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inevitable, it regarded a dissolution of Parliament as a matter of national congratulation, for it would lead the country another step nearer to the consummation of constitutional government. The manifesto took up in detail the defence of the conduct of the Opposition, and finally summed up the situation as follows:"After grave reflection we have come to the conclusion that unless the system of party cabinets be introduced, there is no hope of harmony between the Executive and the Legislature, now in a condition of unavoidable conflict." By the Japanese Constitution the Emperor has still despotic power, and he is not likely to yield this power to popular demands without a contest.
The Greek Church in Tokio opened in March a magnificent cathedral, erected on one of the most conspicuous sites in that city. It was in the form of a Greek cross having equal arms, the main edifice measuring 91 feet in each direction, with an additional vestibule of 35 feet at the western end. As a precaution against earthquakes, the whole of the brickwork at different heights was bound with strong iron ties, spanning the arches and serving as supports for the ornamental silver candelabra suspended from the dome and the principal arches. At the consecration, a congregation of over 3,000 Japanese were present. At the conclusion of the service, which lasted four hours, the first peal of bells ever heard in Tokio were rung from the western tower.
It would seem that missionary success in Japan is not confined to the lower classes. In the House of Representatives, consisting of 300 members, there were thirteen baptized Christians, and the Japanese franchise for members of Parliament is a very high one. For nearly twelve years Japan has had a systematic local government. From the ward or village assembly, promotion takes place to the provincial assembly. Out of the 300 members of the late Lower House, 134 had been members of provincial assemblies, and they were thoroughly familiar with Parliamentary business. However obnoxious the Japanese first Parliament may have been to the Ministry, it was doubtless a truly representative body, and reflected the real opinions of the Japanese people.
A commercial treaty was concluded between the Governments of Japan and Corea, allowing the export of ginsing to Japan and Japanese cloth to Corea, with a reduction of duties. It was arranged that the new commercial code would take effect in April 1892.
At Soshi several outrages were committed upon Japanese residents, and complaints were made to the Chinese Government that members of the Japanese community had been maltreated.
The condition of affairs in the Peninsula was peaceful during the year, and there were less alarming reports of Russian interference.
IN Egypt again the record of the year is one of quiet but steady progress. The Government of the Khedive had been able to make itself respected, and was slowly gaining ground in public esteem. The Khedive showed himself determined to adhere loyally to the English alliance, and ready to accept the suggestions of his English advisers; he occupied a more active part than before in politics, appeared constantly in public, visited many outlying parts of his dominions, met and consulted different classes of his subjects, and proved more clearly than before his intention of ruling in fact as well as in name. During the early part of the year, the administration of Riaz Pasha remained in office, but it did not always work without friction. The Prime Minister, an Egyptian official of the old school, attached to the idea of personal rule and to the arbitrary methods associated with it, was plainly out of sympathy with the larger and more liberal views which the Khedive and his English advisers are endeavouring to introduce into Egyptian politics. His undisguised hostility to the judicial reforms which were urgently demanded by the state of the country, and by the irregular and ineffective administration of justice, caused a good deal of embarrassment, and at last, early in May, Riaz resigned his office upon the ground of ill-health. A new Ministry was promptly appointed under the Presidency of Mustapha Pasha Fehmy, an experienced official who had served under Nubar, but who enjoyed no special reputation, and the Khedive from that time forward became practically his own Prime Minister. Only one of the old Cabinet, Fakri Pasha, the Minister of Justice, was retained; but some months later, the lack of interest shown by Fakri Pasha in the administration of his department led to his dismissal, and to the appointment of Ibrahim Fuad instead. The other members of the new Cabinet were Rushdi Pasha, who took office as Minister of Finance; Zeki Pasha, who became Minister of Public Works; Tigrane Pasha, who returned to the Foreign Office; and Artin Pasha, who was made Minister of Education. For the remainder of the year the new Government apparently acted cordially with the Khedive.
From time to time, during the year, the usual reports were circulated in Constantinople, Paris, and Cairo, as to the
intentions of the English Government with respect to the evacuation of Egypt. About the end of July some overtures on the subject were made to the English Foreign Office by the representatives of the Porte, but Lord Salisbury declined at that time to re-open the subject. In the autumn the rumours on the subject increased, and a certain significance was given to them by the speeches of French and English politicians, of Mr. Gladstone at Newcastle and of M. Ribot in Paris. In November, Lord Salisbury took occasion to declare that our work in Egypt was not yet done, and that it was our duty to remain there to do it. This utterance, of course, evoked an outbreak of angry criticism and complaint in France, to which, by this time, politicians in Egypt had grown accustomed. All through the year France continued her unfortunate policy of jealous protest against every action of English officials in Egypt, and her agents there spared no opportunity of displaying their hostility towards England, and of embarrassing and delaying the projects formed by the Khedive's English advisers for the improvement of the country.
The most important question which arose during the year in regard to the internal administration of Egypt was the question of judicial reform. The difficulty of suppressing crime in the interior, the alarming prevalence of brigandage, and the disorganisation of the unpaid local paid police rendered urgent measures necessary, and at the beginning of the year a Commission was appointed by the Khedive to report on the judicial reforms proposed to the Government by Mr. Justice Scott. But the hostility of Riaz and of some of his colleagues, who, like most Egyptian officials, could not be induced to see the necessity of rendering the administration of justice really independent, secured the rejection of Mr. Scott's proposals, and defeated the scheme. Thereupon Sir Evelyn Baring interposed, and, acting by his advice, the Khedive assumed a firm attitude on the subject. In spite of the hostility of the Egyptian Government, and the protests of the French against this fresh exercise of English influence in the country, the Khedive consented to appoint Mr. Scott as legal adviser to the Government of Egypt, and as president of a committee of three to supervise the local tribunals. From that time the work of reform proceeded quickly. In April, Colonel Kitchener, the Adjutant-General of the Egyptian Army, was appointed to command and reorganise the police force. In May, Mr. Scott and Colonel Kitchener together drew up a comprehensive plan for the suppression of brigandage, and for judicial reform in the interior. The plan was submitted to the Egyptian Legislative Council, which discussed it with freedom and with good sense, and in the end a satisfactory programme was agreed to, and was accepted by the Government of the Khedive. It was decided to reorganise and to pay the local police; to establish a law for the suppression of
vagabondage; to take steps to ensure greater celerity in the passing and in the execution of criminal sentences; to forbid the carrying of arms without a license; to enforce work and discipline among prisoners; to amend the powers of the mudirs, so as to increase their summary jurisdiction; and to substitute for the system under which several judges sat and heard cases together, a larger number of district courts with summary jurisdiction, each under a single judge. The effect of these vigorous measures was already visible before the end of the year in a notable reduction in the statistics of brigandage and crime.
The Egyptian Government displayed equal activity in carrying out new schemes for the material prosperity of the country. The important question of water-storage had engaged the attention of the Public Works Department, and in October it was decided that an International Commission of Engineers should meet in Cairo to consider the subject. Another Commission was appointed to consider plans for a desert railway from Keneh to Kosseir, and the Government agreed with the Suez Canal Company to construct a light railway from Ismailia to Port Said. The unhealthiness of Cairo compelled the Government to undertake also the drainage of that city. A considerable increase in the number of students attending the schools was reported, and as a result of the encouragement offered for the study of English, Egyptian schoolboys learned to recite Shakspeare in class. The work of discovery and excavation was steadily pursued under the joint direction of two European inspectors appointed to preserve ancient monuments, and some notable discoveries at Luxor and Aboukir rewarded the encouragement given by the Government.
But the most satisfactory feature of the year's history was the steady improvement in Egyptian finance. The labours of the Public Works Department bore fruit in the largest crops of cotton and sugar ever known in the country, whilst the published accounts for 1890 showed the largest revenue ever collected in recent years, and a surplus of E. 650,000l. The great increase in the value of Egyptian imports-an increase of E. 855,000l. between 1890-91-was another sure sign of prosperity; and it was noticeable that the increase was principally derived from cotton goods, coffee, and other articles largely used by the mass of the people. The report of the Director of Customs also showed a considerable increase in the receipts of his department, and the Government endeavoured to secure the consent of the Powers to some fresh measures against smuggling. The Budget for 1892, published early in December, showed an estimated revenue of E. 9,950,000l., and an estimated surplus of E. 550,000l. The Government proposed on an early occasion still further to reduce the land tax, and to make some other slight reductions in taxation, while certain sums were to be set aside for increasing the grant to the Ministry of Justice, and for sup
pressing slavery on the shores of the Red Sea. In every respect the Khedive's financial advisers had reason to be satisfied with their continued success.
Lastly, in the Soudan, though rumours were many and confusing, it would seem that the danger of trouble from the Mahdi was lessening every day. The latest reports pointed to the collapse of the Mahdi's aggressive projects, and to the gradual dissolution of his power. In the neighbourhood of Suakin, Osman Digna and his followers caused some disturbance early in the year, and necessitated in February a movement on the part of the Egyptian expeditionary force, which stormed and occupied Tokar, and drove the Dervishes from the neighbourhood. Apart from that single episode, which was attended with some serious loss of life, the news from the Egyptian frontier ceased to threaten the quiet of the country.
Cape Colony.-Sir Henry Loch, the Governor of Cape Colony and High Commissioner for South Africa, with Mr. Cecil Rhodes, Premier of the Colony, visited England in February to confer with Lord Salisbury concerning South African affairs. Questions relating to the Portuguese claims, and to the federation of the South African States, were discussed, and it was understood that their mission was highly successful. Mr. Rhodes, on his return in April, made a speech of some importance to the Congress of the Africander Bund in session at Kimberley. He disclaimed in it all hostility to existing independent States, but intimated that the establishment of new independent communities ought not to be permitted in South Africa. Instead of opposing Mr. Hofmeyr and the "Africanders," Mr. Rhodes expressed a desire to work with them for the union of the South African people in one confederacy.
The Cape Parliament met on May 26. An important Bank Bill, providing for the regulation of the note currency, was introduced during the session by Mr. Merriman, the Treasurer of the Colony. Its chief clauses were copied from the banking systems of the United States of America and the Bank of England. A deposit of Government securities with the Treasury to the amount. of the intended issue of notes by each Colonial bank was stipulated, in the event of failure the Government having the right to sell enough of the securities of the defaulting bank to pay the notes in full.
The Treasurer, in his Budget speech (June 9), expressed confidence in the soundness of the Colony's finances, and stated that the expenditure for the current year was 4,555,000l., and the revenue 4,541,000l. The revenue for 1892 he estimated at 4,286,000l., and the expenditure at 4,260,000l. Of a debt of 24,000,000l. the Colony held 2,750,000l.
The willingness of the Home Government to agree to the annexation of Bechuanaland by the Cape, gave further promi