20 JANUARY 1950, Page 2

The Wafd's Programme

All Egyptian parties are committed to demanding the evacuation of foreign troops and " the unity of the Nile valley "—which means the incorporation of the Sudan in Egypt. These patriotic prin- ciples appeared, as a matter of course, in King Farouk's speech from the throne at the opening of the Egyptian Parliament on Monday, and if the minds of the Wafdist leaders were as inflexible as their slogans, it would be useless to expect the new Government to prove more successful in negotiating a treaty with Britain than its predecessors. However, the Anglo-Egyptian discussions of 1946 showed that the difficulty is not so much one of finding a formula to reconcile the two points of view as of finding an Egyptian statesman with sufficient prestige to get a settlement accepted in his own country. Nahas Pasha has the popular support which Sidqi Pasha and Nokrashi Pasha lacked, and there is good reason to suppose that he would like to see this term of office (which will probably be his last) crowned by a revision of the treaty which, in 1936, he was largely responsible for negotiating on the Egyptian side. Mr. Bevin has an opportunity to lay the foundation for new talks when he passes through Cairo on his return from Colombo, and, if subsequent discussions are conducted with less ostentation than those of four years ago, they stand a good chance of being successful. Delay in revising the treaty has done nothing but harm to Egypt ; as long as attention has remained focused on foreign affairs little or nothing has been done about the pressing social and economic problems which must be faced. The need for internal reforms was mentioned in broad outline in the course of the speech from the throne, but it remains to be seen whether the radical wing of the Wafd is strong enough to insist that more than. lip service is paid to it.