Dufferin Report (1883)

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Report commending reorganization of Egyptian government under British occupation.

Lord Dufferin, the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire in Constantinople (now Istanbul), was sent to Egypt following the defeat of the Urabi revolt to recommend policies for the administration of Britain's occupation. His report on the reorganization of the Egyptian government was issued on 6 February 1883. Recognizing the importance of the rising tide of Egyptian nationalism, Lord Dufferin sought middle ground between the restoration of Egyptian sovereignty and full annexation by England. British officials were to take advisory positions in key offices within the Egyptian administration, including the ministries of finance, interior, public works and irrigation, justice, police, and the army. Other specific measures and reforms discussed in the report were the establishment of an elected government under the khedive (ruler of Egypt, viceroy of the sultan of the Ottoman Empire), the promulgation of civil and criminal codes for the Native Tribunals, the abolishment of forced labor, and putting an end to the use of whippings to collect taxes and obtain evidence of crimes. As a result of Dufferin's report, a Legislative Council and a General Assembly were established, changing the contours of Egyptian politics. Contrary to Dufferin's intention of minimizing British control over the Egyptian government, the reforms discussed in his report increased British presence in Egypt and enhanced Egyptian opposition to the occupation.

See also Urabi, Ahmad.


Goldschmidt, Arthur, Jr. Modern Egypt: The Formation of a Nation-State. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1988.

Vatikiotis, P. J. The History of Modern Egypt: From Muhammad Ali to Mubarak, 4th edition. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991.

david waldner