§ MR. J. M. ROBERTSON (Northumberland, Tyneside)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the continuous decline in the yield of the cotton crop in Egypt, as admitted in Sir Eldon Gorst's recent Report, and considering that agriculture is the staple industry of Egypt and that a Department of Agriculture already exists in the Soudan, as in most civilised countries, he will advise the Egyptian Government to establish such a Department in Egypt.
§ SIR EDWARD GREY
There is no doubt as to the great importance of agriculture to Egypt; but the question whether the establishment of a special 604 Department in Egypt is advisable is clearly one for the decision of the Egyptian Government, who alone can judge whether such a step would at present be justified from a financial point of view. The hon. Member will have noticed that, in Sir Eldon Gorst's Report which he cites, it is stated that the Khedivial Agricultural Society have appointed a committee of experts to examine the causes of the diminished yield of cotton.