The British proposal to convert the Privileged Debt of Egypt,
£27,000,000, now bearing interest at 5 per cent., into a 4 per cent. loan-, has been vetoed by M. Spuller, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Rothschilds had assented to the conversion, the new loan would have been issued at 95, and it was calculated that when all expenses were paid, Egypt would save £160,000 a year, which would have been applied to reduce taxation and irrigate the large acreage endangered by a low Nile. The French, however, refused their assent unless Lord Salisbury disorganised Egypt by fixing a date for the evacuation of the Valley. We have said enough elsewhere on this dog-in-the-manger policy, but may add here that the danger of a new advance of the dervishes on Egypt is reported serious. Troops are being urged forward to Wady Haifa, and by the latest telegrams the Soudanese were within eighteen miles of that place. The incident may be unimportant, as the dervishes retreat easily ; but it indicates one of the many dangers to which evacuation would expose Egypt.