SOME RECENT REFORMS
IN the preceding chapters I have said something of the defects which mar our administrative record, something of the difficulties which still remain to be surmounted. Yet, taken as a whole, the record is one to which we are entitled to turn with satisfaction. In the recent history of our race there is no chapter more creditable than this of our relations with the peoples of the Nile basin during the past thirty years. That space of time, brief enough in the life of nations, almost covers our occupation of Egypt and our control of its affairs. And within it a small number of British statesmen, soldiers, civil officials, engineers, and educationalists have performed a work of organization and reconstruction which cannot easily be overpraised. Nothing that England has done in Asia, and Germany or France in Africa, has been so swift, so certain, so unquestionably beneficial to the world at large and to the populations immediately concerned.
At the opening of the eighties of the last century Egypt lay, as it were, waterlogged and half-derelict, rolling heavily across the track of international politics. In the later years of Ismail it had become a bad example