24 OCTOBER 1952, Page 1

Sudanese Solution?

Optimistic suggestions that a solution of the Sudanese problem may be just round the corner have been coming out of Cairo. It would be comforting to believe them, but at the moment the evidence in support of optimism is based more on the setting in which differences of opinion are being aired than on obvious changes of opinion among any of the parties concerned. After explaining their views in London, the leaders of the most important Sudanese parties have moved to Cairo, where discussions are being continued with the Egyptians. It is certainly a sign of better things.that Sayed Sir Abdul Rahman el-Mandi, the leader of the Umma Party, which stands for complete independence for the Sudan, has not only visited Cairo in person but has been received with the dignity due to his stature in Sudanese politics; in the days of the Wafd Government he was the cartoonists' butt, always represented as a lackey of British policies. If some agreement is thrashed out between the three capitals— Khartoum, London and Cairo—it looks as though this would have to be on the basis of elections being held before the end of the year, which they can be now that the Governor- General has been authorised to proclaim the new constitution, with at the same time the fixing of some date by which the forms of self-government would have to be completed. The Egyptians would agree to drop their demand that all foreign officials and troops should be withdrawn before the elections, and would agree to an international commission, on which both they and the British would be represented, to supervise the elections. But time is short if this compromise is to be put into effect.