Anglo-Egyptian rivalry in the Sudan: Its historical background and international implications

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Anglo-Egyptian rivalry in the Sudan: Its historical background and international implications

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A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the Department of International Relations University of Southern California

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts

by Alice Stanton Jones August 1950

UMI Number: EP59900

All rights reserved INFORMATION TO ALL USERS The quality of this reproduction is dependent upon the quality of the copy submitted. In the unlikely event that the author did not send a complete manuscript and there are missing pages, these will be noted. Also, if material had to be removed, a note will indicate the deletion.

Dissertation Publishing

UMI EP59900 Published by ProQuest LLC (2014). Copyright in the Dissertation held by the Author. Microform Edition © ProQuest LLC. All rights reserved. This work is protected against unauthorized copying under Title 17, United States Code

ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway P.O. Box 1346 Ann Arbor, Ml 48106- 1346

o 7^

X **> ! This thesis, written by

Alice Stanton Jones under the guidance of h..&P.. Faculty Committee, and approved by a ll its members, has been presented to and accepted by the Council on Graduate Study and Research in partia l fu lfill­ ment of the requirements fo r the degree of

Master_o^_Arts................. H.................... J.DEIEL, Jr. ....................:


n„,f August 1950_____

Faculty Committee





INTRODUCTION ...........................



HISTORICAL B A C K G R O U N D ................


Conquest of Mohammed A l y ............


Mahdist rebellion


Re c o n q u e s t ...........................

7 10

Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1899


World War I and end of Turkish interest

. .

End of British Protectorate over Egypt . . .


Assassination of Sir Lee Stack . . . . . . .


Statement of British p o l i c y ........


Treaty of 1 9 3 & .............. III.





Cairo n e g o t i a t i o n s ...................


Meeting of Sidky Pasha and Ernest Bevin

. .

The Sudan P r o t o c o l ...................


End of direct n e g o t i a t i o n s ..........


Consideration by the Security Council




. . . .


Opening statement of Cadogan ............


August 11 address of Nokrashy Pasha


Opening address of Nokrashy Pasha


Reply of C a d o g a n ...................


Meeting of August 1 3 ................... .. The Brazilian r e s o l u t i o n ..........

39 1^1



PAGE The Colombian r e s o l u t i o n .................


The Chinese r e s o l u t i o n ...................


End of Council d i s c u s s i o n s ...............


CONSIDERATION OP BRITISH AND EGYPTIAN CLAIMS . Achievements of British administration . . .


Sennar Dam and Gezira S c h e m e .............


Other agricultural r e f o r m s ...............


Depression of 1931-32


World War I I ..............................


Public finance ............................


194.8 S t a t i s t i c s .........................


T a x a t i o n ..................................




Educati o n ................................


M e d i c i n e ..................................




H i s t o r i c a l ................................


Geo g r a p h i c a l ..............................


E t h n i c a l ..................................


C u l t u r a l ..................................


E c o n o m i c ..................................


Basis of Egyptian claims

Evaluation of British and Egyptian arguments V.





Local administration.......................




PAGE Central g o v e r n m e n t ......................... Advisory Council for the Northern Sudan



Position of the southern S u d a n ...........


Plans for increased self-government



Draft o r d i n a n c e .........................


The Legislative A s s e m b l y .................


The Executive C o u n c i l ...................


Sudanese politics



Growth of n a t i o n a l i s m ...................


Mirghanists vs# M a h d i s t s ................


The Ashigga P a r t y .......................


The Umma P a r t y ............................


British policy ............................


Assembly elections ....................





The Assembly* s first y e a r ..........


British and Egyptian attitudes .............


THE SUDAN IN AFRICAN G E O P O L I T I C S .............


Nile waters controversy



Early a r r a n g e m e n t s .......................


Nile Projects Commission of 1920 ........


Limitation of Gezira project .............


Sudan Convention p r o p o s a l s ..............


Ultimatum after assassination ofStack . .


Nile Waters Agreement of 1 9 2 9 ...........




PAGE Extension of Nile c o n t r o l ..............


* Lake Tana D a m ............................ Owen Palls D a m ..........

Air services .

. . . . . . .


Importance of Sudan to Egypt

117 118

Lake Albert D a m ............................ Relation of Sudan to Ethiopia



Strategic significance to Great Britain

. •

Economic importance to Great Britain . . . .

120 120 121 121 123 123

C o n c l u s i o n .....................................


B I B L I O G R A P H Y ...........................................


CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Today we are witnessing a great world trend toward the liquidation of imperialism.

In almost all backward areas

there has been an upsurge of nationalism and a cry for selfgovernment and independence, but few of these areas present as interesting a case-3tudy of this development as does the Sudan*

To begin with, the relationship involved here has

not been the usual simple one of a European Power and its colonial dependency but the more complicated one of two con­ trolling Powers, unequal in strength and experience, united to administer a territory over which each claims the greater share of sovereignty.

Here in the Sudan, the tension has

been more between these two outside agencies than between the colonial area and either one or both of them*

This has given

rise to a problem international rather than purely domestic in nature and so difficult of solution that deliberation by the United Nations Security Council has even been resorted to in an attempt to straighten it out. A study of this Anglo-Egyptian dissension has several interesting aspects*

It presents, first of all, a contrast

between countries in three different stages of development-G-reat Britain, who has passed her period of expansion and is retreating from imperialism; modern Egypt, who has but

2 recently achieved independence and international stature and who is interested in further development and expansion; and the Sudan, who is still learning the techniques of selfgovernment and who has not yet experienced nationhood.


also shows the contrast between the Anglo-Saxon or western and the eastern types of reasoning and approach to a problem of this kind and yields, as well, a picture of the Security Council in action, a view of colonial administration in its most enlightened form, and a study of a backward people!s progress toward independence* The historical review with which this paper starts is designed to serve two purposes*

The first is to present a

purely chronological background with emphasis on those events which have contributed the most to present tensions.


second is to offer an analysis of the juristic position of the Sudan as it changed under the varying conditions of the past fifty years.

This is meant as a guide to help in later

evaluating the current British and Egyptian claims in regard to their sovereign rights in the Sudan.

The historical back­

ground has been treated somewhat briefly to allow greater con­ centration on the more dynamic problems of the present. The current difficulties resolve themselves into three main categories although these are by no means entirely exclusive of one another*

Probably the greatest difficulties

are those encountered over the revision of the Treaty of 193&,

3 which are basically a question of to whom the sovereignty over the Sudan rightfully belongs*

Because this problem has

been the crux of all present hostility, two chapters have been devoted to it, the first an account of the attempted settlement by direct Anglo-Egyptian negotiations and by Security Council deliberation and the second a presentation of the principal arguments proferred by each of the two con­ tending parties in support of its position, followed by a brief analysis of the relative merits of each* The next group of difficulties are those arising from the difference between the British and the Egyptian attitude toward Sudanese self-government and ultimate self-determina­ tion*

These are the subject of the next chapter, which also

undertakes to outline the political progress the Sudanese have already made and the methods by which this advance was effected. The third set of difficulties are those pertaining to the allocation of the waters of the Nile*

The final chapter

is actually concerned with the geopolitical position of the Sudan in its entirety, but as the Nile is probably the most important factor involved, all questions relating to it have been reserved for inclusion here. The bibliographical sources used have proved adequate and in most cases have not unduly duplicated one another. The offices of the British Infomation Services in New York

and of the Royal Consul ate-General of Egypt in San Francisco have provided a great deal of helpful material, and the Crown Agent for the Sudan in London has contributed a copy of the Ordinance establishing the present form of government in the Sudan* Before starting on the actual problem at hand, a few words concerning the Sudan and its people might be helpful as a means of introduction.

The Sudan covers an area of almost

a million square miles and is bounded by Egypt on the north, by the Red Sea, Eritrea, and Ethiopia on the east, by French Equatorial Africa on the west, and by Kenya, Uganda, and the Belgian Congo on the -south*

Physically, it ranges from

desejrts and savanna in the north to tropical forests and swamps in the south*

It is traversed by the White and Blue

Niles, which converge at Khartoum to form the single Nile which flows northward to Egypt. The population of about seven millions differs in the two regions mentioned above, with about four or five million Arabic-speaking Moslems in the north and a variety of primi­ tive African tribes in the south.

The dividing line between

the two is roughly the twelfth parallel of north latitude. Now let us turn to the problem under investigation and try to ascertain to whom control of these lands and these people rightfully belongs*

CHAPTER II HISTORICAL BACKGROUND In presenting the historical background to the recent Anglo-Egyptian controversy over the Sudan an attempt will be made to give not a mere chronology of events, but rather to consider these events as they affected the juristic status of the Sudan.

This question of sovereignty will be emphasized

because it is the chief issue of the current dispute, with both Great Britain and Egypt continually resorting to history for evidence in support of their claims.

Thus, the intention

here will be to lay a foundation of facts to which the reader can later refer in evaluating the arguments of the two con­ tending parties. In 1820, in an effort to restore the ancient unity of the Nile Valley, Mohammed Aly, the ruler of Egypt, added a great part of the Sudan to the Pachalic^ of'Egypt, and from then until the 1883 Mahdi rebellion, the Sudan was under the control of the Khedive of Egypt.

Although he maintained full

authority, the actual sovereign power belonged to the Sultan of Turkey inasmuch as Egypt, was legally a semiautonomous province of the Turkish Empire.

The conquest of the provinces

^ A Turkish territory under the jurisdiction of a provincial governor or Pacha.

6 of Nubie, Darfur, Kordofan, and Sennar was recognized by the Sultan in a firman issued February 13*

This also

granted Mohammed Aly the right to administer them, with his rights to them, however, being specifically decreed as nonhereditary.

Later firmans (1865* 1866, 1873* 1879* ancl

1892) added more regions and confirmed earlier rights. Mohammed Aly's son and successor, Khedive Ismail, extended the conquest of the Sudan and succeeded in having the Sublime Porte declare Khedivial rights there hereditary.

At this

time, then, the Sudan became an integral part of Egypt, with both of them, however, legally a part of the Ottoman domain and with Egypt prohibited by the firmans from relinquishing any concession or territory granted to her. Ismail sent Sir Samuel Baker, a famous explorer and hunter, to insure his authority in the Sudan, to put down the slave trade, and to open the country to commerce.


was successful to a certain degree, but soon after he left his post in 1873* conditions became as bad as before.


following year, Ismail sent General Charles Gordon to the Upper Nile country to complete Baker*s work.

His chief at­

tack was against the slave traders and the enmity he aroused contributed to a feeling of bitter revolt among the tribes­ men.

At this time, the administration of Egypt and the

Sudan was centralized, with the Sudan forming an 2 The firmans were Turkish royal decrees.

7 administrative unit under a governor-general who received his instructions from the central government in C a i r o # 3


Egyptian Chamber of Deputies was created in 1882, and seven­ teen of its one hundred and twenty five members were desig­ nated as being representatives of the provinces and gover­ nor ate s of the Sudan# In 1883* however,

the-status of the Sudan was changed#

Egypt being preoccupied by the political crisis which ended in her occupation by Great Britain, a Sudanese fanatic, Mohammed Ahmed, rose to power in the

Sudan, proclaimed him­

self the Mahdi (prophet or

messiah), and as part ofhis

greater plan of conquering

the world and convertingit to

Islam, gained authority in

the Sudan and wrested itcom­

pletely from Egyptian (Turkish) control#

A small Egyptian

force under General Hicks went southward to put down the rebellion but was surrounded and killed by the Mahdi !s forces#

The British Government was by this time in virtual

control of Egypt and refused any further attempts at recon­ quest, advocating evacuation instead and stating that any Egyptian minister objecting to this decision should re­ linquish his office#

Sherif Pasha, the Premier, refused to

agree and handed in his resignation.

The Premiership was

3 Egypt: Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Committee of Experts, The Unity of Egypt and the Sudan: the Legal Aspect of the Case (Cairo: Government Press, 19q-7)» p. 6 .

8 then accepted by Nubar Pasha who, under British direction, ordered the evacuation and sent General Gordon to Khartoum to complete the arrangements*

This was a poor choice of a

leader because Gordon aroused the fanaticism and hostility of the Dervishes, who still remembered his vigorous attacks on their slave trade*^-

He delayed in Khartoum until all

chance of retreat was impossible; a siege of over ten months ensued, with the fall of the city and the death of Gordon finally occuring on January 27, 1885* This British-commanded evacuation was protested by. Turkey as a violation of her sovereign rights and was in­ terpreted by the Egyptian Government not as a surrender of the Sudan but as a mere withdrawal of troops and officials from the interior to prevent their massacre*

Even this was

ordered under duress, as is evidenced by Sherif Pasha!s resignation*

Legally, of course, the Khedivefs authority

was so restricted by the Turkish firmans that he was unable to abandon the Sudan even had he so desired*

In reality,

however, Turkish sovereignty in the Sudan was completely ex­ tinguished during the fifteen years of Mahdist supremacy. Only local taxes were levied and only Mahdist programs initi­ ated*

An invasion of Egypt was attempted which might have

^ Mary Frances Miller, The Background and Significance of the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936* (Los Angeless The University of Southern California, 19^.6), p* l^o*

9 been successful except for British intervention, and an Abyssinian advance into Sudanese territory was repelled by Mahdist strength alone*

Egypt, herself, made a partial con­

cession to Mahdist rule in 1888 when her Council of Ministers fixed the southern boundary of Egypt at a point north of Dervish territory* The absolute nature of the Mahdi!s control over the Sudan during this period makes it possible to consider the legal position of the Sudan in either one of two ways— as a res nullius (a country without a government) or as still a part of Egypt and the Turkish Empire, only temporarily occupied by rebellious forces*

Accepting the former to be

the case, the subsequent Anglo-Egyptian occupation could be regarded as a conquest and the Anglo-Egyptian order estab­ lished without Turkish consent justifiable*

If, however,

the Anglo-Egyptian advance were merely for suppression of an illegal rebellion, their consequent retention of sovereignty could scarcely be considered legal* During most of the period of the Mahdi rule, Great Britain treated the Sudan as a res nullius and even included part of it within her sphere in an agreement concluded with Germany in 1890.5

The next year she again proclaimed the

5 Vernon A. 0 fRourke, **The Juristic Status of Egypt and the Sudan,11 The Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science, Series LIII, No. 1. (Baltimore£ The Johns Hopkins Press, 1935), P* 1^5•

10 extension of her influence over the Nile Valley in a pro­ tocol with Italy.

Finally on May 12, l89i|.* Britain signed

a treaty with King Leopold II which not only recognized the British sphere of influence as proclaimed in the German treaty above but also leased to the Congo Free State two provinces of the Egyptian Sudan, Equatoria and Bahr-el-Ghazel. France objected to this on the grounds that it was illegal and a menace to the integrity of the Turkish Empire.


protest would have had little effect on Britain had it not become apparent that. France intended to establish herself in the southern Sudan also and had, for this purpose, sent General Marchand there with a military expedition.


now reversed her earlier stand^ and undertook to aid Egypt to ,fre conquer” the Sudan.

In 1896, Lord Kitchener was

ordered to the region, and two years later a great victory over the Dervishes was won at Gmdurman.

The same year,

Kitchener met Marchand*s French troops at Fashoda and demanded their withdrawal on the grounds not only of British conquest but also of legitimate Egyptian rights.

Britain now claimed

that the territory she had deemed vacant just a few years before had never really ceased to be a part of the Khedive’s domain, and as this was the stand which France herself had

^ See Sir Edward Grey’s statement recognizing Egypt’s rights in the Sudan, Parliamentary Debates, ifih. Series, Vol. 32, p. lj-05.

11 taken in l89ij-> she could do little but agree and abandon her claims.7 The new order to be established in the Sudan after the reconquest was set forth in the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1899*®

This defined the Sudan as all territories south of

the twenty second parallel of latitude which had not been evacuated by Egyptian troops since 1882 or which had been temporarily lost to Egypt but subsequently reconquered by the British and Egyptian Governments acting in concert.


British and Egyptian flags were to be flown together in all parts of the area, but the supreme military and civil com­ mand was to be vested in a single officer, the GovernorGeneral, to be appointed by Khedivial Decree on the recom­ mendation of the British Government and to be removed only by Khedivial Decree backed b y British consent.

All laws,

orders, and regulations were to be made, changed, or abro­ gated by Proclamation of the Governor-General, with no Egyptian ones made thereafter to apply in the Sudan unless specifically proclaimed by the Governor-General.


7 On March 21, l899> a treaty with Great Britain, Prance renounced all her claims in the Valley of the Nile. For a full account of these negotiations, see Morrison Beall Giffen, Pashoda, the Incident and its Diplomatic Setting (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1930 )» 230 pp. ® British and Foreign State Papers> Vol. 91* PP* 19“22.

12 jurisdiction of the Mixed Tribunals was not to extend to any part of the Sudan, and the entire area was to remain under martial law until otherwise determined by Proclamation.


consuls were to be allowed to reside in the Sudan without consent of the British Government.

Both importation and ex­

portation of slaves was absolutely prohibited. The Treaty gave possession of the Sudan to both Great Britain and Turkey, Egypt being considered as acting for the Sultan.

One might raise the question as to whether the

Treaty was actually valid, being engaged in as it was by Egypt without authorization of Turkey and in consideration of the fact that the firmans of the Porte had specifically forbidden Egyptian alienation of any of her territory by political contract or, for that matter, entrance into any sort of political agreement whatever.

Although adopted un­

der these doubtful conditions, it can probably be considered valid through usage even if not by usual legal standards. By not in any way contesting the Treaty, the Sultan at least implied his acquiescence, and no foreign governments have ever objected to it although the Egyptian Government has recently been proclaiming its illegality and condemning it as an instrument of British imperialism.9

9 Egypt: Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Committee of Experts, The Unity of Egypt and the Sudan; the Legal Aspect of the Case, pp. lip-15 •

13 It is interesting to examine just where the source of sovereign power in the Sudan lay under this agreement.


could scarcely be said that it was in the Sudan itself as it had no choice at all in the selection of its all-powerful Governor-General*

At the same time, it could not be presumed

that the Sudan had returned to its former status as a Turkish province under the administration of Egypt*

Instead a com­

plete distinction between Egypt and the Sudan was attempted, with Egyptian laws applying in the latter only if specif­ ically proclaimed by the Governor-General*

Sudanese ar­

rangements with other countries were made separately, and on several necessary occasions treaties were even concluded between Egypt itself and the Sudan*

Further substantiation

of this separation of the two countries might be found in the decision of the Mixed Tribunal at Cairo on April 2, 1910, which declared the Egyptian Government not responsible for debts contracted in the Sudan.

It proclaimed that Hso to

speak a new state, distinct and separate from Egypt, has been created, which has the right of administering and legislating and judging. The Sudan could not be presumed t o be under supreme British authority either, this being disproved by the Treaty

^•0 Bene ini and Quistas v. the Egyptian Government and

the Government of the Sudan, Gazette des Tribunaux Mixtes, April 2, 1910, as quoted by 0 !Rourke, o£. cit*, pp."ls!5>-£6.

provisions for selection and dismissal of the Governor-Gen­ eral and by the fact that the laws of Britain were no more enforceable there than we have seen those of Egypt to be* To settle postal and similar problems between the two, formal international agreements were necessary. Having satisfied ourselves, then, that the sovereign­ ty over the Sudan after 1899 was not exclusively possessed hy Egypt, Turkey, Great Britain, or the Sudan, we can logically presume that a joint sovereignty existed.


should not be construed to mean a divided sovereignty, which is a legal impossibility,H but rather an arrangement under which the Turkish Sultan (through the Khedive, his agent) and the British King work together as a single political unit.

This is called a **condominium11 and has appeared a

few other times in history, as from 1864 to 1866 when Schleswig-Holstein and Louenberg were under the joint sover­ eignty of Prussia and Austria.

Another example of a con­

dominium might be the German, British, and American control of the Samoan Islands as established in 1899 an between

the Ethiopians and the Italians and the subsequent victory of Italy, which made the security of Englandfs position in Egypt absolutely vital for the protection of the Suez Canal and the Sudan.

During this crisis, England sent large

numbers of troops to Egypt to protect, if possible, her interests in northeast Africa.

These were a secure route to

India, Burma, and Malaya and the protection of the water supply of Egypt and the Sudan, jeopardized in this instance by hostile control of the Ethiopian sources of the Blue Nile flowing out of Lake Tana on the Ethiopian plateau.


Egyptians resented this English use of their territory for

House of Commons, 5th Series,

military and naval bases on the ground that it disregarded their sovereignty*

They wished to be recognized as an

independent ally instead.

At the same time, however, they

realized that had the English not been there, the Italians would probably have made Egypt their objective rather than Ethiopia.

They felt the necessity of an agreement with

some European power as security against aggression, and their interest in a treaty with England revived. Negotiations were reopened and a successful conclusion finally reached although each had had to make certain con­ cessions, the main difficulty being to reconcile the Egyptian desire for full independence with the English interests at a vital point in the line of communications with India and the Far Bast.

The treaty was signed by the English and Egyptian

representatives in the Locarno Hoorn of the Foreign Office in London on August 26, 1 9 3 6 . It was to continue for twenty years, to be revised then at the request of either part, or to be revised at the end of ten years if both parties should desire the change.

The agreements concerning the Sudan were

incorporated in Article 11 and read as follows: 1. While reserving liberty to conclude new conven­ tions in the future, modifying the agreements of January 19* and July 10, 1899* the High Contracting Parties agree that the administrati on ‘of the Sudan shall continue to

. For full text, see British and Foreign State Papers, Vol. llj.0, pp. 179-93*

21 be that resulting from the said agreements. The Governor-General shall continue to exercise on the joint behalf of the.High Contracting Parties the powers con­ ferred upon him by the said agreements* The High Contracting Parties agree that the primary aim of their administration in the Sudan must be the welfare of the Sudanese. Nothing in this article prejudices the question of sovereignty over the Sudan. 2* Appointments and promotions of officials in the Sudan will in consequence remain vested in the GovernorGeneral, who in making new appointments to posts for which qualified Sudanese are not available, will select suitable candidates of British and Egyptian nationality* 3« In addition to Sudanese troops, both British and Egyptian troops shall be placed at the disposal of the Governor-General for the defense of the Sudan* ij.* Egyptian immigration into the Sudan shall be unrestricted except for reasons of public order and health* 5* There shall be no discrimination in the Sudan between British subjects and Egyptian nationals in matters of commerce, immigration, or the possession of property. By an annex to this Article, it was arranged that international conventions should apply to the Sudan only by the joint action of the Governments concerned. At the time of its inception, the Treaty of 1936 was hailed as the solution of all major Anglo-Egyptian differ­ ences and as the basis for peaceful understanding in the future*

It was not quite ten years, however, before Egypt

was denouncing the Treaty as limiting her independence and was urging a revision of it*

The difficulties' attending

this revision will be the subject of the next chapter.

CHAPTER III THE CONTROVERSY OVER TREATY REVISION The Egyptian Government requested that negotiations be undertaken for revision of the Treaty of 1936 in a note addressed to the British Government on December 20, 19^-5* In this document, it was asserted that such revision was necessary to make the Treaty conform to the new international situation, the particular Egyptian objection being to the presence of foreign troops on their soil in peace-time* They expressed a desire to include consideration of the question of the Sudan in these negotiations, having as their basis the interests and desires of the Sudanese themselves. The British Government readily acceded to this re­ quest although, as we have seen above, she was not bound to do so by the terms of the Treaty.

A British Mission arrived

in Cairo on April l£, and preliminary negotiations were begun.

In May 19^1-6, His Majesty's Government proposed with­

drawal of all British forces from Egypt and settlement by negotiation of the stages and date of this evacuation and of the proper arrangements for future mutual defense.


Cairo negotiations continued until October 3* with little trouble being encountered on this subject of evacuation. The main difficulties arose on the question ©f the Sudan, with the Egyptians demanding a sovereignty over it which

23 would virtually tie the Sudanese to Egypt forever. Later in October, the Egyptian Prime Minister, Sidky Pasha, went to London to discuss the Treaty revision per­ sonally with the British Foreign Secretary, Mr. Ernest Bevin. As a result of their conversations, the two came to complete agreement on the texts of a treaty of mutual assistance, an evacuation protocol, and a Sudan protocol, thus settling the major differences which had been standing in the way of suc­ cessful negotiation.

Each was to undertake to present

these texts to his own government. The most difficult question was that of the Sudan. Great Britain had already pledged that no change would be made in its status without consulting the Sudanese them­ selves through constitutional channels.

However, Bevin felt

justified in the Sudan Protocol of alluding to a symbolic dynastic union between Egypt and the Sudan, provided that neither the existing system of administration nor the present arrangements for Sudanese defense be changed in the least.

He made an especial point of the Sudanese right to

self-government and to choose the future status of the Sudan. The text agreed upon by Bevin and Sidky Pasha read as follows; The policy which the High Contracting Parties under­ take to follow in the Sudan within the framework of the unity between the Sudan and Egypt under the common Crown of Egypt will have for its essential objectives to assure the well-being of the Sudanese, the development of their


interests, and their active preparation for self-govern­ ment, and, consequently, the exercise of the right to choose the future status of the Sudan. Until the High Contracting Parties can in full common agreement realize this latter objective after consultation with the Sudan­ ese, the Agreement of 1899 will continue and Article 11 of the Treaty of 1938, together with its Annex and para­ graphs llj. and l6 of the Agreed Minute annexed to the same Treaty, will remain in force notwithstanding the first Article of the present Treaty. Sidky Pasha had scarcely left England, however, be­ fore reports appeared in the Egyptian press that His Majesty*s Government had agreed to the unity of Egypt and the Sudan without the ultimate right of self-determination. The Egyptians showed that they intended the political evolu­ tion of the Sudanese to stop short at self-government under the Egyptian Crown, with complete independence out of the question.

Nokrashy Pasha stated in the Egyptian Chamber of

Deputies that, Mwhen I say unity of Egypt and the Sudan under the Egyptian Crown, I mean a permanent unity.” The Sudanese reaction to such statements was bitter­ ness against the British for seemingly having broken their pledge.

There was some rioting and a plitical boycott of

the Sudan Government, but the Governor-General, Sir Hubert Huddleston, because of the great confidence which he had inspired in the Sudan, was finally able to quiet Sudanese fears and to restore faith in the administration.

As quoted by Ernest Bevin to the House of Commons, January 2 7 9 194-7 *

25 In the light of these developments, Bevin felt that he could not recommend the Protocol to the Cabinet and Par­ liament without first securing from Egypt an agreed inter­ pretation of its terms, categorically specifying the right of the Sudanese eventually to choose freely their future status.

This he was unable to obtain from the Egyptian

Government even though he offered to sign the mutual assist­ ance treaty and the evacuation protocol, to guarantee the safeguard of Egyptian interests in the Sudan, and to discuss anew the Sudan question at a conference between themselves and the Sudanese. In the meanwhile, on the 27th of November, the Egyptian Cabinet approved the terms of the draft treaty, including the evacuation and Sudan protocols, and informed the British Government that Egypt was prepared to sign the treaty in its existing form.

Proceedings broke down at this

point, however, as Great Britain felt unable to accept the Sudan Protocol as long as the Egyptians interpreted it to mean British support in denying the Sudanese complete free­ dom of choice in regard to their future status.

The British

believed in this free choice even though it might be for a complete union with Egypt; their policy was not, as the Egyptians accuse, directed towards inciting the Sudanese

to secede from Egypt.^*9

Egyptian allegations that the

negotiations were terminated because of Egypt's inability to obtain satisfaction on the evacuation of British troops from Egypt were likewise incorrect, for the British Govern­ ment had already agreed to the complete withdrawal of troops by 1914-9 * which would quite fairly give a short period for the winding up of their affairs there.

The accusation

that the Sudanese would only be able to express their views freely when British troops had been evacuated from the Sudan was also false, for the British forces, the same as the Egyptian ones, are there at the Governor-General's disposal for the defense of that country and for no other reason. The British offer to deal with the Sudanese question separately and to sign the evacuation protocol and treaty of mutual assistance by themselves was again rejected b y the Egyptian Government who, on the 25th of January, informed the British Ambassador in Cairo that it had decided to pre­ sent the case to the United Nations. The Egyptian question first appeared on the agenda of the Security Council in August, 19^4-7•

Th© membership at

this time was composed of representatives of Australia, Belgium,. Brazil, China, Colombia, France, Poland, Syria, the

^■9 gee Mr. Clement Attlee's statement, Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons, 5th Series, Vol. PP* lllfl-qE.

27 Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Mahmoud Fahmy Nokrashy Pasha was invited

to the Council table to join their ranks during the discus­ sions, as a representative of Egypt.

The report of these

proceedings will be presented here in chronological order and will then be followed by an evaluation of some of the most important arguments presented.

Treatment of the issues

involved which do not affect the Sudan question will be kept at a minimum even though they occupied an equally Important place in the Council’s deliberations. Nokrashy Pasha opened the discussions on August 5, stating that while the issue at stake was merely an inci­ dental problem of empire to G-reat Britain, to Egypt it was a question of her very existence and, as well, a threat to the peace and security of the entire Middle East.

He asserted

that the conditions under which the Treaty of 1936 had been negotiated were now non-existent and that the Treaty had thus outlived its purpose.

However, as the price of evacua­

tion, the United Kingdom was now trying to force an onerous alliance on Egypt and to secure furtherance of a regime in the Sudan started in 1899* under which the British held all the authority even though this violated Egyptian sovereign rights.

To effect these ends, he charged the United Kingdom

officials of having tried to stir up bad feeling between the Sudanese and Egyptians.

28 He said, ‘•in all frankness, we are here to challenge the basic assumptions of nineteenth century imperialism. We ask the Security Council to affirm that in the twentieth century the world has moved on.,f^

He further requested the

Security Council to direct the immediate, complete, and un­ conditional evacuation of all United Kingdom forces from the Nile Valley, meaning by this the Sudan as well as other parts of Egyptian territory, and to direct termination of the United Kingdom administrative regime in the Sudan.


claimed that the twenty second parallel boundary separating Egypt and the Sudan was a British invention, wholly arti­ ficial and without geographical justification, the Nile Valley being a single indivisible entity*

He presented

certain historical evidence to support this view, evidence which will not be considered here as it will appear in more detailed form later in this paper. The following are some of the other major allegations made b y Nokrashy Pasha during this first address.

The 1899

Agreement was meant only as a practical arrangement under temporary conditions.

In giving all civil and military

authority to one offiber, the Governor-General, it estab­ lished a peace-time military autocracy so complete and

United Nations: Security Council, Official Records, 2nd Year, No. 70, 175th Meeting, p. 17^-9*

unmitigated as to have no parallel in modern history.


Governors-General have always been British and likewise all of the high officials under them.

Laws have even been pro­

mulgated without notice being given to the Egyptian Govern­ ment, a gross violation of the 1899 Agreement.

The United

Kingdom has tried to screen its actions in the Sudan by isolating the country from the outer world and even from Egypt.

No consuls are admitted and an attempt has been made

to shift the natural northward trend of trade toward the Red Sea instead.

Through this policy of separation, the British

have suppressed the weekly prayers for the Egyptian King in the Sudanese mosques, have restricted Egyptian immigration and participation in Sudanese affairs, and have tried to create a separate Sudanese nationality.

The British have

also attempted to keep the Sudanese backward and to divide them internally between the north and the south. Following this initial statement of the Egyptian representative, Sir Alexander Cadogan took the floor to present the United Kingdom view of the issue.

He first

pointed out that the revision of the 1936 Treaty which Sidky Pasha and Mr. Bevin had initialed had been rejected by Egypt on the issue of the ultimate freedom of choice of the Sudanese people and on this issue alone, most of Egyptfs present claims being totally unrelated to this single factor. Had Egypt agreed to sign the treaty of mutual assistance and

30 the evacuation protocol separately, as offered by the British Foreign Secretary, total evacuation of the United Kingdom troops from Egyptian territory would have been secured by September, 194-9» and the Sudanese question could have been reserved for a later conference. He went on to say that the 1936 Treaty, by its own Article l6, is valid until 1956 unless revised in a manner acceptable to both parties.

Great Britain could have re­

fused negotiations entirely the year before, and since -these broke down the Treaty is still effective and Egypt has no valid case to present to the Security Council.

Pacta sunt

servanda is a fundamental principle of international law and the basis of the United Nations Charter itself.


if the Treaty is valid, the Security Council can do nothing except strike this matter from its agenda.

The Egyptian

argument that the Treaty has outlived its purposes is an appeal to the doctrine of rebus sic stantibus and contrary to basic principles of international law.

A threat to peace

is involved only if Egypt herself is contemplating a move in this direction. The rest of Sir Alexander*s statement was to the ef­ fect that in 1936, Egypt as an independent State had freely agreed to a continuation of the administrative system started in the Sudan in 1899 and. that even in the more recent Sudan Protocol initialed by Sidky Pasha and Bevin in October,

31 19lf6, had accepted this system; subsequent rejection of the Protocol was not on this issue.

In 19^4-6, also, the Egyptian

Government had agreed to the stationing of both United King­ dom and Egyptian forces in the Sudan although Egypt*s pres­ ent demand was that the former be removed. He finished by saying that the Government of the Sudan,- rather than showing any anti-Egyptian bias, had al­ ways been completely impartial and that the British Govern­ ment had never sought to influence it toward any other policy. The difficulty arose because f,Egypt was not prepared to accord to the Sudan that freedom to choose complete independence which Egypt so ardently claims to be the right of other territories and which it had itself received from the United Kingdom. The debate was resumed on August 11, with Nokrashy Pasha terming the British representative *s statement an "unrestrained apology for nineteenth century imperlalisiiP and expressing surprise that the British should feel any pride in their record in Egypt and the Sudan.

He claimed that the

mission of the Council was to preserve peace and security, not to adjudicate on legal rights, and that many times in history the obsolescence of a treaty had led to a disturbance of the peace.


He condemned the Treaty under consideration

Ibid** 176th Meeting, August


P« 1770

32 as not being an agreement between equals, having been con­ cluded by Egypt under the pressure of the circumstanees attending impending w a r . ^ He then turned to the Sudan question, saying again that the Sudanese people had been deliberately kept in a backward position with education withheld from them and that even the British meant only the far distant future when they referred to Sudanese self-determination*

He termed the re-

ferrence to consulting the Sudanese 11through constitutional channels** ridiculous in light of the fact that there had never been an election there during the forty eight years of United Kingdom administration#

He continued that Egypt

would not bargain with any intruder over the future of the Sudanese, relations between the peoples of the two parts of the Nile Valley being considered by the Egyptian Government as an internal, domestic matter only#

Prom the very start

of the recent negotiations, the Egyptian delegation had in­ sisted on the recognition of this unity as a sine qua non of any agreement*

In one of the drafts, Mr* Bevin recognized

this but later divergent interpretations were given t o the draft, the United Kingdom maintaining that only a **recognition of symbolic sovereignty** was meant#


Bevin*s request

This seems to be a rather specious type of reason** ing, as all treaties are the products of the circumstances under which they originate*

33 that Sidky Pasha send him a "letter of interpretation" stat­ ing that the initialed draft protocol was really an affirma­ tion of the existing status in the Sudan was, of course, re­ fused but so undermined Egyptian confidence in British good faith in declaring its willingness to recognize Egyptian and Sudanese unity under the Crown of Egypt that the only recourse seemed to be to submit the matter to the Security Council. A statement by Sir Alexander Gadogan followed, in which he first took the occasion to reply to the Egyptian Premier*s speech of August 5 even though he felt, as he said, that these matters were irrelevant to the actual question before the Council.^3

He undertook to correct certain mis­

statements concerning the British occupation of Egypt and the history of the Sudan and to point out that nineteenth century conduct should only be judged by standards of that same period, that Egyptian expansion at that time was just as imperialistic as Great Britain's and that its penetration into the Sudan under Mohammed Aly was certainly not accom­ plished solely by peaceful methods.

He tried to show that

the political unity of the Nile Valley was but a myth, that

The British thesis throughout the negotiations was that the 193& Treaty was still valid and that Egypt thus had no basis for bringing these other issues up before the Council. Egypt, however, forced the British delegate into arguing the questions introduced by her representative•

from 66l B.C. until 1821, when Mohammed Aly was able to invade the Sudan because of internal dissension there, the present frontier had existed between Egypt and the Sudan in spite of Nokrashy Pasha’s claim that this boundary was a British invention.

Although linked by the Nile, he said,

Egypt and the Sudan are otherwise separated by hundreds of miles of desert.

The common language and religion linking

the Egyptians and the northern Sudanese are connections shared equally by many other peoples who were once part of the Ottoman Empire; the southern Sudanese have no links with the Egyptians at all* He next charged the sixty years of Egyptian rule with being oppressive to the extreme, a great part of the success of the Mahdist revolt being due to the hatred felt by the Sudanese toward this Egyptian control.

The reason Great

Britain advised Egypt to evacuate the Sudan at this time was because it did not feel able to undergo the financial and military commitments necessary to give Egypt enough assist­ ance to effect a successful reconquest.

Later, when the

Egyptian finances and army had been more firmly organized, Her Majesty’s Government furnished substantial financial and military aid for reconquering the Sudan.

Nokrashy Pasha’s

assertion that United Kingdom forces played but a small part in this reconquest was a glaring perversion of history. sides the parts played by the organizing genius of Lord


35 Kitchener and by the British in remodelling the Egyptian army, the total number of British officers and men killed and wounded in almost every engagement exceeded the number of Egyptians.^

The condominium devised in 1899 was chosen

as the best possible arrangement in the light of four main factors which had to be taken into consideration.

These were

(1) Egypt*s claims to the Sudan, never abandoned although not exercised for over twelve years, coupled with the fact that two thirds of the military troops and two thirds of the cost of the reconquest were furnished by Egypt and that it was on the basis of Egyptian claims that Marchand*s French expedition had withdrawn from the Sudan;

(2) One third of

the cost and troops plus almost all of the leaders of the expedition were furnished by Great Britain;

(3) Sudanese

administration would be simplified if it could be kept separate from the- Capitulations and other internal restric­ tions in force in Egypt; and (ij_) Former Egyptian rule in the Sudan had been inefficient and tyrannical and had left the Sudanese with a bitter hatred of the Egyptians.^5

It was

because of this hatred and because there were no Egyptians experienced enough to undertake the positions, that the

Cadogan supported this statement by statistical evidence. United Nations: Security Council, p£. cit., No. 73 $ 179th Meeting, August 11, 19^7 » P» 1881. ^

Ibid.* PP* 1881-82.

36 Gove mors-General and high officials had all been British* The British representative then continued his answer to Egyptian criticisms by saying that freedom of speech and of the press is greater in the Sudan than in most other east­ ern countries and that any recent curtailment of it was necessitated by the violence'occasioned by certain proEgyptian demonstrations and by the feelings aroused in the Sudan b y the Egyptian press fs publication of statements at­ tributed to Sidky Pasha to the effect that the United King­ dom had agreed to hand the Sudan over to Egypt*

By these

demonstrations, the majority of the Sudanese showed that they did not desire union with Egypt* He denied that any laws had been promulgated by the Governor-General without the Egyptian Council of Ministers being notified and charged that Egyptian policy had always been to ignore the Sudan Government as much as possible and to try to establish branches of its own departments in the Sudan instead of cooperating with those already

t h e r e . ^ 6


pointed out that steps had already been taken to initiate self-government,

the Advisory Council for the Northern Sudan

having been established in 19^-

now about to be replaced

by a legislative assembly and an executive council, both op­ posed by Egypt, however.

26 Ibid.,

p .


Many Sudanese are now filling high

37 administrative posts and they, and the British officials as well, have started at the bottom and worked up on their own merits.

Many of these posts might have belonged to Egyptians

had there not been a reluctance of the properly qualified ones to face the discomfort of service in the Sudan; there was never any discrimination against recruiting them.


Sudan Government is not a military autocracy, the garrison consisting merely of two United Kingdom battalions and one Egyptian one at Khartoum and an Egyptian artillery unit in Port Sudan.

The United Kingdom troops have not been used

for purposes of internal security since 192!^..

Civil authori­

ty is backed by the civil police and the reserve strength of the Sudan Defense Force, both officered for the most part by Sudanese* Sir Alexander then expressed surprise that resistance to European penetration in the Sudan should have evoked Egyptian criticism when on all other issues they had shown such strong anti-foreign sentiments.

He also questioned the

Egyptian indignation at the proposal to appoint a Sudanese as Grand Cadi and their claim that the post should always be held by an Egyptian.

This attitude was counter to the 193&

Treaty stipulation that preference be given to qualified Sudanese and also seemed a contradiction of the Prime M i n i s ter^ assertion that Egyptians and Sudanese are one and

38 the same, an indivisible race and people*^7 He defended the administrative distinctions made between the northern and southern parts of the Sudan as hav­ ing been dictated by the need of protecting a primitive people from their more advanced northern neighbors and pro­ tested that it had not been made in an effort to split the country in two*

The order to omit the King!s name from the

Friday prayers was originally made by a religious, not a civil authority, he said* In considering the Egyptian doctrine that the geo­ graphical unity created by a river essential for irrigation must also entail a political unity, the British delegate pointed out that a great part of the Nile basin lies not in Egypt or the Sudan but rather in Ethiopia, Uganda, and the Belgian Congo, with the source of almost all of the Nile's water being located in these three countries.

He warned

that should the Sudan be annexed by Egypt because in a posi­ tion to interfere with the latter*s water supply, similar claims might be extended to these other lands as well* Great Britain had always recognized that Egyptian water rights should be guaranteed, he said, and had proposed as

27 This same error in Egyptian reasoning is frequently evident; Egyptians and Sudanese are proclaimed to be the same, but, at the same time, Sudanese advancement is impeded*

39 a prerequisite to Sudanese assumption of full independence the conclusion of suitable arrangements between Egypt and the Sudsur in regard to the Nil© waters.

He ended his state­

ment with an apology for answering the Egyptian Prime Minister at such length when the real point at issue was the validity of the 1936 Treaty. The debates on the Egyptian question were resumed by the Council on August 13 and started with a speech by Cadogan in which he again set forth the British viewpoint that the Sudanese should have complete independence should that be their desire.

As proof that Egyptian policy differ­

ed from this, he quoted a statement made by Nokrashy Pasha in the Chamber of Deputies the preceding D e c e m b e r . I n refuting the charge that the Sudanese had been kept in a backward condition and denied education, he mentioned that 115 out of 713 posts in the First Division were held by Sudanese, that two Sudanese were judges of the High Court, and that others were district commissioners, medical of­ ficers, and so on.

Remembering the state of the Sudan in

1899 and the limited funds available at first, progress there had been remarkable, he said, and he hoped that the Council members would read of this in more detail in the Record of Progress, copies of which had been distributed


See page 2ij. of this paper.

among them. ^ 9 A short reply b y Nokrashy Pasha followed, with his using this same Record of Progress as proof of some of his arguments.

He said that even the British admitted that the

administration in the Sudan had been far from successful and quoted from page thirteen to the effect that the administra­ tion has Mbeen reluctant to throw open the south until its inhabitants could stand on their own feet and the process of equipping them to do so has been long delayed.w

He charged

that the same and following pages of the same book mentioned the possibility of division of the Sudan into two parts and quoted another British publication30 in support of Egyptian claims that Sudanese trade had been diverted from the Nile Valley to Red Sea ports* Both representatives of the two contending parties having thus presented their basic arguments, the President of the Council opened the matter for general discussion by the Council members. The Polish delegate, Mr. Juliusz Katz-Suchy, went on record as understanding the viewpoint of each side, as

29 Sudan Government, The Sudan, a Record of Progress, lS98-19li.7. 30 John Almeric de Courcy Hamilton, editor, The Anglo Egyptian Sudan from Within (London: Paber and Paber, Ltd.,

1935), p . 167.

believing in the legality of submitting the issue to the Security Council, and as considering the Treaty to have out­ lived its purpose.

He pledged Polish support of the Egyptian

demand for immediate, complete, and unconditional evacuation of United Kingdom troops from Egypt and the Sudan but de­ clared that the question of the Sudan should receive separate consideration, as it was not merely a dispute between Egypt and the Sudan but also affected the future of six million Sudanese.

He pointed out that the British interests in the

Sudan were based on the right of conquest, a valid right, and recognized as such by international law, in 1899 6ut currently considered invalid and even declared thus by the United Nations Charter#

He concluded by saying that MThe

primary objective of the United Nations and of this Council should be not the demands and interests of the administering Powers, but the development of self-government and free political institutions for the peoples of the

S u d a n .

r,3 1

Should the Sudanese demand unity with Egypt, however, Poland would support their desires# At the August 20th meeting, the first speaker was the Brazilian delegate, Mr. Joao Carlos Muniz, who declared that his delegation was of the opinion that the situation in

^ United Nations, op. cit•, No. 75* 182nd Meeting, August 13> 19^-7# PP* 1965-56.

question presented no immediate danger to international peace and that the Security Council was not justified in taking any action in relation to it.

He presented a draft

resolution recommending the resumption of direct negotiations by the United Kingdom and Egypt, the progress of which should be reported to the Council.32 Mr. Andrei Gromyko, representing the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, took the opposite viewpoint, accepting the dispute as a valid matter for Security Council scrutiny and offering Russian support of the Egyptian request for withdrawal of United Kingdom troops from Egypt and the Sudan. He felt the Council unable to act on the Sudan question, however, without a more extensive knowledge of the aims of the Sudanese people themselves. The Chinese representative, Mr. T. P. Tsiang, sup­ ported the Brazilian resolution.

He failed to see how the

Council could recommend any action which would deprive the Sudanese of the right of self-determination.

He urged, how­

ever, that Great Britain take greater care in maintaining strict neutrality among her personnel in the Sudan and that condominium arrangements be changed in such a way as to assure the Egyptian Government that promotion of Sudanese

Ibid., Ho. 80, 189th Meeting, August 20, 19^4-7» p. 2109.

k-3 welfare and self-government would in no way prejudice the future status of their country* The American, French, and Belgian delegations like­ wise declared themselves in favor of the resolution.


was agreeable to Cadogan, also, although he said he hoped to see added to it a definite pronouncement by the Council that the Treaty of 193& remained valid.

In the absence of this,

he felt that the resolution should indicate that, should the negotiations fail again, any dispute on the Treaty1s validity should be referred to the International Court of Justice. On August 22, Nokrashy Pasha spoke again and expressed regret at the Brazilian delegations interpretation of the Charter in^the formation of its resolution and especially at the exclusion from it of any specific reference to the termination of British administration in the Sudan.


reiterated the great danger of division and dismemberment threatening the Sudan, again confirming his charge by reference to the Record of Progress.

He swore that Egypt

would not forsake the Sudanese but would do everything in its power to protect them from a foreign imperialism and the loss of their identity "in a vast conglomeration of subject peoples."33

Ibid., No. 82, 193rd Meeting, August 22, 19^4-7>

p. 2167•


On August 26, the Council continued the discussion of the Brazilian resolution and the several proposed amendments to it, and further argued the question of whether or not the matter was properly the concern of the Council.

The Council

President and delegate from Syria, Mr. Payez El-Khouri, declared it the duty of the Council to effect the evacuation of United Kingdom troops from Egypt and the Sudan and stated that adoption of any resolution not providing for this would possibly cause a breach of the peace not only in Egypt but elsewhere in the Near East as well. An Australian amendment was proposed which stipulated that any direct negotiations affecting the future of the Sudan should include consultation with the Sudanese.


this, Nokrashy Pasha expressed the Egyptian desire to work out the Sudan*s future in cooperation with the Sudanese but that it would have to be with the Sudanese acting of their own free will and unhampered by British occupation.


maintained his objections to the Brazilian resolution and said that they were stronger than ever with the addition of the Australian amendment. The meeting came to a close with Cadogan again urging adoption of the Brazilian resolution in its amended form and repeating how willing the British Government was to resume negotiations and how fervently it hoped for their success.’

45 At the next discussion, on August 28, Gromyko criti­ cized the Brazilian resolution on the grounds that direct negotiations had already been given a trial and had proved unsatisfactory, that they would not be fair anyway while British troops still remained on Egyptian soil, and that failure to present a decision would mean that the Security Council was evading its responsibility.

Because of these

reasons, he said, the Russian delegation would not support the resolution# Mr. Lopez, from Colombia, announced that his delega­ tion would support the resolution but would recommend wording it less vaguely.

The French delegate, Mr. Guy de la

Tournelle, pledged that France would vote in favor of the resolution and its amendments.

A more or less general dis­

cussion followed and ended with a vote being taken on the resolution and its proposed amendments.

All failed to

secure the necessary affirmative votes of seven members.


accordance with Article 27 of the Charter, the United King­ dom representative did not take part in the voting. The meeting finished with the proposal of a new resolution by Colombia.3^4-

This suggested that direct

negotiations be resumed with a view to the earliest possible evacuation of British forces from Egypt, arrangements being

3k p. 2305.

Ibid.» No. 86, 198th. Meeting, August 28, 1947 >

4.6 made for mutual assistance to safeguard the Suez Canal, and to ending the present administration in the Sudan with due regard to the principle of self-determination and the right of a people to self-government.

The two Governments were* to

keep the Council informed of the progress of these negotiati ons • At the afternoon meeting on the same day, the new Colombian resolution was explained in some detail by its author and was discussed by the other Council members* Nokrashy Pasha objected as strenuously to this resolution as to the former one, again saying that the Sudan question was purely a domestic matter and that Egypt objected to any dis­ cussion of it with Great Britain* The debate on August 29 followed a similar trend but with several delegates criticizing the Colombian proposal as too inflexible and expressing a desire to revert to the formula of the Brazilian resolution.

A vote taken on the

Colombian resolution did not pass. The next discussion of the Egyptian question took place on September 10.

Peeling that the key to the whole

problem was the evacuation of the United Kingdom troops, Mr. Tsiang proposed a resumption of Anglo-Egyptian negotia­ tions for this purpose alone, with the Council to receive a

report of these not later than January 1* 19i|.8 *35


Egyptian delegate objected to this on the grounds that Egypt would be in a position of inequality in any such negotiations as long as British troops were on her soil*

Cadogan also

found this resolution unacceptable, wishing instead to have any negotiations deal with all phases of the dispute just as the original ones had*

He mentioned how impossible it would

be for British troops to exert the pressure suggested by Nokrashy Pasha as any such irregularity would, of course, be reported to the Security Council at once* Arguments pro and con ensued and at last a vote was taken*

The resolution failed to pass*

It was then decided

to postpone any further consideration of the Egyptian ques­ tion as a complete impasse seemed to have been reached*


issue was to be retained on the Council agenda, however, where it might be taken up again at the request of any mem­ ber or of either of the two parties involved* Thus, it was found impossible to solve the contro­ versy over revision of the 193& Treaty even by recourse to the Security Council.3&

Although still on the agenda of the

Ibid*, No. 88, 201st Meeting, September 10, 19^7* p. 23i|4* 38 p or a humorous political poem on the breakdown of treaty negotiations, see Sagittarius (Olga Katzia), f,Er-Bev and Phat-Farouk,11 New Statesman and Nation* 33*91* February 1, 19^4-T•

latter, it has never again been brought up for discussion* Direct negotiations have not been resumed either*


the more cooperative attitude shown by the Egyptians at present might suggest that a solution to this trouble will be possible some time in the future. Most of the basic arguments presented by both sides were brought out above*

In the next chapter, we shall go a

little more deeply into the reasoning and evidence behind these, noting that those of the Egyptians are based mostly on historical legality while those of the British find their basis in administrative achievement.

CHAPTER IV CONSIDERATION OP BRITISH AND EGYPTIAN CLAIMS Probably the best arguments in support of British policy in the Sudan will be found in an examination of the progress that has been made there during the past half c e n t u r y . 37

Although legally the administration during this

period was as much E g ypt!s as Great Britain*s, it must be remembered that in reality, Great Britain dominated the scene the entire time so that conditions, either good or bad, may in most cases be safely attributed to her* Inasmuch as the Sudan*s economy is based almost entirely on agriculture, achievements in this field are perhaps the most important of all* by rainfall into three main regions;

The country is divided (1) the arid desert in

the north with scant, irregular rainfall where agriculture depends on the natural flooding of the Nile or upon artifi­ cial irrigation;

(2) the wide, central belt with an average

amount of rainfall, but occurring so briefly (July to October) that only quick-maturing crops can be cultivated; and (3) the south with sufficient rainfall but hampered by swamps, tse-tse fly and similar pests, and a sparse population.


Much of the evidence presented here will be found also in the Record of Progress, which Cadogan had distributed to the Security Council members in support of his case*

50 Prom the earliest surveys, it was determined that crops dependent solely on rainfall or river flooding would never secure sufficient water to meet their demands.


irrigation schemes were among the first projects envisaged. Work on these was handicapped by the First World War, but the S e n n a r D a m was finally completed in 1925 about iLll,000,000 sterling.

a cost of

It was constructed in connec­

tion with the so-called Gezira Scheme, the most extensive and noteworthy of all Sudanese

projects. This plan has

brought irrigation to the area between the Blue and the White Niles known as the Gezira.

The Scheme operates as a

partnership between the Sudan Government, the native culti­ vators, and the specialized management of the Sudan Planta­ tion S yndic a t e ^ and the Kassala Cotton Company.


profits are divided on the basis of i|.0 per cent, Ij.0 per cent, and 20 per cent respectively, among the three partners.


follows the historical custom of sharing irrigated crops between the cultivators on the one hand and the owners of the land and implements on the The construction of the

other. Sennar Dam plus advances to

the Syndicate for certain permanent works of its own were made possible by three loans of the Sudan Government, coming out in five installments between October, 1919 an8 November,

38 A trust headed by Friedrich Beit and Company of London.

51 192if.

I»et us examine now for a moment the provisions under

which this money was raised, taking especial notice of the British taxpayerTs direct interest in the project.


financing was done under three different British Acts, the 1919 ‘’Government of the Sudan Loan Act,1* by which the British Government guaranteed the interest on the bonds, the 1922 f,Trade Facilities and Loans Guarantee Act,M and the 192lf f,Trade Facilities Act.**

Finally, Parliament guaranteed for

the Sudan Government, loans up to a total of


sterling.39 The amount of water available for the Gezira project is limited by certain agreements with E g y p t , ^ during the surplus season by a specified maximum discharge in the Gezira main canal and during the slack season by a fixed volume of water for all purposes which is based on the con­ tents of the Sennar reservoir. The use of the land has been nationalized, with the Government having assumed entire control of it although the renting and cultivation of the lands is under the manage­ ment of the Syndicate.

Two thirds of each holding is sown

with fodder and crops for the tenant!s own use, the other

39 Pierre Crabites, The Winning of the Sudan (London: G. Routeledge and Sons, Ltd., 1935T7p* 200. ^

See Chapter VI of this paper.

52 third being devoted to the cultivation of cotton, with the gross profits being devided between tenant, Syndicate, and Government in proportions of lj_0 per cent, 25 per cent, and 35 per cent*

No owner in the district can withhold his land

from the Scheme, but each receives a rent equivalent to the highest market rate before commencement of the Scheme as well as original priority option to tenancies* The Government lands policy has had the dual aim of protecting the reasonable interests of the native land owners and of developing the land for agricultural and building purposes*

A Proclamation in 1905 forbad the sell­

ing, mortgaging, or disposing of his land by any Sudanese native without the written consent of the Governor of the province*

This provision was repeated in the 1918 Natives

Disposition of Lands Restriction Ordinance, with a subse­ quent amendment allowing the Governor to delegate his powers of consent to local administrative authorities*

This law

has done a great deal to protect ignorant peasants and is an example of how legislation has safeguarded the interests of local proprietors. A law deeming all unregistered land to belong to the Government until the contrary is proved has provided large areas for official use and for the initiation of schemes for the best possible development of the land.

The former

policy of granting freehold has been replaced by that of

giving leasehold grants, with full security of tenure only as long as the land is put to its best use#

This plan seems

to serve the interests of the people as a whole best and has not dampened initiative* Obstacles to the proper development of privately owned land have been removed by the Disposal of Unoccupied Town and Village Lands Ordinance -of 1922, which provides for the auction of any unoccupied town or village plot which the owner has refused to develop or sell, and by the Lands Acqui­ sition Ordinance of 1930* which provides for expropriation, with compensation, of any land required for a public purpose. These essential elements of Government policy have been mani­ fest in the Gezira Scheme.

They all recognize that the

future of the Sudan depends upon the proper use of its land. Private interests receive the highest respect, but the absentee or uneconomical landlord is not allowed to exist at the expense of the entire community. The Gezira Scheme has been so successful that through direct and indirect revenues it has contributed not only to *

general administrative costs but also to various social services and new agricultural undertakings elsewhere in the Sudan.

The tenantsf shares now amount to more than a million

pounds a year and are a great stimulus to the circulation


Sudan, a Record of Progress, 1898-19^7, p* k-3*

5k of trade.

The tenants have been encouraged to raise animals

and their own food supplies as well as cotton so that health and nutritional standards will not be impaired by any set­ back in relation to the cash crop.

The tenant is the re­

cipient of many advantages under the Scheme. water are rent-free and his crops tax-free.

His land and When extra

labor is needed, he receives a loan to cover hiring costs. Instruction, supervision, all the benefits of scientific research, and the proper tools and materials are all pro­ vided for him as well as the later transporting, ginning, 4

and marketing of his cotton*

Socialization stops here, how­

ever, for profits and crops are not pooled; each tenant receives his cotton profits on the basis of his own yield, and his grain and other Grops are his alone. The Companies1 concession ends in 1950, and the management function will be assumed by a public utility board.

The entire assets of the Scheme will thus become the

property of the country as a whole. Agricultural reforms and improvements are being carried out in other parts of the Sudan as well.


irrigation is being used in the northern and central regions, and flush irrigation from the flood torrents of Sudanese rivers other than the Nile is also utilized, with most of such schemes run as a co-partnership between tenants and Government.

55 Cotton is, of course, the chief cash crop of the central area; that of the north will in the future probably be fruit, as expansion of the production of this is now under­ way.

Pood needs have been so great in the south that pro­

duction of cash crops has taken a secondary place*


food shortages have been considerably lessened, and plans for agricultural expansion are in progress* The work of the Research Division of the Department of Agriculture and Forests has invoked praise from many international experts*

Excellent results have been attained

in pest and disease control, in plant pathology and breeding, and in cultural methods*

Prominent among achievements is

the evolving of a disease-resistant strain of cotton (X1730) which helped make the Gezira Scheme such a success*


work of the Division is passed on to the peasant through adult education plans and Young Farmers1 Clubs*


tural training has been introduced into the schools and higher training is offered by the School of Agriculture, which is a part of Gordon College. Considerable attention is being given to veterinary work, with great strides being made in the eradication of disease and the improvement of pastures*

It is hoped to

encourage a profitable Sudanese trade in meat, hides, and other animal products* The reconquest found the Sudan impoverished by long

56 years of famine, disease, and armed conflict so the first quarter of the century had to be devoted to counteracting the results of these evils— to increasing the acreage under cultivation, to improving agricultural methods, and to the growth of communications— all steps to aid the people in pre­ venting or minimizing the results of natural disasters and in making the best use of all their natural resources. These aims achieved, the second quarter of the century was ready for a further step forward, one heralded by the com­ pletion of the Sennar Dam and the canalization of 300,000 acres of the Gezira plain*

The Gezira Scheme benefitted its

own region immediately, and as well provided the food, employment, and the money for the home market which kept native trade solvent during the three years (1925-2 7 ) of drought and misfortune which directly followed its inception. It weathered the disastrous years of 1930, 1931> and 1933> when failure in cotton yields coincided with the effects of the world economic crisis and the Scheme threatened to be­ come a liability instead of an asset.

Finally, after the

successful search for a more resistant strain of cotton, the Scheme became the tr'iumph it is today. Elsewhere,

the Government continued putting the food

supply on a firm base so that more attention might be turned to the growth and export of cash crops*

Communications were

further extended and public utility services established.

57 Temporary setbacks were encountered during the^depression of 1931-32 when expenditure on new works and developments ceased, the reserves in cotton-growing districts were liqui­ dated, and rail and postal services were curtailed*


people, heartened by the abundance of locally produced food, which had been absent in similar catastrophes in the past, cooperated with all G-overnment measures, and by 193^» the worst was over and plans to push ahead could again be made* 1*2 Exports increased and standards were raised, making Sudanese products more acceptable in the world market#


cleaning of grain and sesame seed to 3 per cent impurities was instituted, and sales by private treaty were abandoned in favor of local auctions where the direct relation between quality and price could be noticed by the producer* World War II brought another crisis*

Within two

years, all reserve stocks of imported necessities had been used up.

A new War Supply Department was set up, and the

Defense of the Sudan Regulations gave the Controller-General complete powers to control imports, exports, and all other dealings with any kind of goods, including price-fixing and requisitioning*

Close ties with the Middle East Supply

Centre In Cairo and, indeed, with all territories in the

^ The rapid recovery made b y the Sudan from the effects of the depression is striking evidence of the success of British administrative measures and of the firm founda­ tion on which the country1s economy had been based.

Middle East Group were maintained in an effort to achieve self-sufficiency within the area and to save shipping space. The Sudan put enough acreage of wheat under irrigation to meet all her flour needs for three years, even though this involved considerable expense and was detrimental to the land.

Pood crops were made to replace cash crops, including

cotton, as much as possible. Rationing was instituted, the chief imported consumer goods affected being sugar, tea, coffee, wheat, textiles, and paraffin.

For several years, domestic millet and sesame

seed were also on the list.

Inflation was fought by fixed

maximum prices and fixed maximum margins of profits.^-3 Where too great a difference existed between internally con­ trolled prices and those in the countries receiving the ex­ ports, the trade was regulated by an official agency which passed all excess profits on to a Price Stabilization Reserve, which used them to keep down by subsidy the cost of important daily needs of the people, especially cotton piece goods.

Any balance left later was delegated for general

schemes of development.

This system was applied in all

cases except those few where the purchaser was allowed to enjoy the benefit of the Sudan1s low-priced economy, as in the sale of cotton to the United Kingdom and that of cattle

^•3 The Sudan, a Record of Progress, l898-19li-7. p. 50.

59 and sheep to the Middle East forces• The Sudan made a valuable contribution to the war effort through the output of its Stores and Ordnance Depart­ ment, expanded to fifteen times its pre-war size.


supplied the Sudan Defense Force and to a great extent the two Indian Divisions and other Imperial forces fighting with it against the Italians, who invaded the country from Eritrea.

Abyssinian patriot forces were also equipped, and

at the conclusion of the East African campaign, help was directed toward the armies fighting in North Africa and Burma*

The end of the war found Sudanese economic prosperity

considerably enhanced and inflation still under control through continuing price-control measures. Plans for post-war economic development were prepared during the war, even though actual execution was at the time impossible*

In the northern Sudan, the chief of these were

greater extension of the Gezira Scheme, mechanized farming in the central rain-belt, and commercial cultivation of bananas and other fruit.

In the south, the main plan is the

"Zanda11 Scheme aimed at ample food production plus cotton cultivation for a local spinning and weaving factory.


mercially, the people will have trading centers where they will learn to buy and sell in exchange for money instead of


Ibid., p. S k

6o goods.

Lack of raw materials and difficulties in transporta­

tion are deterrents to large scale industrial expansion, but, nevertheless, a modern mechanical tannery, two tomato-juice canning plants, and a perfume factory went into operation soon after the war, and other projects are now well under way. From the reconquest until 1912, the revenue of the Sudan was insufficient to cover costs.

The annual deficits

were met by the Egyptian Government, who also advanced money from time to time for Sudanese development works.

The total

debt amounted to£LE. 5, lfllj.,525> with repayment to begin by 19lj-9 if

before. In 1913 9 the budget of the Sudan showed its first

surplus, and Egyptian contributions were discontinued al­ though Egypt still defrayed the cost of maintaining the Egyptian Army in the Sudan.

The cost of British troops was

charged to the British Government. After World War I, the country*s finances improved strikingly, k-5 and prosperity was given a further boost by the inauguration of the Gezira Scheme in 1925*

The soundness

of Government financial practices was shown by the country's facile recovery from the economic disaster of the early 1930's*

Reserves were built up again and steps taken to

safeguard the country from the worst effects of economic

H S For import and export graphs, see Ibid., pp. 5l|--60.

6i disequilibrium overseas. By the outbreak of World War II, the Sudanese finan­ cial structure was on a sound enough foundation to weather the trouble ahead without calamity.

In the first year of

the war, the Sudan Government met all military costs, but in 19^4-0# the British Government undertook full responsibility for the Sudan Defense Force, subject to a contribution from the Sudan Government which amounted to^LE. 600,000 yearly. The Sudan also made two gifts of JL100,000 each to the British Government, one in recognition of Royal Air Force services in the Sudan and the other in celebration of the recovery of Kassala.

Another gift of the same amount was

made to the Government of India in appreciation of the part played by Indian troops in the freeing of the Sudan. W e have already examined some of the wartime measures

which enabled the Sudan to keep its inflationary tendencies at a level well below that of any other Middle East country. Taxation was also increased on groups benefitting from war conditions, and a compulsory savings scheme was introduced. Post-war budgets have been framed with world condi­ tions in mind.

Increased costs of living and supplies are

balanced by the abnormally high customs receipts resulting from high prices and increased imports.

Reserves are large

enough for the Government to pursue plans for advancement of the country^ economic and social welfare and at the same

62 time meet any emergencies, such as the 194& Nile flood which costiLE. 275,000 for rehabilitation assistance and other public relief measures. Because of the currency tie between the two, the Sudan was obliged to leave the sterling area along with Egypt on July lij., 1947* and since then has had to pay its own way in any transactions involving non-Egyptian currency. This had to be done by balancing imports with exports and led to rigid import controls which lasted until March, 1949* when it was decided that the Sudan*s economic position had become strong enough for them to be abolished. In 194-8* the Sudan1s account with Egypt was almost exactly balanced, and with .the rest of the world there was a balance of trade in the Sudan1s favor. todLE. 25,500,000 and were 59

Exports amounted

cent greater than in the

previous year, the increase being due chiefly to the high price of cotton.4&

Exports of gum arabic, melon-seed, dates,

and oil cake also increased in volume, with the United King­ dom taking 62 per cent by value of all exports, Egypt l4 per cent, and India and Pakistan 12 per cent.

Imports amounted

to3LE. 21,500,000, a 37 P©i* cent increase over those of 1947* the chief increase being in sugar, coffee, rice, cotton

46 The

figures quoted here are from the British Infor­ mation Services, MEeonomic Position of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, 1948“49*H Commonwealth Affairs, ID. 8 3 8 -VIII, Vol. LL, No. 4* July, 1949*

63 piece goods, timber, cement, and coal.

Of the total, 65 P©i*

cent came from sterling area countries, 22 per cent from and Eritrea, 5 per cent from dollar countries, and 8 per cent from elsewhere. The Sudan is linked by economic relations to the monetary policies of both Great Britain and Egypt, with the National Bank of Egypt and Barclays Bank (D.C. and 0.) both functioning there.

The former holds the Sudan Governmen t s

balance, and its banknotes circulate in the Sudan along with Egyptian coinage.

The unit of account is the Egyptian pound

(iLE. ) which is divisible into one hundred piastres


Trade in cash is now largely replacing the older barter system, and a much larger percentage of the population is using coinage than in prewar years* Early taxes were primarily on crops and animals but with the development of the country new taxes, direct and indirect, have had to be added to meet the higher costs of administration.

Western methods of assessment and collec­

tion have been introduced only when absolutely necessary, and a minimum of interference with production and enterprise has been the aim.

The chief direct taxes are the crop tax,

animal tax, land tax, house tax, and business profits tax, with the first two based in form on the accepted traditions of the country. k 7

Customs and sugar come under indirect

k-7 For current tax rates,

p. 68*

see the Sudan Almanac, 1950,

61*. taxation, with the basic rate of import duty 10 per cent ad valorem*

There is, however, a free list, one of reduced

rates, and one of even higher duties*

There is also a spe­

cial export duty of 1 per cent ad valorem.

According to the

condominium agreement, higher import duties cannot be imposed in the Sudan than those in force in Egypt, and all Egyptian goods have free entry into the S u d a n . W

Otherwise, the

Sudan maintains an open door policy in trade.

Not being a

part of the British Empire, it does not participate in “imperial Preference.11 These taxes, direct and indirect, provide some if0 per cent of the country's total revenue*

Another IfO per

cent comes from such Government or public enterprises as railways, irrigation, posts and telegraphs, and agriculture. Prom 1925 to 1937 9 Egypt contributed^JE. 750,000 annually to Sudanese administration as the equivalent of her former army expenses in the Sudan. k-9

This amount was later reduced

and the payment abolished entirely in 19lf0 . Improved communications have been an important factor in the success of all Sudanese projects.50

By 193 0 , the


British and Foreign State Papers, Vol. tyl, pp. 19~22.


^Ee Sudan, a Record of Progress, 1898-19^4-7> P* &9*

For a detailed account of Sudanese communications, see the Sudan Almanac, 1950* Chapter l5«

65 main needs of the country had been met by the State-owned railway and steamer services and the net-work of dry-weather roads and tracks feeding them.

The railway now covers 2,056

miles, and the steamer services 2,325 miles*

Since 1930,

there has been little need to extend either of these although some temporary tracks were laid to aid in the building of the Jebel Aulia Dam and to meet the- military demands of the last war. In 1908, Port Sudan was constructed at Mersa el Sheikh Burghut on the Red Sea and now offers some of the best berthing and coaling facilities between Port Said and Singapore. Improvements in railway service and equipment have been steadily effected, and an effort has been made to associate the Sudanese as closely as possible with the construction and operation of the system.

By now, they

hold nearly three quarters of the permanent, classified posts, drive all the engines, and are in control of all but the mainline routes from Khartoum to Wadi Haifa and Port Sudan.

The coaching stock, including the sleeping cars of

extraordinary comfort, is now constructed wholly in the Sudan. The degree to which the Sudanese can be associated with any of the country*s new projects and with its adminis­ tration depends, of course, on the amount of education

66 available for their training.51

The extension of education

was at first slow because of financial difficulties and was impeded later by the peasants 1 own impervious attitude to­ ward the entire idea of education and by the townsmen1s preference for purely literary rather than technical or manual education* ficult to recruit.

Native teachers were lacking and dif­ The taste for education eventually

spread, but its popularity was mainly due to its being con­ sidered as a gateway to Government employment.

This attitude

created an overabundance of office workers to the detriment of other fields needing men to aid in the advancement of the country.

Recently an attempt to overcome this onesidedness

has heen made by the establishment of more elementary schools with an emphasis on agricultural subjects and handicrafts. Government schools from the lowest level up through Gordon College are to be found in the north, but the Govern­ ment has taken little direct part in southern education, leaving it for the most part to the Christian missions. This dividing factor between the north and south, plus the use of English instead of Arabic in the southern schools, has caused some northern Sudanese to fear an ultimate split in the country, with part of the south possibly going to


Ibid., Chapter 13•

67 Uganda.^ Reconquest also brought the task of providing an adequate medical system for a suspicious, ill-nourished, and disease-ridden people*

It was soon realized that a well-

trained local staff presented the best answer to the problem. Now a large number of Sudanese men and women are responsible for the medical care of their fellow-countrymen* A system of over four hundred hospitals and dispen­ saries now serves the majority of the population*

This even

includes a fully-equipped hospital ship on the Upper White Nile which brings medical care to remote areas.

The most

important part of the system is probably the rural dispensary in charge of a Medical Assistant possessed of enough techni­ cal skill to diagnose and treat common diseases and to attend to accident victims*

As far as possible, the Assist­

ants are established in their own native districts* The Kitchener School of Medicine was founded in 192i|., financed by public subscriptions, mainly from the United Kingdom.

Many Sudanese doctors have been graduated already.

A large number of laboratory assistants, midwives, nurses, and so on are also receiving excellent training in the Sudan. The periodic epidemics which formerly took such a high

^ See Nokrashy Pasha*s reference to this above on pages 29 and i|*0 of this paper.

68 toll of life are now being brought under control.


vaccination campaigns, smallpox has been almost completely eradicated.

Sleeping sickness has been almost as successful­

ly handled, and the incidence of other diseases is being re­ duced.

The Public Health Service maintains strict supervi­

sion over matters of housing, food and drink, sanitation and refuse destruction, and disease and pest control.


among its achievements have been the control of the tse-tse fly in the south and the mosquito control measures which have produced a marked decline in malaria throughout the country. The foregoing are only a few of the many achievements accomplished in the Sudan during the last fifty years.


almost every instance they owe their success to thoughtful planning and able administration.

It has been attempted to

give full credit to Egyptian contributions in every possible instance; elsewhere the credit belongs almost exclusively to British ingenuity and effort, not overlooking, however, the increasingly notable contributions made by the Sudanese people themselves. Next let us examine some of the claims set forth by Nokrashy Pasha and his fellow-countrymen in support of their position.53 53 Most of these arguments were presented by Nokrashy Pasha in the Security Council debates. Additional ones are from Egypt Kingdom: Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Unity of the Nile Valley; Its Geographical Bases and its Manifestations in History (Cairo: Government Press, 19^7)•

69 The evidence the Egyptians present in defense of their claim of the unity of the Nile Valley and the inherent right of Egypt to control the Sudan can be divided into several categories.

First, there is the historical argument

based on manifestations of unity in ancient times.

Even in

the Predynastic Period, the Sudan was regarded as a continua­ tion of Egypt and intercourse between the two was frequent, with the south supplying the north with many material neeesities and receiving in return the benefits of Egyptian civil­ ization.

Constant relations were established during the Old

Kingdom, with the Sudan administered by HGovernors of the South” appointed by the Pharaohs.

This closeness continued,

with the Sudan (the area between the First Cataract and Khartoum and called Ethiopia by the Greeks and Romans) being retained by Egypt even though all foreign possessions were lost.

The capital was even moved to this southern region

for a while.

The unity was broken by the Assyrian invasion

of Egypt and was not reestablished until the end of Roman rule in Egypt, with such foreign rulers as the Ptolemies and Romans being more interested in constructing a maritime empire around the Mediterranean.

Pharaonic traditions, how­

ever, continued in the south, which managed to maintain in­ dependence for several centuries, even attempting to come to the aid of the north on a number of occasions.

This il­

lustrates the extent to which Egyptian influence had been

70 established in the Sudan by this period. Gradually this civilization deteriorated, however, and in the middle of the fourth century A.D., succumbed to the barbarous kingdom of Axum.

The culture of the south

languished when separated from the north just as it would again today if the separation advocated b y the imperialists were realized.54-

Egypt still remained, however, the channel

for transmission of various civilizations to the Sudan.


share, although very limited, of Greek and Roman culture penetrated southward from there and later Christianity came in from the same direction*

Arabization followed, here

again the main channel being through Egypt although a few secondary waves of Arabs came from elsewhere*

At present,

Arabs dominate almost all the eastern provinces except Bedjaland and all of the western ones as far south as the upper parts of Bahr-el-Ghazel and along the Nile as far as the town of Jebelein*

Arab blood is also widely found among

the Nilotes of the Upper Nile.

The spread of Islam did not

unify the Sudan, as it was the work of independent Arab tribes who divided the territory among local emirs,


ly at war with one another.

^ Dr* Ahmed Badawi and Dr. Ibrahim Noshi, M a n i f e s t a ­ tions of Unity in Ancient Times,11 Unity of the Nile Valley* p. 52.

71 It was not until the new Egyptian conquest of the early nineteenth century, which for the first time in history unified the area from Wadi Haifa to the Equatorial Province, that the Sudan was finally saved from chaos and anarchy. This was accomplished by the creation of a single EgyptianSudanese Fatherland and might be considered analogous to national consolidation being effected elsewhere in the world at the same time (e.g. the unification of Germany or Italy). Mohammed Aly made great improvements in the Sudan, Improve­ ments which should be judged only by early nineteenth century standards and not by comparison with those made later by others who had the aid of telegraphs, railroads, scientists, and so on.

His work was continued by Ismail, and the in­

tegrity of the Nile Valley was saved.

Many Important ex­

peditions of exploration were made, new towns founded, modern postal services and telegraph lines introduced.

The Egyp­

tians were also the ones who did most of the work and financing of the reconstruction of the Sudan.55 By these historical arguments, then, the Egyptians of today try to present a basis for their claim to the Sudan. Their explanation of events during the British period cen­ ters around the same theme.

When Ismail was dethroned by

^ The Egyptians tend to ignore as much as possible the British initiative and organization which underlay the reconstruction.

72 the Ottoman Sultanate in 1882, Great Britain seized this opportunity to occupy Egypt with military forces and to gain control over the different branches of administration. Egypt, however, never accepted this voluntarily and never ceased proclaiming its rights, especially in regard to the Sudan.

It was at this time that the Mahdist movement broke

out in the south.

The old Egyptian army had been disbanded

by Khedivial Decree and a new one was being formed under British direction and control.

The Egyptian Government was

not allowed use of this army to restore order in the Sudan, and at the same time, the British refused to interfere there either.

What Great Britain wanted, so goes the Egyptian

accusation, was to wait until complete anarchy reigned before intervening so that she would be able to claim that the area was a res nullius and thus legally open to British possession.3>6 Egyptian plans to enlist Turkish aid were thwarted by British stipulations that the Turkish forces should not tra­ verse Egypt en route to the Sudan and that all expenses should be met by Turkey.

At the same time, the British Government

recommended that the Egyptian Government abandon all terri­ tory south of Aswan, or at least south of Wadi Haifa.


it be noted, say the Egyptians, that at this time (1883) the

^ Mohammad Shafik Ghorbel Bey, "British Policy in Egypt and the Sudan," Unity of the Nile Valley, p. 6 6 .

73 British did not for on© moment take into consideration the plight of the Sudanese people.

Also, though they based

their policy ostensibly on the good of Egypt, they did not hesitate a little later to employ Egyptian soldiers, offi­ cials, and money to build up their own (British) authority in the Sudan.

The flying of the Egyptian flag there was to

help clear the French from the Wile Valley; it was not a symbol of Egyptian rights. Sherif Pasha, the Egyptian Premier, could neither morally nor practically accept the British proposal of abandonment, nor legally either, bound as he was by the Turkish firmans not to alienate any of his territory.


saw, too, how such a procedure would serve to augment the Mahdi*s power to such an extent that the safety and even the very existence of Egypt would be threatened.

In spite of

this, the British insisted on the acceptance of their advice, and Sherif was replaced by a Premier more amenable to the direction of Her Majesty1s Government. Finally, at the end of the century, the British decided that it was time to restore order in the Sudan. This decision was motivated by three circumstances, a sur­ plus in the Egyptian Treasury, the preparation of other Powers, especially France, to advance into the Valley of the Nile, and the extreme dependence of the Egyptian Government on England so that Egyptian troops could be used without

7k of restoration of Egyptian suzerainty.

Egyptians made up by

far the greatest number of the troops and bore most of the financial burden*

Railways and telegraph lines were built

in conjunction with the military operations, all expenses coming to a total of&E. 2, 35k> 354-•

Of this amount, the

British Treasury paid o n ly^E. 800,000.57 During the succeeding period, Great Britain was emphatic in her assertion of Egyptian rights in the Sudan and in her insistence that the Nile Valley was really one integrated region.

This attitude served as a warning to

Prance and provided use of Egyptian resources for rebuilding the Sudan, even though the British maintained actual ad­ ministrative control.

However, later when Egypt was no

longer under British authority and no further advantages could accrue to Great Britain from support of this view, her attitude was reversed, and she began to extol the rights of the Sudanese to independence, this to be achieved only after a period of further British guidance, however.


Britain1s real reasons for retaining the Sudan are far less altruistic according to Egyptian charges.58

One of these

is the exploitation of Sudanese natural resources and cheap


Ibid., p. 73.

5 5 Dr. Abbas Ammar,

"The Physical, Ethnographical, Cultural, and Economic Bases of the Unity,” The Unity of the Nile Valley, p. 31.

75 labor and the development of the Sudan as an exclusive market for British goods*

Another is use of the country for stra­

tegic and military reasons because of its coastline along the Red Sea and its common border with Uganda.

This excuse,

however, has been considerably weakened by the techniques of modern warfare, which have made protection of these vital British areas possible from farther abroad.

A third reason

is the feeling that the Sudan as an integral part of an in­ dependent national unit would threaten their colonial ambi­ tions in Central and Eastern Africa.

Here, the Egyptians

state, they are running counter to the new political trend toward development of as large nationalistic units as possible and are still supporting the outmoded tendency of encouraging local nationalism in small areas.

The logical

trend is toward integration of the entire Nile Valley as a single unit, but this is being constantly opposed by the imperialistic motives of G-reat Britain. Further bases for this claim of unity are physical and cultural in nature.

It is stated that there is a unity

in the identical topography of the Sudan and Egypt with no natural, insurmountable barrier between the two and only a very gradual change in climate and flora; the present Egyptain-Sudanese boundary is wholly artificial and not based on any natural or geographical demarcation.59

There has always

59 For Cadogan!s answer to this charge see pages 33-J|of this paper.

76 been a natural northward trend toward Egypt in spit© of recent British policy to divert this eastward toward Red Sea ports• Ethnically,

the basic characteristics of both Egyp­

tians and Nubians are predominantly Hamitic, and this Hamitic blood is even evident in the Negroid tribes of the south. Arabization was unable to destroy this underlying influence, as Hamites and Semites are biologically of one racial stock. Actually, the racial regions overlap in such a way that with­ out British interference, which has aimed at a strict separa­ tion of Arabs and Nilotes, complete ethnic homogeneity and a Sudanese racial identity might have been realized*


Arabian attitude toward the south in the era of the slave trade should not form a basis for current conclusions; it is part of the past and was duplicated on the West Coast for centuries b y Europeans and Americans, whose practices were equally as bad. Culturally, Egypt has always been the source of the civilization of the Sudan.

Inancient times, trade caravans

from Egypt reached Kordofan on

one side and Abyssinia on the

other and effected Egyptianisation of vast areas.

Even such

authorities as C. Gr. Seligman and Sir Harry Johnston agree on the strong influence of ancient Egyptian culture on the Negroid tribes of the Nile the whole of Negro Africa.


indeed, in many respects on

As we have already seen from the

77 historical arguments above, it was from Egypt that Chris­ tianity spread through the Sudan (sixth century A.D.) and from there also that the later Muslim religion and civiliza­ tion came.

Only a very small and insignificant part of the

south has escaped Arab influence, the British division of the Sudan into north and south being a deliberate misrepre­ sentation of facts.

Islamic culture is still being spread

southward by officials and merchants in spite of the British policy of maintaining minorities on whose behalf she can interfere and further divide the Sudan.^0

Christian mis­

sionaries should concentrate on other regions and let the Nilotic pagans be converted to the Arab language and religion subscribed to by the majority of Sudanese.

Such complete

cultural homogeneity is necessary for any real cooperation and understanding among these peoples of the same nationality. At present,

the southern tribes are divided linguistically

into many different groups; a common tongue would facilitate the spread of education and if the same as that of the north­ ern Nile Valley would greatly enhance economic unity.


simple teachings of Islam have always a strong appeal to primitive peoples, and many feel that they encourage greater stability, self-respect, respect for authority, and less restlessness and hypocrisy among the Africans than those of 60

Dr. Abbas Amar, o£. cit., p. 21.

78 Christianity. 6l The case for unity of the Nile Valley can be approach­ ed from the economic angle also, and here the Egyptian claim is that the Sudan needs greater efficiency in the exploita­ tion and development of its resources and could be greatly aided by Egyptian surplus labor and capital and more advanced techniques.

Egyptian assistance would help create a class

of Sudanese landowners and would effect a higher economic standard and would thus differ from such British projects as the Gezira Scheme which have merely exploited the Sudanese for the benefit of foreign capitalists.

Complementary in­

dustrial activity and commercial exchange between the two would produce a prosperity for both, impossible under the British policy of making Sudanese economy subservient to British industrial needs.

The latter has ignored the cus­

toms union between the two countries, thus harming Egyptian industries as well as unfavorably affecting Egyptian imports from the Sudan.

Actually, the Sudan and Egypt complement

each other economically and will even more so when an in­ creasingly industrialized Egypt will have an even greater need for Sudanese markets and sources of raw materials. The chief argument of all, of course, is in relation


Julian Huxley supports this view. See his Africa View (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1931 )> pp. 3lp.-lp2.

79 to the waters of the N i l e . ^ 2

it is estimated that the Egyp­

tian population will be 3 3 *0 0 0 , 0 0 0 in another fifty years and thus the problem of land reclamation and increase of cultivable areas is receiving serious study.

The annual

Egyptian needs then are calculated at fifty eight billion cubic metres of water, and these will be obtainable only through projects established beyond Egypt!s rights to the Nile waters, the Egyptians still feel there can be no real security in this vital matter until unity with the Sudan is accomplished and British influence excluded from the Nile Valley.

Egyptian fears are based on the possibility of

England*s using a threat of withholding water to bring political and economic pressure to bear on Egypt, of expand­ ing cotton production so much in the eastern Sudan that Egypt would be deprived of the fertile, silt-carrying waters of the Blue Nile, and of controlling the summer supply of the White Nile through the Jebel Aulia and other reservoirs. Thus, we have the major arguments set forth by the United Kingdom and by Egypt in support of their claims to some sort of sovereignty in the Sudan.

The first step in

evaluating the relative weight of each should be to decide whether those based on legal technicalities have more validity


For a fuller discussion of this, see Chapter VI of this paper.

80 than those based on actual performance*

Undoubtedly, the

former were of more importance fifty years ago when the problem under consideration started to develop*

However, in

the light of the more humanitarian approach of today, it would seem that the latter are the only ones which have any direct connection with the welfare of the Sudanese people themselves and, as such, should merit the greater considera­ tion*

This does not mean the complete rejection of the legal

claims, but it certainly does indicate the necessity of segregating them into two categories*

There are those

neglect of which would be equivalent to denial of some of the basic principles of international law, but others are the result of a specious type of reasoning which has no place on the international scene of today* First, let us examine some of these claims set forth by Egypt.

The historical claims can probably be discounted

to a great extent*

Those going back to ancient times are

obviously ridiculous and even later ones are somewhat of the same nature.

Imagine what confusion would result from

a modern Italian attempt to recreate the Roman Empire, a Spanish claim to all of Latin America, or a British demand that the eastern United States be included in the British Empire of todayl

Even the nineteenth century political con­

trol of Egypt over the Sudan was based on conquest and can scarcely be tendered as an example of Egyptian concern for

81 the welfare of the Sudanese people or of Egyptian adminis­ trative efficiency. Legally, the Egyptians have offered two pleas.


first is that neither the 1899 Agreement or the 193& Treaty is valid because they were forced upon Egypt by Great Britain, under whose domination she was.

The other is that Britain

has violated the provisions of both agreements and is there­ fore in no position to demand their continuation.

In regard

to the first, as it was under some form of Turkish or British control all the time between 1882 and 1922, Egypt can reason­ ably renounce any deeds done in her name during that period. She can also point to the presence of British troops In her territory as a coercive force since then.

However, on the

same grounds, Great Britain can claim that without her inter­ vention, all Egyptian interests would probably have been com­ pletely lost.

She can recall that the Mahdi*s successor not

only had complete control of the Sudan but also actively threatened to invade Egypt itself.

She can also mention the

strength of the French who had already reached Fashoda and were turned back only by British intervention.

The Italians

and Belgians had also made some inroads into the Sudan at about the same time. In answer to the Egyptian assertion that even under the condominium the Sudan was an integral part of Egypt, the British can point out that in 1910, in a case in the Mixed

32 Courts of Cairo, the Egyptian Government itself had pleaded that the 1899 Agreement had made the Sudan an autonomous Government completely separate from the Egyptian Government and that the court had upheld this v i e w * 63 Legally, then, the best Egyptian stand would seem to be to admit the validity of the condominium and to base its case on British neglect to implement it impartially.


British administration has been irreproachable for the most part, but it.ean definitely be argued that Egypt has been allowed but limited participation*

Even under the 1936

Treaty, Egyptians have not equalled the British in the ad­ ministration, and although some Egyptian officials have been appointed to posts, no Egyptian has yet been allowed to sit on the board selecting them*

Redress of this legitimate

grievance, however, is not enough to satisfy Egypt, who main­ tains that Great Britain must go completely* The Egyptian position seems to be even weaker on other grounds*

The cultural connection between the Egyptians

and Sudanese is in reality no greater than that between the Egyptians and many other peoples of the Islamic world, and, Egyptian protestations to the contrary, there is a marked difference between them and the people of the southern Sudan. This plea of cultural unity coupled with that of historical

63 See footnote 10, page 13 of this paper*

83 unity is strongly reminiscent of the irridentism which led to such chaos in Europe.

The demographic and economic reasons

presented in support of a union of Egypt and the Sudan are also similar to ones used to defend expansionist tendencies of certain European countries and certainly have little legal validity-

They are indicative of just such imperialistic

drives as those of which the Egyptians have accused the British-

Geographic unity of the Nile Basin can hardly be

accepted as a basis of political unity, either, as it must be remembered that the Basin embraces parts of Uganda and the Belgian Congo as well as the Sudan.

These geographic

questions will be dealt with more fully in a later chapter. The chief legal claims of the British have been based on the part that Britain played in the reconquest and depend for their validity on an acceptance of conquest as a basis for political possession.

More important are the claims

founded on performance in the Sudan during the last fifty years.

Both Egypt and Britain have agreed that the primary

aim must be the welfare of the Sudanese, and here the British can undeniably take the credit for having made the greater contribution.

The two duties of a colonial government are

to provide for the immediate betterment of the health and general well-being of the people and then to insure the maintenance of these improvements by the people them­

81* selves•

In no place has the British record been better

than in the Sudan.

It is true, as the Egyptians have claimed,

that the form of government has been thoroughly autocratic, but this has been in principle only, not in practice.

If it

has been imperialism which Great Britain has been advancing in the Sudan, it is a vastly different type than that usually associated with the term.

Land has been left in the posses­

sion of the native owner, foreign traders, settlers, and middlemen have been kept out, and all forced or unpaid labor has been outlawed.

The administration has shown little if

any graft, and the white administrators have acted at all times as the servants rather than as the masters of the people#

We have already examined some of the material pro­

gress made in the Sudan and in the next chapter shall in­ vestigate the steps taken toward self-government and ulti­ mate independence.

We shall find that the achievements here

have been equally notable#

Egypt might argue that she could

have accomplished the same results had she but been given a chance.

Although her record in the Sudan during the nine­

teenth century would indicate otherwise, still it is probably only fair to note that the administrative methods of the same Power often differ according to time and place.


^ K. D. D# Henderson, Survey of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, l898-19lili (London: Longmans, Green and Company, 19^6), p. 11.

is no better example of this than in a study of the British Empire itself.

Be that as it may, however, it is still

possible to compare the general living standards of Egypt and of the Sudan today and to arrive at a verdict in favor of British administration.

The poverty, feudal exploitation,

and disease still prevalent in Egypt disappeared from the Sudan during the first ten years of the condominium, and there is a striking comparison between the conditions in the two countries today. It is not the aim of this paper to present an indict­ ment of either Egypt or Great Britain or to consciously favor the claims of one above the other.

An effort has been

made to set forth the claims of each as impartially as possi­ ble.

It is felt, however, that the prime consideration in

any judgment should be the advancement of the Sudan and the Sudanese, and as such remarkable strides have been made under British administration, it might be wise to continue this until the final goal of complete self-government has been reached.

A change to Egyptian control would mean arrested

progress if only by virtue of the upheaval certain to ac­ company any such change,- and it might mean a reversion to former conditions as well, for degeneration is always easier than evolution.

As optimum efficiency can never be achieved

in an atmosphere of tension, it is to be hoped that AngloEgyptian negotiations for revision of the 1936 Treaty can be

resumed in the near future and that these may progress to successful conclusion which will satisfy and benefit all three parties concerned.

CHAPTER V THE ROAD TO SUDANESE SELF-GOVERNMENT The aim of this chapter will be an examination of the extent to which self-government has already been introduced into the Sudan*

From this discussion and from the accompany­

ing survey of current Sudanese political activities, it is hoped it will become evident to what degree the people have advanced enough to govern themselves and acquire complete independence• The 1899 Agreement invested the Governor-General with full legislative powers and these were taken complete ad­ vantage of for the first twelve years, until it was felt that order had been sufficiently restored to allow for a greater sharing of these responsibilities* eral fs Council was established* 65

In 1910, a Governor-Gen­ Under this arrangement,

the legislative function became the responsibility of the Governor-General-in-Council and remained thus for the next two decades*

Although not actual members of the Council,

prominent Sudanese were consulted on important matters from this time on, and many less important Government positions were held b y them* Meanwhile, from the very beginning, the Sudan

65 British Information Services, The Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, ID. 730* Revised edition, March, 1959* P* 9*

Government tried to leave as much local administration as possible to the native Sudanese authorities.

It reappointed

tribal sheikhs dispossessed during the Mahdist era and recognized the southern chiefs as representatives of their people.

Also, no attempt was made to alienate Darfur from

the rule of its new sultan.

Although the Government at first

was too busy to incorporate institutions of local self-govern­ ment within its own administrative framework, it encouraged sheikhs and chiefs to reestablish their authority and to settle disputes according to tribal custom.

This aim of

strengthening local native institutions and law was in keep­ ing with the later British colonial policy known as Indirect Rule.

Later, these judicial powers were recognized by

statute and formed the basis of the local courts.


the whole country is now covered with a system of inferior and superior courts, with appeals from one to the other. Civil cases are settled in accordance with local custom al­ though some codification of law is now in progress.


courts are easily accessible and their decisions just, a panel of elders being much less susceptible to corruption than a single individual.

The District Commissioner reviews

all cases and may transfer any one to the State courts if he sees fit. Government recognition of local executive powers did not come quite so soon.

The separation of judicial from

89 executive authority has only recently started, and to the people at large the two, having been combined for so long, are still one and the same in meaning.

The first town

council having full control of its own budget was set up at El Obeid in 1


and b y the end of the next five years,

eight town, five municipal, and eight rural district councils had been established#

Smaller councils controlling villages

and agricultural areas were also constituted.

The towns

have generally had enough from rates and other local receipts to cover all expenditures, but a satisfactory budgetary sys­ tem for the rural areas is still a matter of study. Although association of the Sudanese people with the central Government was the goal from the beginning, it was not until 194l“ip2 that the people were thought politically advanced enough to sit on such an advisory council as. was contemplated.

It was then decided to establish an Advisory

Council for the Northern Sudan which, if successful, might later be converted into a legislative c o u n c i l . 66


Advisory Council came into being in May 19^4* an 19^4-7*

Nile Valley is obvious.

Perhaps the worst enemies of the

Egyptian cause are its own press and politicians who have aroused Sudanese fears that seyada or sovereignty actually means domination instead. It is true, indeed, that there has been discrimina­ tion against the Egyptians in the Sudan administration and that British officials have occasionally influenced the people against Egypt, but actual British policy has remained one of strict neutrality with the welfare of the Sudanese people its primary concern.

The British realize that the

Sudan does not have the great untapped sources of wealth which the Egyptians accuse them of concealing but that the country is basically agricultural and pastoral with very slender margins which can be maintained only through the most scrupulous and efficient administration. The Assembly elections took place November l5> 19^-8* with direct election being held in five of the larger towns to fill ten of the sixty five seats.

The rural areas had

electoral colleges made up of elected representatives, exofficio members of local councils, and other officials who chose forty two representatives for the Assembly from their own numbers.

In the south, the three Province Councils

chose the remaining thirteen members. Voters had to be males of twenty five years or more, Sudanese, resident in their constituencies for at least a

year, and able to satisfy a small property qualification.7^ The elections showed a clear majority for the Inde­ pendence Front which, comprising several parties, aims at complete future independence of the Sudan from both Egypt and Britain.

The National Front, whose platform is for

union with Egypt, boycotted the elections in most constit­ uencies.

The more moderate of its members claim this was

done because of objection to the indirect nature of the election and to the restrictions on the powers of the Assembly*

This group, most of whom are religious followers

of El Mirghani and are known as the Khatmia, have indicated their willingness to support the Assembly if its power is extended and more direct elections a l l o w e d . 79


along these lines are now being considered by the Sudan Government.

The Khatmia has recently split from the Ashigga

Party so that the f,Nile Valley Unity** bloc is now irrevo­ cably broken.SO

Only the extremist Ashigga Party now holds

to the policy of claiming dissatisfaction with anything not having the approval of the Egyptian Government.

One weak­

ness of the present Assembly has been the lack of any

78 tiipkQ Executive Council and Legislative Assembly Ordinance 19^8*11 °P« cit.* pp. 38-39* 79 Article in the Christian Science Monitor, October 3, 1949* f,Sudanfs Future: Changed Attitude in Egypt,11 The Crown Colonist, April, 1950, p. 258.

11opposition,” but it is hoped that this will be provided by the Khatmia* s participation in the next election.


January, 1950, the Umma Party telegraphed both Mr. Bevin and Nahas Pasha demanding a plebiscite which they claimed would result in an overwhelming vote for their cause of independence and the Khatmia manifest its new spirit of cooperation by agreeing to this plebiscite, providing it is conducted by some international body.^l

At the same time, the attitude

of the Independence Front is becoming more flexible also, with El Mahdi, for the first time since 19^-6* recently sending a telegram of congratulation to King Farouk on the occasion of the latter*s birthday. The main group in the Independence Front is the Umma Party, and its Secretary-General, Miralai Abdalla Bey Khalil, was elected as Leader of the Assembly at a preliminary meet­ ing held on December 15* 19^8.

The Leader submitted his

list of Ministers and Under-Secretaries to the GovernorGeneral, and on December 20, three of the former and nine of the latter, all Sudanese, were appointed.

The Ministers were


for the Departments of Agriculture, Health, and Education, and the Under-Secretaries were for those of the Interior, Finance, Irrigation, Railways, Public Works, Economics and

81 "Sudan*s Future: Changed Attitude in Egypt,” loc. cit.

106 Trade, Defense, Posts and Telegraphs, and Veterinary Services. The Assembly was formally opened in Khartoum on December 23* 1


b y the Governor-General,

Sir Robert Howe.

During their first term, the members conducted themselves admirably and conscientiously learned the intricacies of parliamentary procedure#

Most encouraging of all was the

ability shown by the southern delegates.

Opposing members

have regretted their nonparticipation and have been reassured to find the Umma-predominated Assembly has not come under the control of the extreme Mahdists#

Most of the Assembly

members spent the six months' summer recess studying par­ liamentary law in England,

Europe, and Egypt or touring

their own country.

the opening of the Assembly,


many had never been in Khartoum or any civilized areas be­ fore and thus had a lot to learn.

The First Session of the

Assembly was resumed on October 19 * 19^-9> with such items on the agenda as the future administration of the Gezira Scheme after June, 1950, a Ten-Year Education Plan for the northern Sudan, and discussion of a new Code of Criminal Procedure. The future success of the Assembly depends a great deal on Egypt's attitude, many of these initial steps being possible only because of her distraction in Palestine#®^

82 Margery Perham,

o p . cit., p# 676.

The recent victory of Mustapha el Nahas Pasha*s Waf d Party in the Egyptian elections delighted the pro-Egyptian ele­ ments in the Sudan because the electoral platform of the Party called for the evacuation of British troops from Egypt

the Sudan and for unity of the Nile Valley under

the Egyptian Crown.

However, there are already signs that

Nahas will modify this policy in an attempt to heal the breach between Egypt and Great Britain and it is thought that he may even go so far as to recognize the Sudan Legis­ lative A s s e m b l y . S o m e Sudanese are even fearful lest the result be an Anglo-Egyptian agreement which will sacrifice Sudanese rights of self-determination, and they are urging all parties to unite and to make the Assembly the center of opposition.

It is perhaps indicative of a changing Egyptian

attitude that they are now speaking of a Mfederation” with the Sudan rather than a "union.rl8^-

If they are really

going to abandon their stubborn insistence on immediate sovereignty over the Sudan and their hostility towards the idea of Sudanese self-government, it is possible that Treaty negotiations can be renewed. Whether or not a rapproachment with Egypt is achieved,

®3 MSudanese Interest in Egyptian Elections,11 The Crown Colonist, 20:192, March, 1950* "Sudan*s Future: Changed Attitude in Egypt,11 loc. cit.

British policy will probably remain the same.

It is firm in

its support of the rights of the Sudanese to self-determina­ tion and considers the results in self-government already obtained proof enough that, after a period of further tuition, the Sudanese will be entirely capable of managing their own affairs.^5

Their future will then be in their

own hands and it is hoped they will use the abilities they are currently developing to make it a bright one*


The British estimate that the Sudan will be ready for complete independence b y 1966. See Robert Henriques, wWho Should Rule the Sudan?", The Nation* l61j.:540, May 10,

CHAPTER VI THE SUDAN IN AFRICAN GEOPOLITICS Africa is one of the few areas of the world still outside the orbit of the East-West conflict and still rela­ tively undeveloped.

At the same time, it is one of the few

remaining colonial areas upon which a war-impoverished Europe can depend for aid to its economy*

Because of this somewhat

unique position, the continent can look forward to becoming more and more the scene of rapid progress*

The place of the

Sudan as a part of this whole will be the subject of this chapter*

As the Nile is the most important geopolitical

factor involved, the greater part of the chapter will be de­ voted to a discussion of problems relating to it*

The ques­

tion of the proper allocation of the Nile waters has been one of the most burning of all touching, as it does, what the Egyptians feel to be their very existence. Soon after the reconquest of the Sudan, all of the Nile was placed under the control of the Irrigation Service of the Egyptian Ministry of Public Works.

This was due to

the influence of Lord Cromer who had always considered the Nile as Egypt*s river.

However, he felt assured that this

arrangement would not mean unfair exploitation by Egypt in­ asmuch as the leading officials of the Ministry were all Englishmen.

At this same time, the Under-Secretary of

110 State for Public Works in Egypt, Sir William Garstin, made a thorough study of the Upper Nile, which was the basis of almost all subsequent Nile irrigation projects.

The basic

principle was utilization of the water of the White Nile for Egypt and that of the Blue Nile for the Sudan. The Egyptian regards the Nile as strictly his own property, dreading the extraction of the least bit of it for use in the Sudan.

Lord Cromer supported this attitude, and

it was the cause of dissention whenever Sudanese irrigation projects were proposed.

Along with the suggestion to use

the waters of the Blue Nile for the Sudan, the Ministry re­ commended the construction of several new dams, one at Jebel Aulia in the Sudan and another at Nag Hamadi in Egypt, both to supply water to Egypt only.

Another was proposed for

near Makwar for the use of both countries.

These plans were

supported by Sir Murdoch Macdonald but just as ardently de­ nounced by two other Britishers, Colonel Kennedy and Sir William Willcocks, the designer of the Aswan Dam.

The Egyp­

tian Nationalists rallied to the side of the latter, and the controversy became intense. Finally, to clear up the situation, the British High Commissioner at Cairo, Lord Allenby, had the Egyptian Govern­ ment appoint on January 10, 1920, a Nile Projects Commission to make a report on the technical aspects of the Ministry*s plans, on the allocation between Egypt and the Sudan of the

Ill increased water supply, and on the division of the costs of the proposed works.

This body was made up of a nominee of

the,Indian Government, a nominee of Cambridge University, and an expert selected by the British Embassy at Washington, 4

with an English judge added as an advisor.

The Commission

approved the Ministry*s plans, suggesting formation of a permanent board with a representative each from Egypt and the Sudan together with an independent chairman to settle the practical mechanics of the projects.®^ Public opinion was still against the plans, however, so that in February, in an attempt to placate it, Lord Allenby announced that, for the time being, the Gezira land to be irrigated would be limited to 300,000 acres.

This was

a decided concession to Egyptian interests as 3,000,000 acres had been estimated as capable of irrigation.

This was

still not enough to satisfy the opposition, so on May 25,

1921, the Cairo Government suspended work .on all Sudanese irrigation works until the time when an agreement with Great Britain could be reached on the political status of the Sudan.

The Sennar Dam was not to be affected by this, as

the financing of that was being accomplished on the credit of the British taxpayer.

^ Arnold J. Toynbee, Survey of International Affairs for 1925 (London: Oxford University Press, 1927), T7 261. Pierre Crabites, The Winning; of the Sudan (London: G. Routeledge and Sons, Ltd., 1934-)» P • 20 6 .

112 Within a year, Egyptian independence was recognized by Great Britain but with the Sudan as one of the points reserved for further discussion.

The Constitution Drafting }

Commission of the new State drew up a Sudan Convention. This proposed that full control of the Nile waters be vested in the Egyptian Ministry of Public Works, with the Egyptian Irrigation Service arranging the Sudanese quota and ad­ ministering the Gezira projects, which were still to be limited to 300,000 acres for another twenty years.


Sudan was to draw no water at all from the White Nile or its tributaries until Egyptian needs had been satisfied and her approval secured.

In spite of the control these proposals

would have given to Egypt,

they were still criticized by a

part of the Egyptian press as contrary to the view that the Sudan was an Integral part of Egypt. Britain fully supported a guarantee of Egyptian water rights but would not countenance the assumption that the Sudan was Egyptian territory.

This became almost a national

issue, however, culminating in the assassination of Sir Lee Stack on November 18, 192ij-«

The resulting British ultimatum

to Egypt included the requirement that the area in the Gezira to be irrigated be no longer limited but enlarged as much as necessity might demand*

This was a British admission that

it no longer considered the Nile as Egypt*s river, and it M

Ibid., p. 207.

met with immediate criticism at home on the grounds that it was irrelevant to Stock*s assassination, meant repudiation of a pledge, and would not only alienate the Egyptians but also make them feel political control of the Sudan more necessary than ever.^9

His Majesty*s Government subsequent­

ly became less exacting and Egypt more cooperative.

In May,

1925, the Egyptian Ministry of Public Works' decided to re­ sume work on the Jebel Aulia Dam.

Credits were approved by

the Cabinet but withdrawn a few months later for fresh study of the question. Although the political aspects of the Sudan question would still exist, it was realized that they would be far less controversial if the water question were solved.


was also recognized that the more Nile water available for both countries the less trouble there would be over its al­ location.

Consequently, in May, 1929 $ the British High Com­

missioner at Cairo, Lord Lloyd, and the Egyptian Prime Minister, Mohammed Mahmud Pasha, met together to discuss the Nile water problem.

Political issues, it was realized,

would be much more easily solved if the Egyptians were freed from their fear that their water supply might be cut off if they didn*t make certain concessions to England. The agreement reached at this conference was made

Ibid.. p. 209.

public in the form of two letters published in the Egyptian Gazette of May 9, 1929-^^

These pointed out, first of all,

that this agreement had no connection with adjustment of the Sudanese political status•

The letters recognized Egypt*s

natural and historical rights to the Nile waters but agreed on the allocation of more water to the Sudan provided that this did not harm these rights or Egyptian agricultural ex­ pansion.

This implied Egypt*s right to pre-empt not only

the 3k-$0Q0 million cubic metres acquired through centuries of use but also the 5>8 ,QOO million cubic metres which would be necessary if ever all of her arable lands were to be * irrigated.

Dams to effect this increase would have to be

constructed in the Sudan# Perhaps the two most important clauses of the Nile Waters Agreement were the following: (ii). Save with the previous agreement of the Egyptian Government, no irrigation or power works or measures are to be constructed or taken on the River Nile and its branches, or on the lakes from which it flows, so far as all these are in the Sudan or in countries under British administration^ which would, in such a manner as to entail any prejudice to the interests of Egypt, either reduce the quantity of water arriving in Egypt, or modify the date of its arrival, or lower its level; (iv). In case the Egyptian Government decide to con­ struct in the Sudan any works on the river and its


' For the full text of these notes, see British and Foreign State Papers, Vol. 130, pp. lOip-55*


branches, or to take any measures with a view to in­ creasing the water supply for the benefit of Egypt, they will agree beforehand with the local authorities on the measures to be taken for safeguarding local interests* The construction, maintenance, and administration of the above mentioned works shall be under the direct control of the Egyptian Government.91 This agreement was equivalent to a British guarantee of Egypt*s possession of the Nile waters, both the appropri­ ated and the unappropriated, even though it was agreed that the Sudan have some of the former.

This is a contradiction

of the report of the Nile Projects Commission which had held that the Sudan had a right to part of the unappropriated waters also* In spite of the favor this agreement bestowed on Egypt, it was nevertheless severely criticized by the W a f d * Part of this was merely a manifestation of the current op­ position to Mohammed Mahmud Pasha; more concretely it was directed against the section in his letter which gave the Inspector-General of the Egyptian Irrigation Service in the Sudan the right to decide upon Sudanese water withdrawals* Thus, they argued, an English official would have the final authority in controlling the Egyptian water supply*

That he

would favor the Sudan was not definitely stated, but it was implied*

Even so, this agreement did a great deal toward

removing one of the serious obstacles to an Anglo-Egyptian

Ibid** pp. 105-6

116 treaty. The use of the Nile waters is still regulated by this agreement.

22gyp t remains apprehensive about the future of

her rights, however, and dares not risk an independent, and possibly hostile, Sudan which could jeopardize her develop­ ment by withholding her water supply.

It is inconceivable,

though, that Great Britain would allow full Sudanese inde­ pendence without insisting the Egyptian rights be guaranteed by a new but similar agreement.

An international settlement

and guarantee could probably be effected also and certainly an appeal to the United Nations on this question would be far more logical than the present one on the issue of future sovereignty.92 Pull exploitation of the cultivable land in Egypt is dependent on the construction of large irrigation projects beyond her borders*

Her claims to the necessity of her con­

trolling the Sudan for this purpose have recently been some­ what weakened b y the new plans of extending Nile control, for the benefit of both Egypt and the Sudan> to Ethiopia and Uganda. The plans for control from within Ethiopia have not yet been completed but are at present under consideration

9^ G. B. Birdwood, MEgypt, the Sudan, and the Treaty,” The Nineteenth Century and After* llpl:203> April, 19^-7*

11? and should become a reality before too long.

The negotia­

tions go back many years as it has long been felt that a dam would have to be built on the Upper Blue Nile, preferably at its outlet from Lake Tana.

Pears that Ethiopia might under­

take such a project to the detriment of Egyptian and Sudanese interests were averted in May, 1902, when the British suc­ ceeded in having Menelik, Emperor of Ethiopia, sign an agree­ ment in which he promised to prohibit the construction of any work across the Blue Nile, Lake Tana, or the Sabat which would imped© the flow of their waters into the Nile except with the consent of the British and Sudanese Govern* ments.93 In 1931 f Ethiopia granted the condominium Governments permission to construct a dam at Lake Tana, but no further steps were taken until 1933* possibly because of world economic conditions.

The Egyptian Government then showed

great opposition, for financial reasons partly but mainly because of the violent sentiments of nationalist elements against construction of works outside of Egypt itself. July, 1933$ however, Egypt voted


for the purpose,

primarily so as to be included in the proceedings.


Britain favored postponement of a new conference so as not

93 William L. Langer, f,The Struggle for the Nile,1* Foreign Affairs, ll±z263> January, 193

118 to aggravate Italy although, by this time, Egypt was heartily in favor of the project and on May 22, 1935* adopted a FiveYear Plan of irrigation with^JS. 3> 000,000 set aside for the Tana Dam.94-

They negotiated with the Sudan to settle details

of costs and allocation of waters, and it was decided that the construction be paid for by Egypt with the Sudan paying for water at a certain rate and taking only 10 per cent at first#

Later the Sudanese share was to be increased to 50

per cent. The Italian victory in Ethiopia and the Second World War precluded completion of these plans, but revised ones are being formulated at the present time*

The Tana Dam will

be only one part of a larger plan of Nile control and irri­ gation, a plan which surpasses even the American T. V. A. project in scale.

i One part of this plan is already well under way.

This is the Owen Falls Dam in Uganda, one of the biggest engineering projects ever attempted in Central Africa.


British and Egyptian Qovernments agreed to the construction of this dam, with Egypt undertaking to make an initial pay­ m e n t ’of iLE. I}.,500,000.

Uganda has contributed about

500,000 toward the first stage of construct!on.95


The plans

Ibid., p. 272. 95 See Bevin's report on the progress of this project, May 19 $ 194-9* British Information Services, Nile HydroElectric Scheme, T. 66, May 23* 194-9*

119 were prepared by the Egyptian Ministry of Public Works and the Uganda authorities, with the actual construction being entrusted to the Uganda Electricity Board but with Egyptian interests represented at the site by an Egyptian resident engineer and his staff who are to remain in the future to regulate the discharges to be passed through the dam,


Uganda Electricity Board awarded the £^3>639*5^0 civil engineering contract to Christian! and Nielsen, Ltd. of London, and a good part of the work has already been com­ pleted.

Matters of mutual interest are discussed in a

spirit of friendly cooperation by the Egyptian Ministry of Public Works and the Uganda Electricity Board, and the Egyp­ tian Government has announced from the start that it will welcome Sudanese participation in any of the Nile control projects now under consideration.

Thus, it seems that the

dissension which used to characterize all discussions of Nile water rights is rapidly becoming a thing of the past and that the way is at last open for real Anglo-Egyptian cooperation. The Owen Palls scheme will harness the Nile in such a way as to render possible greater developments than ever before.

Perhaps its greatest benefit will be as a source of

hydo-electric power for the development of Uganda, but at the same time, it will also be of great material benefit to the people of Egypt and the Sudan.

The Sudan will receive

120 its greatest aid from the development of Lake Tana, and Egypt*s greater needs will be met by the dam which is planned for the outlet of Lake Albert and which will bring the White Nile under complete control*

The latter will be of great

benefit to Egypt, and fortunately the Governments of Uganda and of the Belgian Congo have offered no particular objec­ tions to it although it will mean the loss of land for both of them inasmuch as the dam will raise the level of Lake Albert to such an extent that much of the surrounding ter­ ritory will be flooded* We can see from the foregoing just how important the Sudan*s neighbors are to her, and to Egypt also*

The ulti**

mate source of the Nile waters is in Ethiopia, Uganda, and the Belgian Congo so that a friendly relationship between these three and the Sudan and Egypt is absolutely essential for the very existence of the latter two*

As yet, other con­

nections between the Sudan and the Belgian Congo or Uganda are slight, but she is already of value to Ethiopia as a transit country, the natural outlet for the western half of Ethiopia being by way of the Sudan and the Nile*

The estab­

lished transit routes are at Kassala, Gallabat, Kurmuk, and Gambela, but all would benefit from an increase in Sudanese transportation facilities*

For Ethiopia, use of these routes

is more time and money than transporting western Ethiopian produce over the high mountains to Red Sea

121 ports#

It means increased revenue for the Sudan and for

Egypt also through transit and development projects.


both the Sudan and Ethiopia are agricultural countries, there is little trade between them, the chief Sudanese import from Ethiopia being coffee. The Sudan is really the geographical center of land, river, and air transit and trade for all of North-East Africa and for more distant areas also.

This is one reason

why Egypt, in an attempt to extend her influence and pres­ tige in Africa, is so interested in strengthening her control over the Sudan and in participating in the extension of com­ munications in this a r e a . K h a r t o u m has direct air services with Egypt to the north, with Uganda, Kenya, Tanganyika, Portuguese East Africa, and the Union of South Africa to the south, with former Italian East Africa to the east, and with French Equatorial Africa, Nigeria, and the Gold Coast to the west.

There are good services by air to London and other

parts of the world as well.

The South African route follows

the Nile, on which the planes actually alight. Egypt also desires the Sudan as an outlet for her surplus population and for the investment of her surplus capital.

Among other benefits which would accrue to Egypt

if she were able to acquire permanent sovereignty over the 96 E. W. Poison Newman, “North-East Africa,11 The Nineteenth Century and After, 12if.:l£6, August, 1938*

122 Sudan*are:

(1) almost a million square miles of land, in­

cluding the Sudanese Nile and its principal tributaries; (2 ) rich cattle ranges,

some of the world*s best cotton land,

and the world*s only large source of gum arabic; and (3 ) six and a half million p e o p l e . 97

Strategically, of course, the

protection of Egypt’s southern flank is of vital importance to her also. . In regard to strategy, both she and Great Britain use the argument that whoever commands the Sudan and its Nile dams commands Egypt, and whoever commands Egypt commands the Middle East*

In an age of air power, the significance of

the Sudan is especially great and will be even more so with the evacuation of British troops from Egypt.

It is probably

for these strategic reasons more than any others that Great Britain is interested in maintaining her influence and con­ trol in the Sudan.

For defense of the Suez Canal, it is now

infinitely more important to be able to strike by air at any bases from which an air or rocket attack on the Canal might originate than to keep ground forces by the Canal for its local protection.

From bases in the Sudan, the British can

guard this vital link in their sea lanes to the East.


Sudan also serves as a bridge between British East and West Africa and is on the airways to the Middle Eastern oil fields.

97 "Egypt: Home in the Sudan,” Newsweek. 29:37, February 10, 19^7-

123 Aside from these strategic considerations, the ad­ vantages Great Britain receives from a stronghold in the Sudan are little different from those listed above as being coveted by Egypt.

It also provides a market for British

industries and, equally important economically, Empire-grown cotton which Manchester demands.

supplies the British

colonial interests are no longer those developed for the sake of profit alone but are rather those embraced in a desperate struggle to regain solvency and a fair standard of living for the people in the British Isles.

That this is

being attempted with full consideration for colonial welfare and advancement at the same time is a remarkable example of fair play and administrative wisdom. Our concern throughout this paper has not been pri­ marily the interests of either Great Britain or Egypt, al­ though every effort has been made to acknowledge the just claims of each.

Our main interest has been to ascertain how

the rivalry between the two could best be resolved to en­ hance the welfare of the Sudan itself.

As this has been the

avowed aim of both of the contending parties, it would seem a valid approach to take even though humanitarian values were not involved as well.

In each chapter a different

aspect of the larger problem has been discussed, and in each some conclusion as to desireable procedure for the future has been attempted.

In most every ease, a careful evalua­

12lj. tion of the record has indicated that, although Egypt has certain undisputable rights in the Sudan which should by all means be most carefully protected, Great Britain has the more consistly contributed to Sudanese progress and aided in the advance to Sudanese self-government.

It seems entirely fair

to say, then, that ,fIt is not by right of conquest, but by right of salvage, that, until it has reached a definite degree of civilization, the still infantile Sudan should remain under the sole tutelage of the race that is training it to manhood."9®

Odette Keun, MA Stranger Looks at the Sudan,11 The Nineteenth Century and After, September, 1930, P* 309




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