Time Warp: King Fuad Dead

A new bi-weekly feature taking select articles from the rich archives of 'The Jerusalem Post' from 75 years ago.

Palestine Post 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Palestine Post 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
JerusalemWednesday, APril 29, 1936
CAIRO, TUESDAY. (By Telephone.) – King Ahmed Fuad I, of Egypt, died shortly after 1 o’clock this afternoon at Koubbeh Palace.
At midday a bulletin was issued to the effect that the King had passed a satisfactory night. Fever had subsided, it was stated, and his general condition, which had been sustained by admirable moral force, showed certain signs of improvement.
In spite of this hopeful report, his death did not come as a shock to Cairo, for it was known that His Majesty had been given stimulants which could only have a temporary effect. Rather the news was received with a sense of relief that his sufferings were over.
By 2:15 o’clock nearly all flags were at half-mast, and the wireless programmes were interrupted whilst the King’s death was announced. A 15-minute interruption of the Daventry B.B.C. programme, as a mark of respect, took place at 3 o’clock.
No radio programmes will be given from Cairo, apart from news, until after the funeral, which is to take place on Thursday.
It has been decided that the three names deposited in sealed covers in the Royal archives will not be made public until the new Parliament meets towards the middle or end of next month.
A Proclamation was issued tonight at 10:45 by the Council of Regency, under the presidency of Aly Maher Pasha.
The Council of ministers had been sitting for eight hours to discuss the difficult problems confronting a country that is without King and parliament. After paying tribute to the exceptional services rendered to the country by the late King Fuad the Council declared Prince Farouk King of Egypt from today.
Official mourning will be worn for three months.
Aly Maher Pasha has assumed royal prerogatives, and will consult with the leaders of the treaty talks delegation and members of the United Front to settle the question of the Council of Regency.
King Farouk will sail for Egypt on Thursday.
The new King was offered a British battleship to return in, but refused, and will travel on the Viceroy of India, arriving on Tuesday of next week.
It is feared he will not be able to complete his studies in England. A proclamation of loyalty was sent to King Farouk by the Council.
The death yesterday of King Fuad of Egypt removes from the scene of Near-Eastern national life a figure widely known and invariably respected, one who came to the throne at a time of crisis in his people’s history, who used his powers wisely and decisively, who intervened more than once to save Egypt’s statesmen from the errors of impetuosity, who possessed in himself wide cultural interests, and furthered those interests both in his own country and in circles far wider. The extent of his personal influence in shaping his country’s national welfare is not even yet fully known; but enough is public property to justify Egypt in congratulating herself on having lived her first years of national independence under such a king. He stands out the more conspicuously in that certain of his recent predecessors had signally failed to combine the qualities of wisdom, benevolence and responsibility which marked the fifteen years of his kingship.
We express our profound sympathy with our Egyptian neighbours in their mourning, and trust that the benefits which have been theirs during these past years under King Fuad will continue under their young monarch King Farouk, and that the negotiations with Great Britain, so sadly interrupted, will in due course be resumed to the honour of the Egyptian nation and the better cementing of Anglo-Egyptian relations.
The King’s death raises a delicate constitutional issue. The names of the three members of the Council of Regency, which were selected by the King and are contained in a sealed envelope, are supposed to be presented to Parliament for ratification within 24 hours. However, since the suspension of the Constitution in 1934 no Parliament exists. Its prerogatives were vested in the King. On his death they devolve on the Prime Minister, who is the sole remaining responsible authority.