31 AUGUST 1878, Page 1


THE great event of the week is the announcement of the Khedive's purpose to give up all his private estates to the Financial Commission, so as to reserve nothing from the public revenues of Egypt,—to accept absolutely the European system of constitutional government,--and to make Nubar Pasha,—a man of the highest possible ability, the head of his Administra- tion; while Mr. Rivera Wilson, who receives the assent of the British government, is to be the Minister of Finance. The Khedive's language is thoroughly straightforward. He accepts the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry, and entreats Mr. Rivers Wilson to "rest assured I am resolved to do so seriously." "My country is no longer African, we now form part of Europe. It is proper, therefore, to abandon our old ways, and to adopt a new system, more in accordance

with our social progress Above all, we must not be satisfied with mere words, and for my own part, I am deter- mined to prove my intentions by my deeds ; and to show how thoroughly in earnest I am, I .have entrusted Nubar Pasha with the formation of a Ministry." All this is bailed in this country as the salvation of Egypt, — and also of the British bondholder. And if the resolve holds with the Khedive, and also with his successors, so it may be. No doubt be is now on the right track. But there is, unfortunately, no guarantee—nor the possibility of a guarantee—for his remaining on it. There is no control over him. He can take back to-morrow what he gives to-day ; and no one can say him nay. Unfortunately for Oriental despots, they have no power to mortgage their own will.