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Madagascar
Keymaster

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.