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Egypt: Egypt Purges its Army of Corruption

(July 23, 1952)

Proclamation issued by the Egyptian Free Officers in the name of General Muhammad Naguib:

Egypt has undergone a critical time in its recent history. It has been a period of graft, corruption and government instability. All these factors had a great influence on the Army. Biased persons and those who received bribes contributed to our defeat in the Palestine war. But the post-war period was controlled by elements of corruption, and traitors plotted against the Army which was ruled either by an ignorant traitor or by an intriguer so that Egypt might become a country without a defending army. Consequently, we have purged ourselves. Our affairs inside the Army have been placed in the hands of men in whose ability, character and patriotism we have faith. No doubt the whole of Egypt will welcome this news.

As regards those we have arrested, namely, former military personnel, no harm shall be done to them. They will be released at the appropriate time. I assure the Egyptian people that the entire Army is now working in the interests of the country, within the Constitution and without any designs. I take this opportunity to ask the people not to permit any traitor to resort to acts of sabotage or violence, as these are not in the interests of Egypt. Any such action will be met with unparalleled firmness and the offender will immediately be punished for treason. The Army will undertake this responsibility in cooperation with the police. I want to assure our brother foreigners of the safety of their business, lives and properties. The Army considers itself completely responsible for them. God is the giver of success.

SWB, Part IV, no. 280, 29 July 1952.

Sources: Chaim Herzog Center - Fraser, T. G. (ed), 1980. The Middle East, 1914-1979, Edward Arnold, London.