EGYPT. - The Times, December 26, 1893, p. 3

 

LATEST INTELLIGENCE. CAIRO, Dec. 25. Riaz Pasha's reply last Saturday to the Legislative Council has produced an excellent impression by its moderation and good counsels, and it is hoped that it will allay the uneasy state of public feeling caused by the anti-European sentiments of the Government. One cannot but remark, however, the ungracious manner of Riaz and the Council when alluding to the army of occupation. He makes rnention of the progress and prosperity which began under the Khediv Tewfik, but omits to tell tho Council that the British Army restored to Tewfik his lost power, and has since insured the continuance of prosperity and reform. He alludes to the day when England will evacuate Egypt as a "heureux resultat," yet the general belief is that that day will inaugurate the destruction of most of the English reforms; and it may be safely stated that if England were to name decisively any early date for her withdrawal there are very few natives and Europeans who would not be ready to beg her to alter her decision.
The Government is in the humiliating position of having to apologize to tho Greek Consul-General tor having prevented a barefaced attempt at smuggliag by a Greek vessel in Alexandria Harbour. The Customs officials, finding about a ton of hashish - the importation of which is absolutely prohibited - concealed on board, seized both the ship and the contraband merchandise. The Greek Consul-General now demands the surrender of both, on the ground that the Egyptian officials have no right to search vessels except in the presence of a Consular delegate. Technically he is correct; but as on a previous similar occasion he refused to send a delegate, and declared that he would afford no assistance in future, the formality of asking for a delegate would have only served as a warning to enable the smugglers to dispose of their hashish. Another Greek vessel at Alexandria is known to have a much larger quantity on board, yet all that the Customs' officials can do is to surround her with boats to prevent the landing of the cargo. The amoant of smuggling practised under the Greek flag is highly discreditable to that Government, without whose protection the illegal trade, as now openly conducted, could be prevented. Like opium in India, hashish is almost necessary amongst Egyptians, and, since they get an abundant supply through the agency of smugglers, the Government would find it advantageous to substitute an import duty for tne present system of prohibition which has proved Impracticable. - Corrrespondent.