Ahmad Fouad, the resignation submitted to him by Prime Minister
Youssef Wahba Pasha was kind of God sent; he accepted it without the
slightest regret or hesitation and he nominated for the vacant position
his mignon and courtier Mohammmad Tawfiq Nasim Pasha (1) who
was the Minister Of Interior in the previous Cabinet. He also lobbied
his pal, Lord Allenby, in support of that nomination; Allenby agreed
because he approved of Nasim Pasha work at the Ministry of interior.
Minister and Prime Minister of Anatolian Turkish origin, Nasim
was born in Cairo in 1875 and educated at the Jesuit School, graduating
from the Khedivial Law School at the top of his class, in 1894.
He served in the “NYABA” (Prosecutor) until his appointment as Minister
of “AWKAF” (Ministry of Religious Affairs and Endowments).
He then occupied the Ministry of Finances before moving to the Ministry
Of Interior in the Youssef Wahba Pasha Cabinet. He twice
occupied the position of Prime Minister at King Fouad ‘s behest.
He also served as the King ‘s “Chef du Cabinet Royal” and speaker
of the Senate. He was frequently the rival of his Law School classmate,
Isma’il Sidqqi Pasha in courting both the King and the Representative
of the British Government. Of a calm temperament, Nasim Pasha
loved literature. His marriage to a much younger Austrian lady, in
his last years, set off press attacks, based on the public fear that his
wife would take his vast wealth out of the Country. He divorced the
young woman and died in Cairo shortly thereafter, on March 7,
general the Nasim Cabinet is considered as a continuation of the
Cabinet. Not much changes in the Cabinet seats and no change
in its policy. The Egyptians, on the other hand, looked at it with
the same dislike and distrust they looked at the previous Cabinet.
The attacks against officials continued, increasing in ferocity.
The Prime Minister was himself the target of an assassination attempt
while on his way to the office. One Ibrahim Hosni Masoud,
an employee of the Health Administration, threw a hand grenade on the Prime
Minister ‘s motorcade seriously wounding the chauffeur while Nasim
Pasha got out of it unharmed but quite shaken. The attacker was
caught, sentenced to death by a British Military Court and executed.
cost of living being still too high and the food products facing a severe
shortage, the Cabinet decided to grant the civil servants a bonus representing
ten percent of their salaries, on September first 1920; on March
1921 another bonus, not exceeding one hundred pounds was decided with
the understanding that it would be considered as a loan to be deducted
from future raises. In 1921 the cost of living situation improved
and the Cabinet decided to cut the cost of living of its employees, which
had reached sixty percent of their salaries, by one third, reducing it
to forty percent. On the other hand and to improve the popularity
of the government amongst its police and armed forces, which had reached
a deep low, the Cabinet showered its uniformed personnel with a generous
avoid the risk of a severe famine in the land caused by agricultural food
products, the Cabinet decreed to cut the growing of cotton by one third
and to increase that of wheat and corn. It also reduced the custom
duties on the import of wheat and flour. As a token of thanks and
appreciation, the Cabinet rewarded Mr. Jean Saclarides with the
Agricultural Medal first class for his services to Egypt by discovering
the cotton seed that bears his name, which gave the Egyptian cotton its
well deserved reputation of high quality.
Empain palace (The Hindu villa) in Heliopolis. It was designed by architect
Alexandre Marcel (1860-1928), and decorated by Georges-Louis Claude (1879-1963),
Cabinet spent the best of more than three meetings to discuss and overcome
the shortage of human dwellings. As a result of those discussions,
the Cabinet agreed to encourage the erection of more constructions by granting
loans and facilities to the building contractors and particularly to the
Heliopolis Company which promised to build six hundreds building more
than planned (3).
Palace hotel with its 800 bedrooms was once the largest hotel in the Middle
East; today, however it houses the central offices of the Egyptian Presidency
and is not open to the public.
encourage the private sector to give yearly raises to its employees and
labor force, the Cabinet decided to raise by twenty percent the tramways
rate and by 34.5 percent the electricity rate; it also raised by
ten percent the price of salt. On the other hand and without any
consultation with the Government, the British High Commissioner ordered
the custodian of the properties of Khedive Abbas the Second to put
all those properties for public sale!!
the Milner Commission (4), which was met with total boycott
while in Egypt, returned to England
with the certainty that the
Egyptians would accept nothing short of the cancellation of the British
Protectorate over Egypt and the complete independence of the country.
To save what could
be saved of the “SPECIAL” relations between England and Egypt,
Lord Milner sent one of his aide to Paris to invite the Egyptian
Delegation (WAFD) to the Paris Peace Conference, headed by Saad
Zaghloul Pasha, to proceed to London to negotiate the possibility
of independence while safeguarding the special British and other foreign
interests in Egypt. The London negotiations dragged for a
while but ended with the February 28, 1921, declaration stating
‘s willingness to end the Protectorate and to invite Egypt to negotiate
a new status acceptable to all parties.
a result of this declaration, the Cabinet decided to submit its resignation
to Sultan Ahmad Fouad, which would allow the Sovereign to appoint
a “NEGOTIATING CABINET” of his choice. The Sultan accepted
the Cabinet resignation on March 16, 1921.
(To be continued)
Kamal Karim Katba