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Madagascar News Forums Food for thought the domination of the Merina oligarchy

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    The end of 1920, 29 December, an order ensures application in the Great Island of the decree of September 28, which reorganizes the Supreme Council of the Colonies The first article divided the provinces between the two districts, East and West; Article 2 states that the elections would take place in the offices of district leaders; Article 3 sets out the operations relating to the establishment of electoral lists that are drawn up according to Article 21 by a committee chaired by the Attorney General, head of the judicial service.
    A fixed Ministerial Decree of February 25, 1921 elections to 24 April for the 1st round and May 1 in the event of a second round. Another text April 5 postpones vote on 8 and 15 May.
    “Everything was ready for the first electoral process in Madagascar,” writes Gontard magistrate in 1969, and continues: “The delegate mandate did not seem to confer on its holder advantages such that it is likely to attract crowds of candidates . The Council had only advisory. “
    In addition, the delegate who sits on the Economic Council, is “drowned among the delegates of the other Colonies and representatives appointed by the Minister are consulted by him when he pleases, on issues that please him.” In addition, the existence of rare intervals of former Council has proven its uselessness, the new body has the same uncertainties.
    Finally, in material terms, the situation remains uncertain delegates: they are not officially paid or compensated by the state. In the decree of September 28, it is simply stated that compensation “may be granted to him by the colony or protectorate country he represents.” It is “to rely on the generosity of local government.”
    Thus, it is feared that there are few candidates “idoines and volunteers” for “a function at once so costly and uncertain.” According Gontard, if we denote a French of the island, or he would refrain from attending meetings regularly, or he would take his role seriously, but would lose his time and considerable sums trips that would result in a session a few days. And if we call a Metropolitan, he would experience bad problems of the Great Island. “In any case, the representation was defective and the institution lacked purpose. “
    Yet the end of 1920, rumors about several candidates run in Madagascar. They come from parliamentary attachment Reunion, some born in the neighboring island, the others being members of the island. “All had the advantage of trips paid in metropolitan budget. “
    From the beginning, it comes to Guist’hau, born in Reunion and deputy mayor of Nantes. Briand friend, he is a politician in sight. Before the war, it is even the Minister of Education in the Poincaré cabinet. “His candidacy was greeted with favor on the Big Island. “But soon Guist’hau is expected to enter the ministry Briand. He indicated that he renounce seek election voters Madagascar.
    It is thus announced that unless the two members of the Reunion will be candidates: Boussenot, doctor and journalist on the West Coast; Gasparin, a former lawyer in Toamasina to the East Coast.
    However, the announcement of the final application causes a public outcry, because it is very hostile to Gasparin in the island.
    “We consider him incapable coupled with a pushy, just a consumer of pork-thirty-milliste butter s’adjugent the yes-yes Palais Bourbon” (The Lighthouse of Mahajanga, February 19, 1921).
    Rather, the application Boussenot is nearly as unpopular. In Parliament, he intervenes several times in favor of the interests of Madagascar.


    On 19 October 1883, the consular meeting is established in France, the High Council of the Colonies which should in principle give the government the collaboration and the opinions of elected or selected personalities for their experience in overseas territories. The Council has met regularly until 1886. Since then, it ceases to be summoned. Thereafter, subsequent ministerial decrees and decisions increase the number of its members along stretches French colonial domain. In 1896, a decree creating a permanent committee of the Supreme Council which takes a few sessions that year and 1897, then stopped to turn its work. In 1941, “the Council that exists in law, has no factual existence,” summarizes the Gontard magistrate in 1969.
    The French settlers of Madagascar get, by the decree of October 17, 1896, the right to appoint a representative to the council, but successive governors general not favorable to the election of a delegate by Great Island, let slumber text. The Governor General Albert Picquié written in Paris on 19 May 1914, he is not hostile “in principle” to the appointment of a delegate, but added: “Given the particular situation of the colony where interests farmers, traders and native industries equal if not exceed those of our countrymen, I believe that the Decree of October 17, 1896 shall not be implemented if the text is supplemented by a provision allowing indigenous or licensed to elect officials also a representative to the Board. “
    The exclusion of indigenous “would create an inequality that seem shocking in the eyes of the vanquished of yesterday.” Thus, before the war, “the
    delegate elected settlers is like the Supreme Council: it has a nominal existence. ” After the Great War, one as the other to life.
    Faced with the many problems of a political, economic, financial and global conflict has raised, Albert Sarraut, new colonial secretary and former governor general of Indochina, recognizes the need to be surrounded by a board of experienced men capable of ensuring a closer contact between the colonies and the mother country. “The department has everything to gain with him to establish a consultative body in which the task of developing our colonial wealth be considered not only with all
    the scope and necessary method, but also under the immediate update of the most practical realities. “
    While the government decides to give life to the Council in Madagascar, the French colonists are pronounced “for the establishment
    closer ties between the colony and the mother country. ” The advisory Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture at its meeting on January 9, 1920, notes that on many occasions during the war, the economic interests of the colony are not “sufficiently defended in Paris.”
    “There was no doubt that if the settlers had representatives in France, some problems could have been avoided. “The Chamber requests that” the organic decree establishing the Higher Council of the Colonies be published as soon as possible and be process as soon as possible the election of delegates under this decree. ” The Consultative Chamber of Mahajanga resumes this wish at the meeting of April 12, 1920; that of Vatomandry, April 21.
    The Decree of 28 September 1920 revived and reorganized the Supreme Council of the Colonies. It must include three separate agencies now: a colonial High Council composed of former ministers of the colonies and former governors general, who handles major policy issues; a Council of colonial legislation made up of judges and qualified staff with their legal and administrative expertise; and Economic Council, which advises on matters related to development.
    The latter includes the deputies and senators of the Colonies, the members appointed by the Minister and elected delegates. In Madagascar, there will be two, one for the East, the other to the west.
    As for voters, they are French citizens of 21, enjoying their civil and political rights, and resident for at least six months in the colony.


    The Betsileo is remarkably smooth. Unfortunately it is often spoiled by very cold breezes blowing from the East and are often accompanied by mist. “The thermometer varies from 3 ° to 27 ° according to the season,” said Dr. Besson, French resident in Fianarantsoa, ​​capital of the province. It recalls that the inhabitants of the Highlands divide the year into four distinct seasons. The “lohataona” (head of the year) or spring runs approximately from 15 August to 15 November. “This is the time of germination. The fahavaratra, or season of the great rains, runs from November 15th to February 15th. The “fararano” or late autumn, fall, going from 15 February to 15 May It’s harvest time and the main crops (rice, corn, sorghum, potatoes, beans, etc.). The fourth season is the “ririnina” or winter, from May 15 to August 15. This is a relatively very cold weather because we see the thermometer down to 2 ° or 3 ° and leaves cover sometimes frost. Also, the atmosphere is cooled by breezes, mists and fogs icy East. During the “ririnina” vegetation undergoes a pronounced downtime and most of the trees are stripped of their foliage, and in Europe during the winter. This “climate of excellence” and the qualities of the soil make the country rich in resources of all kinds. “All vegetables and other products come from Europe remarkably well on almost all points of the province and all our fruit trees and can be seen in the gardens apple, peach, plum, the Apricot, cherry, pear, vine, chestnut, even walnut living side by side with banana, coffee, avocado, mango, bibassier, jambrosa, guava, etc. Apple and peach are especially successful and give excellent results. In addition, livestock production may be successful, especially when green forage silage is used to provide supplies for the dry season. But “by carelessness, laziness and improvidence of the natives, the vast majority of fodder for livestock is lost.” But if cattle are everywhere an abundant food during the rainy season, the grasses dry out otherwise lose their juices and nutritional qualities thereafter, where livestock weight loss. At the end of the nineteenth century, “more than 2 million ha of grassland or rangeland is barely enough for the prosperity of less than 100,000 head of cattle, which represents 20 ha per head”! In the past, the chiefs of the country, Tompomenakely and Andevohova, have taken possession of all the grassy grounds of their fiefs or districts, and have forbidden their passage to the flocks of ordinary inhabitants. So many Kabary accompanied by severe orders reported all grassy land as state property in order to ensure their enjoyment either the settlers or indigenous livestock producers. Although pastors, Betsileo are mainly sedentary. They raise their herds near their farms in the “vala”, always finding abundant pastures without having to transport themselves far. “The prohibitions and harassment of Tompomenakely and Andevohova formerly opposed to livestock development in the country. But as a result of the abolition of the abusive rights of these local notables with the arrival of the colonizers, “this breeding is now called to take a new lease of life”. However, although breeders, the Betsileo especially of the countryside rarely eat meat outside the customary holidays. His power like that of all Malagasy is based on rice, cassava and sweet potato. They prefer to reserve for the market their cattle, their sheep, their pigs and poultry. Water is their drink in ordinary times, but they are nevertheless excessive abuse of rum. However, “the wine, beer, tea and coffee are little known that their name. However, they really appreciate these drinks and there is no doubt that they make use when our prolonged occupation have created their needs and the love of well-being


    The idea of ​​joining the Betsileo to the sea by a railway is not new. Writes the Bread engineer quoted by Colonel Forgeot in its report on the future path: “A few months after taking Antananarivo, early in 1896 a company was formed in France under the title of auxiliary Society settlement, in order to create a direct communication between Fianarantsoa and the East coast. This communication should be a toll road, and later, a railway with such port of the mouth of the culmination Faraony. The tonnage of goods transiting annually on Fianarantsoa is then estimated at 4,500 tons. “A bill conceding this route of communication to the Company was tabled in 1897 but never ratified. He then abandoned because the company demanded a guarantee until the total traffic of the line reaches 15,000 tons. A ministerial decision of 7 February 1899 declared the resolution of the agreement with the Company. However, the construction of the TCE (Antananarivo-East Coast to Toamasina), begun in 1901 amid countless difficulties, postponed that of the FCE (Fianarantsoa-East Coast) to a point on the southeast coast. The idea is taken in 1915 and the construction is decided. A study mission is tasked with finding the point of completion of the railway. The instructions received from the Governor General Hubert Garbit, Engineer Bidel, state: “If technical or financial reasons preclude the choice of Mananjary, the mission should look for another point that can be used for this purpose, as close as possible to Mananjary. It should in particular focus attention on the Manakara region. Bidel concludes that the location of the port can only be determined after an evaluation of the construction price of the line. The study of the possible route is entrusted to the assistant engineer Mangin. The result of the work that two plots are to remember Ambohimahasoa-Fianarantsoa-Manakara and Mananjary or mouth of Faraony. But as some hesitations remain, Hubert Garbit decided to create a brigade of studies that would report a plot with as culmination Mananjary (1916). A Commission of three persons is appointed on 8 September. Its mission is to examine the advantages and disadvantages of each of the points of the coast could be chosen as head end, including Bay Faraony, Mahela and especially Manakara and Mananjary. It began operations in the latter city on October 5, 1920 and obtained from Hubert Garbit also to consider the economic point of view. It first advocates a previously neglected point, the Marohita Lake between Manakara and Mananjary, which, separated from the sea by 180m of dune, presents funds likely to be used for a deep-water port. However, a dense rocky bank is under the dune and the considerable work that should have been executed for the drill, do give up this choice. The Commission concluded that Manakara should be adopted as the terminus of the Betsileo line, permanently removing Mananjary, the mouth of Faraony and Mahela Bay north of Mananjary, which was also discussed for a moment. The choice of Manakara is explained by the fact that this city is in the economic and geographic focus areas dependent countries Betsileo- tanala, former provinces of Mananjary, Manakara and Farafangana-. The area of ​​influence of the railroad to build not likely to encroach on the areas served by the East Coast line-Antananarivo (to Toamasina). In addition, the route by 41km Manakara reduces the path of Fianarantsoa to the coast and the economy that results, essentially represents the expenditure envisaged for the construction of the port of Manakara. Thus, exploitation allows a saving on transport and thereby reduces the burden on the products the downhill. In addition, the profile of the route passing by Manakara is less troubled than it should have been adopted to achieve Mananjary: it requires less expenditure for both the cost of building and for the operation, where economy which users will benefit. The creation of a port in Manakara will also be less expensive than Mananjary. Finally, what facilities provide the landing of the necessary equipment to the railway, the fixity of the sands, the presence of a rocky threshold sheltering the estuary and other technical considerations militate in favor of the choice of Manakara. Moreover, Mananjary is already a successful small town and an important and ancient settlement highlights the Mananjary Valley and its tributaries.


    Fokonolona has long been a judicial institution. The archivist Razoharinoro-Randriamboavonjy cites some examples of cases considered by the community organization.

    In 1968, this is what Fokonolona decides that the debtors of a certain Rafaralahy free themselves of their debt which amounts to 35 piastres. “The sum was paid half and half by Ramahalimby Randrianantoandro. In the same year, Rainimasy and Rasoarivony are on trial for a sum of 17 piastres. “Rasoarivony paid to Rainimasy 7 dollars and a sixth to keep the promise she gave. The payment was made in the presence of Fokonolona well as Rafaralahimiaina, Rainitsarabe, Razafimanana 14 honors Rainizafy, Ralaitsiry, Rafaratsirabo “as witnesses. Two years later, a dispute between Ramantsoa and Rainipatsa. “The Fokonolona suggested to the parties to submit their case. This was done. Those present heard the case … If a party contests the judgment, a fine consisting of a dollar (for the sovereign), 30 dollars and an ox, will be imposed. Follow the names of witnesses (among a dozen). “

    In 1871, R. and R. are on trial. “The Fokonolona admonished both. It was understood that … one of the parties contesting the judgment, the following fines shall be imposed: one ox, three piastres, and one dollar of silver for the lord. ” The same year, Ra. and Ra. Bring a lawsuit against R. for some good. “Litigants have received our advice and then were asked to explain each in the presence of his opponent. Here is our judgment after hearing the litigants: They offered the dollar for the king, and recognized their faults. We have said to them: One of you who has retracted and denied what he has said here will be punished with a fine of 30 piastres, an ox, a piastre d ‘ money for the king. Whoever untie his oath definitively renounce the well and the penalties provided by the laws of the state will be applied to it. The statements were made on the basis of witnesses’ …

    In 1878, therefore, after the organization of the army by Radama Ier, creating Sakaizambohitra saw some soldiers become “borizano” (civilians or reservists) and diminishes more and more the role of Fokonolona as a judicial institution. The “Sakaizambohitra” are, however, not judges, but “bodies only to refer to the Antananarivo court the defendants.” Thus, they are not entitled to hold a hearing because they are set up to simply “hear” and “see,” or receive complaints.

    However, the reform tends to significantly reduce the authority of Fokonolona (Article 4 of the Instructions for use by Sakaizambohitra). Indeed, this article provides: “If the people summon someone to appear in court, get it up, because it is the Fokonolona who asks. “That is to say, go to the higher court, that of Antananarivo. Thus the Fokonolona is only one of the two bodies to proceed with the trial of an accused. Hence it says in Article 14 of the same text: “If the Lord, head of the district or the Fokonolona wants to assume the right to arrange a deal of strength against the will of a party, do up this matter in Antananarivo. “

    In fact, the article will especially avoid abuse of lords or Fokonolona if they are the wrongdoers. It is perhaps also a warning against the temptation to cut too sovereign in all things. “But it happened that the Sakaizambohitra did not always agree with the Fokonolona. Some of them have even caused disturbances in their constituency because of their dishonesty. “They alienate sympathy Fokonolona because” they often abused their authority


    The death of James Hastie, which occurred on 18 October 1826, deprives the governor of Mauritius, Sir Lowry Cole, of the wonderful informant who was his resident agent at the Court of Radama I. This is all the more serious because “the problems posed by the appointment of a replacement might considerably delay the time when the new agent was likely to take up his post in Antananarivo” (Jean Valette, archivist-paleograph).
    A provisional solution is urgently needed so that the correspondence between Mauritius and Madagascar is not interrupted. Governor Cole’s choice is naturally based on “the British subject most likely to fulfill this role.” This is the Rev. David Jones who resides in Antananarivo since October 1820 and who is related to Radama by a solid friendship. By letter of December 4, 1826, the Governor of Mauritius informed Jones of the services he expected of him.
    This mission entrusted to him, led the missionary to write four letters (from 9 January to 18 July 1827) to F.-E. Viret, private secretary of Sir Lowry Cole, in which he explained to him the events which took place in Antananarivo or in the provinces “at the king’s instigation.”
    The first important point mentioned in these letters is the King’s attitude towards English policy. “It must be remembered that the king asked himself whether the death of Hastie should or should not put an end to the execution of the Anglo-Merina treaty. In fact, for Radama, Hastie was much more a friend and a listened counselor than the agent of Great Britain. The conclusion of the Blancard contract, just days after the death of James Hastie, is the best illustration of the place of choice that Hastie occupied in the counsels of Radama.
    It must also be emphasized that the mere disappearance of James Hastie is sufficient to completely change the attitude of the king and his ministers towards the English. Jean Valette quotes Jones’ disillusioned phrase, which is rather significant: “… We are here, in our capacity as British subjects, held in suspicion. “
    David Jones does not hide either his fear of a possible expulsion of the Missionaries
    Anxiety which “allows us to better understand the sequence of events”.
    Similarly, Jean Valette points out that the only arrival of Dr. Lyall in Toamasina and his meeting with Radama is sufficient to reverse a situation that is compromised “because of the way in which the new British agent had pleased Radama “.
    Jones’ letters also provide some interesting information about Radama’s policy with respect to the provinces. In 1827, the general situation of the country seemed very disturbed. Indeed, the brilliant previous territorial conquests seem to be poorly “digested” and Antananarivo’s authority is being questioned in many parts of the island: Menabe, Mananjary, Matitanana, Taolagnaro.
    Here is what Jones writes: “King Radama sent several thousand of his soldiers this year to pacify various parts of the country sakalava, to the south and southwest of his capital. Some detachments have already returned after having succeeded in establishing peace and tranquility in the regions where they have been; Others still beat the countryside, in search of the Sakalava chief, Ramitraho, the father of Rasalimo, his Majesty’s wife. “
    Jones recalls the words of Ramitraho: if Radama’s army evacuates his country and if ambassadors are sent to him to negotiate with him the conditions of peace, he would meet them for that purpose. So the king sent Princess Rasalimo with an escort of a thousand soldiers, in order to finalize the terms of a treaty of friendship between her husband and her father (letter of April 11, 1827).
    Concerning the Mananjary troubles reported in Antananarivo noises, David Jones reports that about 3,000 soldiers left yesterday to crush the rebellion in this region. A large detachment was to leave a little later to restore order in the Matitanana and in the vicinity of Fort Dauphin.


    After the west on the side of the Imamo, eastwards are the views of Andrianampoinimerina, in the eastern border zone, just before the forests where kingdoms and lords react differently. In Fandàna, Ambohibato, Tsarahonenana … everything happens without difficulty, in principle, because while accepting its sovereignty, many are “his new subjects” who turn their backs on him to flee for fear of losing their freedom And to be sold off.
    The king recalls them, appeases their fears, but nothing to his astonishment. So he left the country before sending emissaries to debapize him and call him Imerinkasinina (Imerina hasinina) and whose inhabitants will henceforth be called Tsiverindoha (tsy averin-doha) in memory of those who persisted in Flee it.
    Continuing his conquest, Andrianampoinimerina beat easily Antanamalaza where he installed 450 men taken by thirds in the Tsimahafotsy, Tsimiamboholahy and Mandiavato, but the former did not acclimatise and return home. Andriamaheritsialaintany becomes the chief of Antanamalaza and settles in Amboatany. Formerly menabe, it is transformed into menakely because “it is due not by inheritance, but because I want it”. At his death, his son Rambolamanana succeeded him, who became so menaced again, while his two other sons, Andrianaivo and Rakaloanosy, resided in Sahafa.
    Then came the conquest of Antsahamaina. The battle is tough and Andrianampoinimerina must, as at Ambohitraina, block all the points and sources of water used by the population to thirst and defeat it. It brings back from this campaign, it is said, the fetish Hodibato.
    If in Antsahamaina, the king of Imerina encounters difficulties, in Ambatomanga in the Amoronkay, it is worse. It takes three campaigns to defeat it definitively. It is a citadel surrounded by deep ravines on three sides, protected naturally to the east by a rocky mountain, with ramparts reinforced with snowshoes and thick thorns. Only a cannon could have succeeded, but it has only rifles like the besieged who turn out to be vigorous fighters. Nevertheless, Andrianampoinimerina launches successive assaults. In vain.
    He then retired to attack the Vakiniadiana and the Vakinampasina, west of Ambatomanga, which he subjected fairly easily to Iadiana. He returned to Ambatomanga, setting up a fortified camp downstream. The battle is more severe, the casualties are high on both sides. He decides to return to Ambohimanga so that his men can rest, the wounded take care of themselves, not without throwing a pike to the chiefs of the citadel: “If you want to kill the people, if you want his misfortune, Leave your ammunition and rifles to defend you, for I shall return. “
    Returning to Ambohimanga, he raised a much larger army, split in two. The king himself led the men of the front to the assault of the citadel, and again, he almost did not succeed without the reinforcement of the rear guard. When the citadel falls, Andrianampoinimerina is in awe at the warrior power of the inhabitants and leaves them free because he needs men of this caliber and “that there are still countries to conquer since the objective is the sea. Over there, he says to his disappointed and vexed army, you can have as many slaves as you want. “
    But on the way back, he learns that the citadel rebels and he has to turn back to subdue it again. Then a third time, she revolts: Andrianampoinimerina decides to settle once and for all the problem: he sends the Manisotra, intrepid warriors who put an end to any ambition of insurrection of Ambatomanga, henceforth pacified. But on the death of the great monarch, she rebels again and Radama solves the problem, this time for good.


    To conclude his explanations, the author of the American brochure on Madagascar in 1883 examines the treaty to be signed by President Arthur and the Merina emissaries at the end of their mission. Treaty fully brought to the attention of the Americans by the New York Herald. “The reading of the treaty, far from invalidating our observations, confirms them fully,” writes the author of the American pamphlet.
    He began by quoting some newspapers. The Herald, in a “humorous tone”, reserves for the treaty a few lines “as it was too small a matter for this journalistic giant”. The Mail and Express, a well-known Anglophile newspaper, refuses to see in this “diplomatic instrument” a danger to America when it is “too favorable to Great Britain in an indirect but sure way”.
    Commerical Advertiser, for its part, focuses his article on the economic aspect: “The treaty with Madagascar was first brought to the attention of the public by the Commercial Advertiser last January (January 3, 1883), which mentioned the fact That the Malagasy delegates were sent to the United States to obtain the ratification of a treaty of commerce instead of asking the United States for help in their dispute with France, as had been imagined in some quarters. Although the treaty has some good characteristics, it could have been made more advantageous for us. For example (…) why are we on one side landing and storing coal for our ships, while we are prohibited from exploiting the mines of coal from Madagascar or exporting the products “
    Especially since many English vessels in Madagascar “will be able to exploit the coal and other mines of the country and export coal and wood on the pretext that these objects are destined for the neighboring island of Mauritius”. This island with Madagascar forms a “trade of cabotage” left intact by the treaties. “These trade and other regulations, which are detrimental to American interests, will undoubtedly be easy to adjust at a later date. “
    But for the American pamphlet, political mistakes of international character are not so easy to catch up. And to call on the American leaders to consider article 2 of the treaty: “Her Majesty the Queen’s (Hova’s) States agree on the whole of Madagascar. This assertion, according to the pamphlet, is contrary to the teachings of history and makes the United States “defenders and accomplices of the Hova government in its bellicose enterprises against the free and not yet subjugated peoples of Madagascar, and against the rights of the France on some parts of the island “.
    The American pamphlet “excuses” the American consul of Toamasina, Mr. Robinson, for having overshadowed this “dangerous interpretation,” considering the treaty as a mere formal declaration of no practical importance. “Does he not know that the United States has shown in their glorious history that they are opposed to interfere in the disputes of other Old World states and that they have never given their aid and that ‘They will never give it to a warrior nation, desirous of crushing the liberties of its weaker neighbors, as the Hova want to do in Madagascar’
    Before concluding, the pamphlet quotes the London Times of December 16, 1882, on the representativeness of the Malagasy emissaries.
    “Justice demands in this controversy to admit into the record of France that the part of the Malagasy population represented by the ambassadors in Europe does not exercise an indisputable sovereignty over the island. The Hova, which the mission represents alone, are a dominant people who assume a supremacy which the other Malagasy peoples refuse to admit. The Sakalava are as rough
    But they have the merit of an obstinate love of liberty, and France can not be treated as an oppressor of free nations to refuse to recognize the Hova as their undisputed suzerains. “
    And to conclude: “The American people would consider it unworthy of them to be in the Malagasy question more English than the English themselves.


    After presenting the island of Madagascar, and having located it in the context of the time, the American brochure of 1883 begins to criticize the Malagasy approach (read our previous Note) and especially the English.
    For the anonymous author of the brochure quoting the English “Contemporary Review”, these
    Last year committed themselves “to a great extent, to give some support to the hova government by the words spoken by our special envoy to Queen Ranavalona last year. Vice-Admiral Gore-Jones repeatedly confirmed the agreement (about the independence of the island) and encouraged the Hova government to consolidate its authority on the West Coast. This language prompted the Hova to undertake an action on this coast which served as a pretext for the present French intervention.
    The American pamphlet then explains the “real motive” of this French intervention: the non-execution by the queens Rasoherina and Ranavalona II of the treaty concluded between Radama II, assassinated, and the French Lambert and Laborde. In addition, the Franco-Malagasy treaty signed at Antananarivo on 8 August 1868 contains an annex clause.
    “Art.4: The French in Madagascar shall enjoy full protection for their persons and property. They may, as the subjects of the most favored nation, and in conformity with the laws and regulations of the country, establish themselves wherever they think fit, lease, acquire any kind of immovable property, and engage in all commercial transactions And industrial sectors which are not prohibited by domestic legislation. Leases, contracts of sale and purchase and contracts of engagement of workers shall be passed by authentic deed before the consul of France and the magistrates of the country. “
    Thus, according to the American pamphlet, “the French Government is entitled to demand the execution of this clause, the refusal of which has been the principal cause of their disagreement with the Hova government.” Despite these treaties, the Merina discouraged the settlement of foreigners, and as long as they were allowed to limit the possession of the land by short leases, “this beautiful and rich island will remain the unproductive country it has Always under their rule, and the poor and unfortunate people of the East Coast, whom they have conquered, will wait in vain for the introduction of industries which might give them the means of softening their miserable condition. “
    For the authors of the American pamphlet, this treaty does not annul the ancient rights of France over the possession of other regions of the island, and it grants him some privileges. The English are not satisfied and hope that the French will be expelled from the island, which they want to make “an African India”. The Americans know well what this means for them, and through their Consul at Toamasina, Mr. Robinson, endeavor to secure the balance of power between the French and the English.
    The pamphlet then cites the case of “Stillman B. Allen” to prove British bad faith. “This American ship has a shipload of weapons destined for the Hova government (which is prohibited by a Franco-Malagasy agreement) and the British agent assured him that the commander of the French warship stationed at Tamatave Mr. Robinson (…) warned the French commander and the consul that the unloading would take place anywhere, which was done stupidly “(to the detriment of the French). Consul Robinson concluded that “in the affairs of Madagascar he was not sure of having very great confidence in the statements of English agents or Hova officials.”
    And the pamphlet adds: “The murder of two Americans and a Frenchman of their friends in September (1882) shows clearly the well-known spirit of the English in all these colonial matters. It seems, however, that there was only one American killed, the prospector Emerson, murdered near St. Augustine’s Bay on September 10, 1882, for his companion Hulett succeeded in escaping. The other victim killed is the French (or Mauritian) Theodore Parent established in the South of Madagascar and who served as a guide to the Americans.