Ho Chi Minh

It Is Not Militarism, But...

First Published: l'Humanite September 28, 1923
Source: Selected Works of Ho Chi Minh Vol. 1
Publisher: Foreign Languages Publishing House
Transcription/Markup: Christian Liebl
Online Version: Ho Chi Minh Internet Archive (marxists.org) 2003

In brilliant fashion, M. Clemenceau has proved to the world in general and to the Americans in particular that France is neither a militarist country nor an imperialist one; so there! However, M. Archimbaud has recently somewhat destroyed the charm of the ‘Tiger’s’ speeches, in his report on the budget for the colonies, in which he wrote:

‘In 1914, the occupation army numbered 1,852 officers, 17,290 warrant-officiers and European soldiers, and 42,099 natives, to which must be added, for Dahomey, Guinea and the Ivory Coast, 1,979 men of the brigades of native guards, who have at present been replaced by regular troops. The total strength amounted to 63,210 men.

‘Since the war, garrisons with a strength of 1,712 men have had to be established in the mandated territories of Togoland and the Cameroons.

‘Besides, special formations have had to be created, especially in French West Africa, for the recruitment, incorporation and instruction of native contingents who serve in France or abroad. These formations have absorbed 2,237 men, including 271 European officers and warrant- officers.

‘Lastly, the number of natives serving in France or abroad, and supplied by the possessions attached to the Ministry of Colonies, amounts to 45,000 men.’

If we add that, for Indo-China alone, military expenditure was, in 1921, more than 35,600,000 francs, while the budget for Public Education did not reach 350,000 piastres, and that for health services 65,000 piastres, all the beauty of the colonial regime of the accommodating and peaceful French Republic can be appreciated.