The week has been full of rumours as to the
action of England and France in Egypt. One day, the French Government has resolved to sanction a loan of £10,000,000 to the Khedive, and another, Lord Derby and the Dnc Decazes are agreed upon a joint policy to be pursued in Egyptian finance. Meanwhile, nothing official is done, or likely to be done, and the Khedive has taken matters into his own hands. He has issued a notification that he will postpone payment of all Treasury bills falling due in April and May to July, allowing 7 per cent. interest for the delay. As these bills were issued at about 96, to be repaid at par in two months, they really bear interest at 24 per cent. per annum, and the postponement confiscates that. If they were paid in July, that would not signify much, but as there is no proof or likelihood that they will be, the holders are really offered 7-per- cent. bonds instead. As these only fetcIi.50 in the market, they do not approve the offer, and Egyptian bonds are sinking by short and broken starts. " Combinations " are still talked of to pay the Floating Debt, but none of the projectors even offer what is absolutely required to prevent ultimate insolvency, namely, £20,000,000 at a cheap rate, the Khedive to surrender in return his conttol over certain receipts and his power of borrowing. It would seem probable, from some semi-official paragraphs sent into the French provinces to secure a favourable reception for a ;Taw Egyptian loan, that the French Foreign Office did intend to favour one, but that M. Leon Say refused his consent ; but the "hitch" may also have arisen with the Khedive himself.