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In 1895 Le Myre de Vilers was sent on a mission to the Big Island to call on Prime Minister Rainilaiarivony to explain his insistence on ordering armaments within a certain period of time. His silence will be
“An inadmissibility”.
As a result, “the flag (French) would be brought, the evacuation (of French residents) prescribed and the representative of France would gain the coast to put in communication with the government”. This is what one reads in one of the documents contained in the “Yellow Book” that the French government distributes to Parliament
In 1896.
The cause of this situation dates back ten years. In the treaty of 1885 it is specified that the government of Ranavalona III refrains from maintaining relations with foreign countries and their agents over the resident general of France. Any concession made directly or indirectly by the queen’s government to French or other foreigners must be registered for approval at the general residence under penalty of nullity.
On the other hand, the French Government shall have the right to maintain in Madagascar such forces as it deems necessary for the safety of its nationals and foreign residents. Similarly, it may undertake
Public works “, such as ports, channels of communication, telegraphs, canals, etc., which aim at the prosperity of the country, and collect the taxes” which shall be the consequence thereof when the royal government does not itself undertake the Execution of the said work “. And in case of difficulty of interpretation, “the French text will make alone law”.
But it was without counting without the Prime Minister. Rainilaiarivony responds with a counter-project where, according to the French, he has not shown “his customary skill”.
Ten years later, as a result of his ultimatum concerning the weapons command made by the Prime Minister, a conference is organized at the Silver Palace in the Rova of Antananarivo, but with no result. Myre de Vilers declares to the head of the queen’s government that the situation is exceedingly serious.
“The government of the Republic does not wish to intervene in the internal administration of the kingdom; It does not want to touch on the question of property or that of labor, but it is essentially concerned with ensuring effective protection for the Vazaha of all nationalities. “
The French head of mission also wishes to emphasize that once the war has been declared, the French will no longer be able to stop the war, “and by force of circumstances we shall have to impose our domination on you.” This precision is accompanied by a very realistic forecast:
“The result of the conflict is not doubtful; It will be the crushing of the Malagasy “; And a threat:
“The European armies are currently organized in such a way that resistance is not possible without a long and skilful preparation and without improved armament. “
Myre de Vilers insists to Rainilaiarivony- “in all friendship because I have a great affection for Your Excellency” -that in any case it will be a disaster for the Malagasy people. It is even pressing: “If I speak thus, it is not out of contempt for the Malagasy; Your soldiers will be as brave as possible, they will inevitably be beaten. “
Again, the council is tinged with a threat: “Never head of state has been in a more perilous situation. If your Excellency can not agree with me, his loss, that of his Majesty and that of the kingdom will ensue. On the contrary, if it agrees with the government of the Republic, all difficulties will be resolved and the people of Malagasy will find prosperity unknown until now. “
Rainilaiarivony “remains deaf” to the remarks of the special envoy of the French government and on October 27, 1895, the French flag is brought. The exodus of the French residents began and on November 2, the evacuation of the Imerina was made.