28 MARCH 1896, Page 1

At the dinner of the Associated Chambers of Commerce, held

at the Hotel Metropole on Wednesday, Sir F. W. Grenfell (late Sirdar of the Egyptian Army), dealt with the question of the Soudan. While he commanded he declared that the Egyptian troops did everything he asked them to do. People dwelt too much on the defeats of Hicks and Baker, and forgot the gallant defence made at Tokar, Sinkat, and Kassala, where the soldiers died at their posts. He had spent a long time at Wady Haifa, and was of opinion that the situation there had become intolerable. He had seen the ghastly effects of the raids. On one occasion two hundred lives were lost by a raid, and only two months ago a raid occurred close to Haifa. Mr. Chamberlain rightly described the desert as a screen for the Dervishes. Even the advance to Akasheh would do a great deal to relieve Kassala. On one occasion a large force which was leaving Omdurman for the South was countermanded because the Khedive went to Haifa to review the troops. Again, in 1889, when Suakin was hard pressed, a small expedition sent to Assonan had the effect of diverting the Dervish forces. He believed, there- fore, that the present advance would help Italy and a!so be of advantage to Egypt. We are greatly inter( sted in Sir F. Grenfell's estimate of the Egyptian soldie-, hut NO have given our reasons elsewhere for doubting the military value of the fellaheen troops. We may point out that our doubt is also expressed by Major A. Griffiths in his article in the April Fortnightly. We had not, however, seen his paper before writing our own.