No. 529.
Mr. Comanos to Mr. Evarts.

No. 257.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith a cutting from the semiofficial newspaper, the Moniteur Egyptien, which gives the speech of the Khedive delivered at Alexandria on Friday last, the 23d instant, to Mr. Rivers Wilson, vice-president of the high commission of inquiry, who had a few days before presented to the Khedive the preliminary report [Page 925] of the commission, and which also gives an epitome of-the’ conclusions arrived at by the commission and accepted by his highness.

Since making that speech the Khedive has intrusted Nubar Pasha with the formation of a cabinet which shall come up to the ideas expressed in the speech and carry out the conclusions of the commission.

The Khedive’s sons, Tewpik Pasha, minister of the interior, and Husseim Pasha, minister of finance, have resigned.

It appears that immediately upon his return from Europe a few days ago, Nubar Pasha, who had had personal interviews with the leading men of the Governments of Great Britain, France, and Germany, convinced the Khedive that he must make a radical change in the administration of Egypt, or be ready to find himself unsupported by those governments.

It is confidently rumored that with Nubar Pasha as minister president, and minister of foreign affairs, the new cabinet will be composed of Mr. Rivers Wilson, as minister of finance, Riaz Pasha as minister of interior, and Aali Pasha Monbarak as minister of public works, and that an Englishman, besides Mr. R. Wilson, will be called to the ministry of war, and a Frenchman to that of justice and of agriculture and commerce.

It seems that the Khedive has made up his mind to withdraw himself and family from taking an active part in the affairs of the state, and intrust the government of the land to a responsible ministry under the presidency of Nubar Pasha.

The defect in the system is that the people of the land, as a nation, are taken into no account, and the new ministers are responsible to the Khedive alone, and he in his turn is responsible to the European governments interested especially in Egyptian affairs.

Since drafting the foregoing, I have learned unofficially that Riaz Pasha has been definitely appointed minister of the interior. This change in the Khedive’s method of governing, and the steps he has already taken for putting it into execution, give great satisfaction throughout the land. Egyptian funds have risen from 49 to 59.

I have & c.,

[Inclosure in No. 257.—Translation.]

The Khedive’s speech.

I have read the report of the commission of inquiry, over which you have presided. It is full of details, and, if time has been wanting for the thorough examination of some questions, I feel no less grateful to you and your colleagues, whose departure I regret, for I should have been glad to thank them also in person. I hope that you will be good enough to convey my thanks to them.

As to the conclusions which you have reached, I accept them. It is very natural that I should do so, for I have desired to have this work performed for, the benefit of my country. It is for me now to enforce those conclusions. I am determined to do it in earnest, you may depend. My country is no longer in Africa. We are now a part of Europe. It is therefore natural that we should abandon old errors and adopt a new system suited to our social condition.

I think that you will see considerable changes in the near future. They will be brought about more easily than is supposed. It is, fundamentally, a mere question of legality, of respect for law. It is especially important not to be satisfied with words, and, for my part, I am determined to seek the reality of things. In the first place, as an earnest of my determination, I have instructed Nubar Pasha to form a ministry for me.

This innovation may seem to be of little importance; but from this innovation, seriously conceived, you will see ministerial independence emanate, and that is no small thing, for this innovation is the starting point of a radical change in our system, and [Page 926] it is, in my opinion,-the best assurance that I can give of the seriousness of my intentions as regards the enforcement of your conclusions.

You are about to leave us; I hope that you will return soon, but I want you take with you the conviction that, although you have had an arduous and painful task to perform, your efforts will not be fruitless, for, as you know, everything germinates and ripens quickly in this old land of Egypt.