Skip to main content

Dual Control


Joint British French supervision of Egyptian government revenues and disbursements from 1878 to 1882, supplementing the supervision provided by the Caisse de la Dette Publique set up in 1876.

The first controllers were members of the so-called European cabinet, in which a British subject was finance minister and a Frenchman held the portfolio for public works. This cabinet, appointed by Egypt's Khedive Ismaʿil in August 1878, under pressure from his European creditors, lasted only six months because of its fiscal stringencies, which included placing many Egyptian army officers on half pay. Four months later Khedive Ismaʿil was deposed in favor of his son, Tawfiq.

The British and French governments appointed their controllers: Sir Evelyn Baring (later Lord Cromer), who had served on the Caisse, and de Blignières, the former Egyptian works minister. They drew up what would become the 1880 liquidation law, which reduced Egyptian government indebtedness by strictly limiting government expenditure. This caused either antiforeign sentiment or feelings of nationalism among Egyptian officers and officials, leading to the 1881 and 1882 Urabi revolution.

Once the cabinet headed by Mahmud Sami alBarudi took control in February 1882, the controllers could no longer direct the budget. Dual Control was formally terminated when the British occupied Egypt in September 1882. Without access to military force, which Britain and France refused to apply until the Urabi revolution, Dual Control could not impose its program on Egypt's economy and body politic.

See also Baring, Evelyn; Ismaʿil ibn Ibrahim; Urabi, Ahmad.


Marlowe, John. Cromer in Egypt. London: Elek; New York: Praeger, 1970.

Schölch, Alexander. Egypt for the Egyptians! The Socio-Political Crisis in Egypt, 18781882. London: Ithaca Press, 1981.

arthur goldschmidt

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Dual Control." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . 15 Mar. 2019 <>.

"Dual Control." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . (March 15, 2019).

"Dual Control." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Retrieved March 15, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.