Testimony of patients of the spiritual, economic and social order, promise of a better future for all the inhabitants of this country, the Franco-Madagascan Progress Fair, despite the revolt, because of the revolt. Is therefore not the fruit of a rash optimism, but rather a realistic, constructive manifestation and also, on the part of all, an act of faith. “
The physical and moral wounds caused by the repression during the events of March 1947 are not yet healed, as the French General Government is organizing a large-scale fair that lasts four weeks (5 October-7 November).
Challenge or paradox at a time when the death knell of colonial domination in the world For the High Commissioner Marcel de Coppet, it is neither the one nor the other because “this fair is precisely to bring back To their true significance, the painful events which we have just witnessed. ” In any case, M. de Coppet gives a French version of it, while insisting on the consequences of “the revolt which is ending” and which is a “serious thing”. And to detail: “It cost a lot of human lives; The destruction, the ruins will be long to recover; A climate of uneasiness is born that time alone can make disappear. “
Directly attacking the “fomenters,” who are only “a handful” of ambitious and intriguers desirous of re-establishing the privileges of another age for their own profit, the Governor-General treats their partisans as mere executors, “Of fanatized individuals belonging to primitive tribes, of whom Gallieni had already been able to measure xenophobia”. He thus refers to the Menalamba. According to the Governor General, “the whole civilized island has remained calm” since it is in the heart of the forest, in regions where “geographical factors” make French penetration difficult “superstitions, witchcraft, oaths Rituals may have provoked the barbarity – the capital of the insurrection – without which the criminal designs of the insurgents would have remained in vain. “
And to bring doubtless comfort of hope to “the vast majority of Malagasy,” he adds: “But despite the crimes inspired by some insane criminals, despite the odious machination hidden in the shadows by ambitious without Scruples, on March 29, 1947, should not represent, does not represent a solution of continuity in the work undertaken here by France, nor an irremediable break between the French and the vast majority of Malagasy. We mourn our dead, but stronger than all rebellions, life continues, creative activities continue and France without which Madagascar would not be on the way to becoming a great modern country, France remains. “
Beyond its purely economic aspect, the objective of the fair, which is really a success, consists in demonstrating how wrongly the “insurgents” are, as the speech of M. de Coppet implies: Will have enabled the populations of the Big Island to become aware of the achievements achieved in half a century of Franco-Malagasy colonization. “
And to bring an optimistic note about the future of relations between the two countries, between the two peoples, he affirms that this fair gave Malagasy confidence in themselves. “To consider the synthesis of their efforts, they realized how far they had gone along the road of progress, on this road where France will continue to guide them with the constant concern to make them find in themselves, in the soil of Their homeland as well as in the wealth of their language, original personal values, representative of their natural genius, this soul that will soon discover the various modes of its expression. “
Moreover, “despite the financial difficulties due to the Second World War,” the Metropole has decided to make the necessary sacrifices in our favor “. In 1947, it made an exceptional contribution of $ 2,100,000 for the purchase of fabrics. An equivalent allocation in pounds sterling is also allocated, as is a quota of $ 8,400,000 for the first six months of the year. “For 1948, we have established an import program which amounts to 275,000 tons of goods corresponding, in the currency of account, to 81 million dollars. “