO VIEW APPENDIX XVI : MUHAMMAD FARIYD'S
STOCKHOLM MEMORANDUM OCTOBER 17
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