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she will give Shantung back to China. She may not be sincere in that announcement. That is not a question to discuss here. But there has been no announcement that Great Britain will be even that unselfish as to Egypt. Indeed, Great Britain's occupation of Egypt under pretense of collecting debts or protecting the Egyptian Government from “rebels," and her continued occupation in violation of her promises to withdraw and the later seizure and present holding of Egypt in violation of the rights of the people of Egypt, do not lend encouragement to the hope that Great Britain will act unselfishly toward Egypt. There is no defense, in any of the books, as to Great Britain's holding of Egypt. It is a stain upon the history of England and is so recognized. They only say in defense, “Well, Great Britain has given good government down in Egypt.” We might have good government in this country under a king, but that would be no reason why we would be satisfied with a king. We want more than good government—we want self-government. And so do the Egyptians. No amount of good government can compensate for the loss of self-government. England's seizure and continued holding of Egypt, not by right but by might, is out of keeping with the world's new temper.
Only by the exercise of the gospel of force can the holding of Egypt be maintained. The cruel disappointment of the Egyptians who fought so bravely with the Allies to overthrow autocracy and to sustain democracy throughout the world, only to be denied the things for which they and America fought, and to be placed under the steel of the military autocracy of England, means bitterness that ill accords with that spirit of the league of nations hich speaks for right and justice to all people, and that no people shall be governed without their consent.
The inevitable outcome is recorded in the daily press. Most of the news from Egypt is suppressed by Great Britain. We hear very little. Once in a while something leaks through. For instance, there was an Associated Press dispatch of July 25 last, and I quote from the headlines of the St. Louis Republic of July 25, 1919: Eight hundred Egyptians die, 1,600 wounded, when British put down revolution.
Is there any wonder? Would not Americans fight under the same circumstances? Would not Englishmen do the same? Shall the same instrument guaranteeing the right of self-determination to the people of all nations approve the denial of self-determination to Egypt? Is the world to continue to be ruled by might, or are we really in the dawn of a new day when right and justice shall reign throughout the earth?
The Egyptians fought on the side of the Allies, believing that they were fighting for the right of self-determination and for the principle that no people should be governed without their consent. When the armistice was signed the Egyptians rejoiced, even more than we rejoiced, for they were glad that the military autocracy had been overthrown, that the world had been made, as they believed, safe for democracy. They were glad further because they thought it meant the independence of Egypt. They did not doubt that they would have the right of self-determination, and that the time of their being governed without their consent was about to end. The legislative assembly of Egypt then appointed this commission to go to Paris to the peace conference, thinking that there would be a league of nations, and that Egypt would be a part of it. There was joy throughout the land of Egypt. A song of gladness was heard up and down the Nile. This commission went on its way to Paris, but when it reached Malta the members of the commission were astounded when they were arrested by order of the British Government and interned in jail.
Senator JOHNSON of California. Where?
Mr. Folk. At Malta. The British Government did not intend that Egypt should be heard before the league of nations, or before the peace conference. Not only that, but the British Government did not intend that the cause of Egypt should be heard in the United States, for upon order of the British Government this commission is interned in Paris to-day, and passports have been denied not only to members of the commission to come to the United States, but to any representative of the commission to come. If you are to consider this treaty long enough, I wish you would send for Mr. Zaghlul, the first man of Egypt, and let him tell you the story. Great Britain can not claim that he is a mere agitator and not reliable, for in every book upon Egypt written by Englishmen there are comments upon Mr. Zaghlul, and compliments upon his record. For instance, from the book by Mr. J. Alexander, page 54, called “The Truth About Egypt,” I read from page 54, as follows:
The appointment, in October, of Said Bey Zaghloul as minister of public instruction was one of the most opportune events of the year, and one of the very few which received the approbation of all parties. The appointment of Mr. Dunlop as adviser to the ministry some months earlier had raised the fury of the Anglophobe papers; but the selection of Said Bey Zaghloul-a man of Egyptian origin and tried abilities-emphasized the readiness of the British agency to support the genuinely progressive element among the Moslem natives of the country. It refuted the arguments so often repeated by Mustapha Pasha Kamel that no Egyptain of independent judgment and progressive views ever received the due recognition under the "iron rule of the occupation"; and it called forth the unanimous hopes of the native papers that it signified the beginning of a much-needed reform, and was in answer to their criticisms of Lord Cromer's past policy.
It was he who instituted the reforms for the education of women in Egypt. He is the head of this commission. He is detained in Paris by order of the British Government. The British Government does not intend that you shall hear him. You may get him if you can. I do not know whether you can or not. But if you would like to hear a story, the story of Egypt's wrong, you can have no better witness than Mr. Zaghloul.
In behalf of the commission and as counsel for the commission we ask that Section VI, articles 147 to 154, of the annex to the Versailles treaty clearly state that the status of Egypt shall be within the jurisdiction of the council of the league of nations.
Whether Egypt shall be turned over to Great Britain as spoils of war can not be an internal question unless it be made so by the treaty itself fixing the status of Egypt as internal to Great Britain.
America has always been the refuge of the oppressed of every land, and freedom of discussion of complaints of aggression has been a matter of course. The condemnation of Egypt without a hearing, to British bondage and subjection would mean continued mowing down by British guns of these liberty-seeking people who fought with America to make the world safe from military autocracy.
If, on the other hand, the Egyptians are assured of a hearing of their case by the council of the league of nations, or some international tribunal, there would, no doubt, be peace and quiet in Egypt, in the knowledge that an international forum will be open to them to determine their status and for the adjustment of their grievances. Thus the league of nations will have justified one of the sublime purposes of its conception in affording a remedy to oppressed nations and enabling them to obtain an adjudication of their right to national self-determination by appealing to justice rather than to force.
There can be no permanent peace based upon a foundation of injustice. Peace can only come to the world permanently through the application of the principles of self-government and of democracy to the peoples of all the world. Not only in the covenant should they be expressed, but they should not be repudiated in the annex to the covenant. When peace between the nations shall be based upon justice, then and not till then may we confidently look forward to the coming of the day foretold by the prophets of old, when there shall be peace on earth and good will in the hearts of the children of men. I thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen. I would be glad to answer any questions.
Senator SWANSON. Egypt, as I understand, has a legislative body. Do you know to what extent it functions; what authority and power it has ?
Mr. Folk. Yes, sir.
Mr. Folk. Until 1913 the authority was very limited. Lord Kitchener in 1913 recommended the present legislative assembly of Egypt. A majority of that body is elected by the people of Egypt. They now have authority to make laws.
Senator SWANSON. I understand that three-fourths are elected and one-fourth appointed. How is the one-fourth appointed ?
Mr. Folk. One-fourth is appointed by the Khedive. I read a while ago how it was selected.
The CHAIRMAN. Gov. Folk put that in the record.
Mr. Folk. Eighty-nine members—three-fourths-are chosen by district electors chosen by popular vote in proportion to population. Twenty-three are appointed. There are four Copts, three Beduoins, two merchants, one pedagogue, and one municipal representative.
Senator SWANSON. I will read that. Did you put in the record what authority they have ?
Mr. FOLK. Yes. They have a legislative authority at this time.
Senator HARDING. Governor, I want to ask you, was any voice for Egypt deard at the conference
Mr. Folk. Absolutely no voice for Egypt was allowed to be heard before the peace conference, and this is the first time Egypt has been heard in connection with the discussion of the league of nations and the peace treaty.
Senator HARDING. Do you know if the American commissioners and the special agents of humanity knew anything about Egypt's cry for assistance ? Mr. FOLK. I have not heard whether they knew or not. The CHAIRMAN. They recognized the protectorate. Senator JOHNSON of California. Were the members of the commission in Paris during the deliberations of the peace conference, at any
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Mr. Folk. They were interned at Malta, and when the people of Egypt heard that Zagdul was interned-he is the idol of the people of Egypt-revolution broke out.
Senator SWANSON. The real status of Egypt would have to be fixed in the treaty with Turkey?
Mr. Folk. Yes, I understand that the treaty with Turkey attempts to turn over the title of the Sultan of Turkey to Great Britain, not to Egypt. There would be injustice piled upon injustice; and of course you want to see the treaty with Turkey before you can act intelligently in regard to Egypt. You are quite correct, Senator.
Let me answer Senator Johnson's question.
Senator Knox. Is there not every presumption that they will require the same recognition of the protectorate in the treaty with Turkey that they have in the treaty with Germany?
Mr. FOLK. Absolutely. I understand that is in the Turkish treaty.
Now, they were interned at Malta, and when the people of Egypt heard that Zaghlul was interned, revolution broke out. It was reported that 800 Egyptians were killed, but I am told by people of Egypt that 30,000 were killed; that they used machine guns from airplanes and mowed the people down. Finally, after Zaghlul and his associates had been kept in Malta for a month, Gen. Allenby advised the British Government that the commission ought to be allowed to proceed to Paris. The commission thereupon was released and went to Paris; and they found to their horror when they reached Paris that two days before this clause had been written into the treaty. They asked for a hearing and it was denied. Then they asked to see President Wilson, but he could not see them. They went to the American consul and asked for passports to the United States in order that their story should be told in the land of the free. The American consulate, said of course that they could have passports, but three days later the American consul and the British consul called upon the commission and advised them that neither they nor any representative would be given passports to come to the United States. And they are kept there to-day, unable to get passports to any other country.
That simply shows some injustice that Great Britain desires to cover up. Right does not fear the truth and light. Injustice always seeks the darkness. Are there any further questions?
Senator SWANSON. As I understand, what you ask is to give jurisdiction of the league to the Egyptians.
Mr. Folk. We ask that in the event,
Senator SWANSON. Do the Egyptians favor the league of nations to cover their case ?
Mr. Folk. They would favor it, undoubtedly, if they could get before the league of nations. Let me say this, that they are entitled to independence; as much entitled to independence as we were in 1776. But if it is insisted that they must be under a mandatory, under Section XXII of the covenant, then the United States should be that mandatory and not Great Britain. Great Britain can never rule Egypt except by the utter extinction of every Egyptian. That is what they say.
Senator SWANSON. As I understand it, the Egyptians look with confidence in presenting their case to the league of nations, and would like to have the league of nations adopt it.
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Mr. FOLK. If they are not prevented from going before it.
Senator SWANSON. If they were permitted to appear before the league of nations, they would be pleased.
Mr. Folk. It offers them a remedy and a forum in which to plead their case.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you think the council of the league of nations as proposed would be likely to change their status?
Mr. FOLK. Of course, they would like to reduce the vote of Great Britain in the council.
The CHAIRMAN. She has only one vote in the council, but have they looked over the other countries and considered whether they would be apt to change their status?
Mr. Folk. Of course, you can not tell about a court beforehand.
I notice here, in answer to Senator Fall's question 13, something that I did not understand, where the President says:
There has been a provisional agreement as to the disposition of these overseas possessions whose confirmation and execution is dependent on the approval of the league of nations, and the United States is a party to that provisional agreement.
Whether that includes Egypt or not I do not know. I presume you have that agreement.
The CHAIRMAN. What agreement?
Senator JOHNSON of California. Of course we have not the agreements.
Senator HARDING. On what ground do you assume that we have.
Mr. FOLK. I have heard that you have been asking for them, and the Bible says, “Ask and you shall receive," and I assume that you have received.
Senator Knox. Are you reading the question or the answer ?
Mr. FOLK. I am only reading the answer because the paper I have only gives the answer
Senator Knox. That is what I wanted to know.
There has been a provisional agreement as to the disposition of these overseas possessions whose confirmation and execution is dependent on the approval of the league of nations, and the United States is a party to that provisional agreement."
The CHAIRMAN. I think he says elsewhere that it is not in his possession and that he could not send it to us.
Mr. FOLK. Of course if that included Egypt, it would be like the judges of a court getting together and decreeing how they would decide a case beforehand.
The CHAIRMAN. On that matter of the power of the league of nations, the United States, which has the power of recognition, has recognized the protectorate. It is estopped.
Mr. FOLK. The Senate is not estopped.
The CHAIRMAN. I know that point has been made before, but I am getting back of that; but in the council of the league of nations, to which you ask us to give you access, the United States would be estopped under that recognition.
Mr. Folk. It would be estopped unless you write into the treaty this clause.