23 AUGUST 1890, Page 3

Sir Colin Scott Moncrieff, the head of the Egyptian irriga-

tion works, has just published an official paper describing how he has managed to make the Barrage on the Nile do its work, and setting forth in detail the operations connected with its repair, which were completed last June. It may be remembered that the great weir across the Nile, which cost £1,800,000, and employed besides thousands of fellaheen working under com- pulsion, though finished in 1863, never succeeded in performing the work it was intended to perform—i.e., the storage of water for irrigation purposes—but remained till the English occupation a gigantic folly. When Sir Colin Scott Mon- crieff took charge of the Nile, he had to consider whether he should allow the Barrage to crumble away to nothing, or try and make it of use to the country. He decided on the latter course, and his decision has been amply justified by the result. What the full effect will be on the irrigation of Egypt cannot yet be told; but the half- completed work is estimated to have increased the value of the cotton crop by £800,000 a year during the last five years. When Napoleon was in Egypt, and saw the Nile at high flood pouring its fertilising waters into the Mediterranean, he exclaimed : "If I were master here, not a drop of that water should be wasted in the sea." The practical Scotchman has gone far towards accomplishing this colossal task.