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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 Picqui√© 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.