The British government made a declaration of Egyptian independence on 28 February, 1922. The declaration said:
“Whereas His Majesty’s Government in accordance with their declared intentions, desire forthwith to recognize Egypt as an independent Sovereign State; and whereas the relations between His Majesty’s Government and Egypt are of vital importance to the British Empire, the following principle’s are hereby declared:
(1) The British Protectorate over Egypt is terminated and Egypt is declared to be an independent sovereign state.
(2) As soon as the government of his Highness shall pass an Act of Indemnity with application to all inhabitants of Egypt Marital law as proclaimed on 2 November 1914 shall be withdrawn.
(3) The following matters are absolutely reserved to the direction of His Majesty’s government until such time as it may be possible by free discussion and friendly accommodation on both sides to concluded agreement in regard thereto between His Majesty’s Government and Egypt:
(a) The security of the communications of the British Empire in Egypt.
(b) The defence of Egypt against all foreign aggression or interference, direct or indirect.
(c) The protection of foreign interest in Egypt and the protection of minorities.
(d) On the conclusion of such agreements the status quo in these matters shall remain in these matters shall remain in tact.
As the declaration regarding independence subjected Egyptian sovereignty to a number of limitations, the Egyptian nationalists were not willing to accept declaration.
However, Zaghlul Pasha persuaded his followers to accept the same because it constituted a forward step in the direction of complete independence. He hoped to continue the struggle for Egypt’s independence within the structural limitations of the declaration.