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As Laigret had pointed out to Lincoln, the incident was but one of several. A few days later, he forwarded to the American authorities details of other recent complaints and incidents, including those described below Most of the reports referred to black American personnel. These people had many fewer opportunities than their white counterparts for social interaction and sexual contacts. Their activities, moreover, were subject to the racial prejudice and stereotyping characteristic of white attitudes at that time. Accordingly, particular events, serious enough in.

Moreover the French documents provide only one side of the story, that provided by the complainants and the police. The object of the attack had apparently been rape, but the attackers fled when disturbed He reportedly had been defending his wife against one of the sailors, who had been seeking to attract her away In response to the problems of sexual harassment and assault, and to other inci-. He specified that this interdiction should be applied solely to black troops, on the grounds that they were responsible for almost all of the incidents The American authorities declined to accede to his request.

They did however explore another possible means of responding to the problem, on the basis of their assessment that it resulted in part from the limited opportunities for Black servicemen for sexual contacts. This facility was apparently only available for white servicemen. Concerning accommodation, Freby had suggested to the Americans that they build. But they had responded that providing this material would amount to participating in the establishment of a brothel, prompting Freby to complain that:.

But since the house in question was occupied by a Caledonian family, it would be necessary to evict them and find them alternative accommodation, which would not be easy given the housing shortage. Laigret consulted his officials. He advised that he did not wish to play any role in the creation of such an establishment. Lieutenant-Colonel Sellier, the head of the Health Service, was similarly completely opposed to the employment of Melanesian women for this purpose, suggesting that instead the American commander import American.

He also said that because the establishment of the proposed brothel was entirely a matter for the American authorities, it was not appropriate for the Health Service to be involved, and expressed his own disinclination to know anything more about it. This was a rather surprizing stance to take given the health aspects involved and the need for preventative measures The supply of labour was a further source of tensions. Bourgeau pointed out that the economy of the colony was suffering severely from labour shortages.

Many members of the European section of the workforce had been attracted away from their usual occupations by the more lucrative opportunities created by the American presence. Some were engaging in the illegal liquor trade, others were operating shops selling. Shortages had also developed with respect to the Melanesian section of the workforce, which numbered some 5 At French request, the French and American authorities had signed an agreement in late whereby Melanesians would only be recruited through the agency of the Indigenous Affairs Service, and would be provided with wages and conditions broadly equivalent with those applying to their employment by the French authorities and the private sector Bourgeau complained however of the problems caused by.

The European community, like their counterparts elsewhere in the Pacific Islands region, resented the resulting reduced availability of Melanesian labour, and what it regarded as the demoralising impact on the Melanesians of higher wages and less strict discipline. The Melanesian workers involved in unauthorized employment by the Americans no doubt regarded the experience much more positively.

In spite of their expressions of concern, the French authorities had an indifferent record in caring for the Melanesian labour force. All camp and labour costs, however, including those for the salaries of the French labour supervisors, were met by the United States Army The American Army authorities found that under French administration conditions were poor. According to an Army report,. Sick call was very high. The majority of French supervisors were low grade In response, and despite French protests, the United States took over effective control of the labour camp in early , leaving the French with only nominal authority.

As well as rectifying the problems, direct American administration reportedly improved the recruitment of labour. Tensions had also arisen over the Melanesians employed as guides. These men had been. The French and American authorities had agreed that the guides corps should be an auxiliary unit of the French Army put at the disposition of the American Army But this undertaking had not been honoured. Some guides had been enrolled, rather than the agreed on ; after protests from the French administration the number had been reduced to Moreover the guides wore American uniforms, and had been inclined to become pro-American and hostile to the French.

Bourgeau had suggested to General Lincoln that the force be disbanded, because the undertakings relevant to its operation had not been honoured and because American knowledge of the countryside had improved, making the guides unnecessary. Lincoln had replied that he thought that the force was very useful and contributed greatly to the defence of New Caledonia The French administration and the European community also complained about the impact of the American presence on the immigrant section of the work force.

In August there were 10 immigrant workers in the colony, consisting of 3 Indochinese and 7 Javanese. In addition a few hundred former workers and their families were resident in the colony. As with the other categories of workers, the number of immigrant workers was insufficient to meet the demand for their labour. When the American forces had arrived, the French authorities had made clear that, as was the case with Melanesian workers, no immigrant workers should be employed without their permission. This permission had been granted in only a few dozen cases, mainly, it appears, to provide domestic servants As of August , the total number of absconders at liberty numbered Bour- geau commented that:.

In order to reduce the labour shortage workers from Wallis and Futuna had been imported in mid- ; however nearly half of them had been found to be carriers of fila- ria, and it had been necessary to repatriate the group Bourgeau's report received a warm response and broad endorsement from the Free French authorities in Algiers, although some doubts were raised about the practicality of some of his suggestions for ameliorative action Meanwhile the French administration in New Caledonia continued to seek to maintain control over the supply and distribution of labour53, to resist American demands for more labour, and to pressure the American authorities to act on some of the points of contention.

The run of correspondence available is far from complete, but that which is. Bourgeau emphasized the shortage of Melanesian labour, and noted that it was necessary for some Melanesians to remain in their villages to engage in subsistence cultivation. Following his arrival in New Caledonia in late August , Laigret responded in similarly negative terms to American requests for additional labour.

La variation, plus qu'une écume

Around the same time, in response to a request for additional Melanesian labour for road works, Laigret stressed his own administration's requirements for labour, requested that the American authorities provide further information on their labour needs and priorities, and suggested that some of the Americans' present Melanesian labour force be redeployed from the labour camps to road works Laigret also raised with the American authorities the question of the diversion of immigrant labour.

On 3 November ,. Syndic de l'Immigration Jean Lubet reported from Voh on the absconding of several Javanese workers, apparently to work for the Americans. Some of the Javanese had reportedly been told, by American soldiers who arrived one evening in a truck, that they would be employed doing laundry, for two dollars a day and with a carton of cigarettes supplied each week This was no doubt an attractive offer, given their poor wages and conditions in their former employment. In addition, industrial conflict in the mines may have encouraged the departure of some of them.

In response to this and associated reports Laigret wrote to the Americans in strong terms, urging that this sort of activity be stopped and requesting that the personnel involved be instructed that they had no prerogative to interfere in domestic industrial disputes The French authorities were also engaged, during and , in fielding enquiries from the Dutch Government, which expressed concern about the welfare of the Javanese workers and which hoped that some of them could be transferred into Dutch Army and Dutch support Units stationed in Australia.

In theory the immigrant Javanese and Vietnamese workers were entitled to be repatriated if they did not choose to re-engage following the completion of their first five-year contracts. Once the war was underway however the French administration had decided to oblige these workers to sign new contracts for a further six months or year when their first contracts had expired, and to renew repeatedly these new contracts.

It argued that their repatriation was impossible under wartime conditions, and that there was a pressing need for their labour in New Caledonia. These breaches of good faith had caused deep resentment among the immigrant workers Until the end of the war the French authorities continued to rebuff, politely but firmly, suggestions by the Dutch Government that the Javanese depart from New Caledonia.

Bour- geau and others argued that it was necessary to display good will towards and maintain cordial relations with a friendly government, especially in view of the prospective need for its cooperation in the supply of labour from the Dutch East Indies once the war was over, while nonetheless ensuring that the labour needs of New Caledonia continued to have priority On 15 June , nonetheless, Laigret' s successor, Governor Jacques Tallec, declared all immigrant workers to be free residents, effectively cancelling their existing contracts.

These workers were now in theory free to depart New Caledonia, but the shortage of shipping would make this impractical until after the war. Controls over residence were however maintained for some time, to ensure that most of them remained in the interior. In addition a decree of 22 June prohibited commerce to all non-citizens, thus reserving it for French nationals, while excluding immigrants and also the Melanesians, who remained subjects rather than citizens until after the war Meanwhile, despite continued efforts to protect what were regarded as French and New Caledonian interests in relation to the supply of labour, tensions with the American military authorities over the labour supply and related questions had continued to simmer.

On 26 January , Laigret wrote again to General Lincoln concerning the Melanesian labour question. Laigret knew that he would soon be leaving New Caledonia, and the tone and contents of the letter suggest that he may have indulged himself by firing a parting shot at the Americans. Whether or not this is the case, the letter is worthy of close scrutiny, because of the insights it offers into the labour question and because it indicates that in several respects the situation had scarcely changed in the period since Bourgeau had despatched his report on labour questions in August of the previous year.

Laigret began by acknowledging Lincoln's letter of 29 December , in which Lincoln had said, in response to an earlier request from Laigret, that he would be able to release 57 Melanesians, who were presently employed at the Plaine des Gaiacs and the Oua Tom camp, for employment on road works being carried out by the French administration. Lincoln had argued however that he would not be able to release further workers without endangering the war effort For Laigret, this argument was not acceptable.

He argued that while it was essential to support the war effort, attention must also be given to the economic needs of the colony. Laigret contended that the colony's situation with respect to the indigenous labour question could be summed up as follows. Laigret went on to say that he would like Lincoln to understand that the situation concerning Melanesian labour was: It was against this background that the Administrative Council of the territory, at its most recent meeting, had demanded that all the workers currently employed by the American forces be returned to the disposition of the colony.

Laigret warned that, unless the existing agreement was strictly and sincerely honoured, and unless the number of Melanesians employed by the American forces was significantly reduced, there was no doubt that the administration would be obliged to cancel the agreement and withdraw the labour currently in American employment The contents and phrasing of Laigret' s letter appear to have raised eyebrows in the Commissariat aux Colonies in Algiers. Here as in other instances, changes along the lines favoured by the French administration seem to have resulted more from the effects of a gradual reduction in the size of the American presence, as the focus of the Pacific war shifted northwards during and , than from American responses to French hectoring.

Alcohol and the illegal liquor trade. Governor Laigret was also concerned by issues associated with alcohol. As a result many New Caledonians had abandoned their normal occupations to engage in this trade.

Sur le sens des questions totales et alternatives - Persée

Drunkeness and the over liberal supply of alcohol, especially to Melanesian and indentured workers, were also a cause for concern. Laigret complained that recently the French troops engaged in unloading the ship Thorr had been provided with alcohol by the Americans working alongside them on the docks.

Rapadezi claimed that the United States Military Police were more or less directly complicit in liquor trafficking, and requested that the men employed to load and unload ships not be drunk. He also commented that:. The supply of liquor to Melanesians was again raised by Laigret on 13 January , when he drew Lincoln's attention to various incidents which had taken place at Christmas A few days later, Laigret wrote to Lincoln to complain yet again of incidents involving alcohol.

The letter provided Audrain' s account of the following events, during which Audrain had been present. Early in the evening of 5 January two drunken American sailors had attempted to enter the French Officers' Mess. Neither was this the first occasion on. Later on the evening of 5 January , two American officers, whom Audrain described as slightly intoxicated, attempted to gain entry to the mess.

After they were refused entry, a fight developed, until Girard put them to flight with the use of a baton. The men soon returned however, supported by a large group of fellow Americans, including a military policeman, intent on revenge. At one point Girard, armed with a billiard cue, and his assistant, Auguste Merer, who was armed with a revolver, confronted several of the American. Audrain had earlier noted that Merer had two brothers serving overseas with the Bataillon du Pacifique.

It appears that a brawl was only averted by the prompt arrival of units of the French and American police, after which the crowd dispersed Shafroth, General Lincoln's deputy, responded placatingly to Lai- gret's complaints about the events of 5 January. J'ai lu soigneusement le rapport de M. The previous November, following a conference on 16 November with his officials, Laigret had written to Lincoln proposing various measures to curb trafficking in alcohol. These included stiffer penalties, including prison sentences for each infringement ; extension of the opening hours of authorized liquor stores, in order to check the illegal trade ; and improved methods of surveillance and control.

He also raised the possibility of a more radical measure, namely a ban on importation of alcohol, which of course would only be feasible with the full cooperation of the American authorities Laigret also noted that, on the basis of information he had been given, it appeared that the American Military Police did not appear to be in a hurry to assist the French police in their enquiries concerning the liquor traffickers. The American authorities claimed however that for their part they did not find the French police cooperative The American authorities regarded a ban on the importation of alcohol as neither desirable nor practical They did however concur with the imposition of heavier penalties and with longer opening hours for legal liquor outlets, and these arrangements were made In addition they set out to improve cooperation between the French and American police.

The American police arrested two marines after their departure. Madame Lemonnier was charged, found guilty, and fined. General Lincoln told Governor Laigret that this had been a good example of cooperation, and assured him that it would continue. He also reaffirmed the need to check the illicit commerce in liquor which, he commented, was at the base of practically all the incidents of drunken misconduct Laigret had also ensured the development of clearer and more comprehensive regulations in order to strengthen controls over the importation, storage, transfer, supply, and sale of alcohol and alcoholic drinks.

He said that he had just received the text of these new regulations, but hoped to be able to put them into application without delay. In addition Laigret advised that in the period from 27 September to 10 January the courts had found twenty people guilty of the illegal sale of alcohol to servicemen. Laigret expressed the hope that the range of measures taken would curb liquor trafficking. He added however that:. Challenges to French authority and sovereignty. The bitter tone at times evident in the official French correspondence with the American authorities reflected irritation with the disruption and inconvenience associated with the American presence, and with American misconduct and indiscipline.

This irritation was reinforced however by deep-seated concerns over the challenge which the American presence posed to French authority in and sovereignty over New Caledonia. Present and former French officials and officers were particularly sensitive to slights to French prestige. In early November, , for example, two French police officers complained that while walking in town one evening they had been approached by two American soldiers who asked to see their identity papers.

One of the policemen later reported, in words combining racial prejudice and injured pride, that:. At this point one of the soldiers produced a military policeman's armband ; in response. Laigret supported their complaint, and advised Lincoln that American Military Police should always wear their identification while on duty. A particular source of tension was that the Americans did not regard the French forces in New Caledonia and elsewhere as making a significant contribution to the war effort. After referring to the abusive language to which he and others had been subjected early on the evening of 5 January , Jean Audrain complained that the Americans failed to appreciate that: The previous October, Laigret had advised his superiors that, despite their refusal of an earlier request,.

But this and other similar requests were ignored ; the Free French Government gave greater priority to using the modest combat forces at its disposal elsewhere. Initially it deployed them in the North African and European theatres, before despatching a substantial portion of them to Indochina late in the war in an effort to ensure the reincorpo- ration of that region into the French Empire. The French administration and the European population were also concerned about what they saw as the demoralising and potentially subversive impact of the American presence and American behaviour on the Mela- nesian population.

As we have seen in relation to the labour question, Laigret complained bitterly in his letter of 26 January about this alleged demoralisation, and about comparisons unfavourable to the French which the Melanesians were inclined to draw between the French and Americans.

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Six months earlier, in his August report on labour, Secretary-General Bourgeau had complained that, although their unit had been supposed to be attached to the French Army, the members of the guides corps French officials in the colony, their superiors, and a number of European New Caledonians were especially concerned about the longer-term intentions of the United States with respect to New Caledonia. This concern has been well documented with respect to the earlier part of the to period89, but has been less well appreciated with respect to the later years of the war.


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It seems that irri-. It was reinforced by the vulnerability of New Caledonia as an outpost of the French Empire located in a region increasingly dominated by the United States, and by the fact that, until the later stages of the war, the Free French movement remained weak and was not given unequivocal recognition by the United States. The available documents are not comprehensive, but nevertheless provide illuminating glimpses of French anxieties.

The measures envisaged included improving the wages and conditions of the local cadre of public servants, the allocation of additional personnel to fill key positions, the transfer of men from the army to reinforce the police, the transfer out of the colony of some disloyal or incompetent civil servants, and the accelerated promotion of some of those civil servants and other personnel who had demonstrated their loyalty to the cause of Free France during recent difficult times.

The importance which the Free French authorities accorded to New Caledonia at this stage of the war, which was accentuated because the overall Free French cause was still. The message ordered the governors concerned to respond to the forthcoming third anniversary of the ralliement of New Caledonia on 19 September by exalting the role New Caledonia and its volunteers overseas were playing in the war effort In New Caledonia, Laigret evidently agreed that conditions were serious. He added, however, that:. Laigret 's sense of urgency resulted from disaffection and political tensions within the European New Caledonian community and from rumours and reports that the United States wished to acquire New Caledonia.

But this report was written with the benefit of hindsight. In fact, the notion of acquiring New Caledonia had indeed been attractive to the United States Some senior United States Navy officers argued that after the war, in order to guarantee future American security, an American presence should be maintained in all the Pacific islands in which the United States had established bases.

Anti- colonial feeling was also strong among American personnel and politicians. In the Pacific Islands region and elsewhere, Americans resented the notion that they were protecting and propping up what they saw as outdated colonial regimes. Voices among both the Islanders and the Americans publicly questioned the political authority and the economic development abilities as well as the past accomplishments of the ruling powers.

Echoes of Islander calls for the Americans to retain a presence in both archipelagos after the war's end bounced about the U. Some Americans, at least, were not altogether willing to restore power to impotent, had-to-be-saved-from-the- Japanese European colonists whose heyday obviously had come and gone Some Americans argued that the European colonial empires should be abolished.

Either their component territories should immediately become self-governing and independent, or else they should be put under United Nations trusteeships, in preparation for eventual self- government and independence. It was only in the final stages of the war that American interest waned in either the acquisition of New Caledonia or else in at.

By this time the Free French movement had obtained much greater strength and credibility, as well as unequivocal recognition from the United States. Meanwhile American thinking on the future strategic needs of the United States in the Pacific islands region was becoming more clarified, and had begun to focus on establishing control of some key islands in Micronesia, rather than on the establishment of an American presence throughout the Pacific Islands region. In mid-November Pleven cabled Lai- gret, in reply to a query, to advise that a recent American declaration referred not to the total control of New Caledonia but instead concerned the acquisition of bases in the colony.

This arrangement would be in return for financial aid, despite some reservations about the implications of an influx of American capital During the war years a strong sentiment had developed favouring greater control by the European settler community over the colony's affairs. Some separatist ambitions had also been expressed, though only on the part, it seems, of a small minority of the population.

Nonetheless the French authorities clearly felt that in the uncertain wartime circumstances, their standing could deteriorate rapidly, and feared that the Americans might take advantage of local political tensions to pursue their own ends. In addition, because of the highly.

In early December, following the public announcement of his impending departure from New Caledonia, Laigret gave a press conference. In the statement issued for the occasion, his comments included the following remarks:. The inhabitants of New Caledonia suffer considerably in their interests, and too often in their legitimate feelings, by the attitudes of the American troops which are too often without regard for them. The Americans seem to forget that there is a great difference between living in friendly territory and occupation of enemy territory. The New Zealanders, however, appreciate this distinction, and it is a pleasure for me to say so I hope Governor Tallec, who will soon be here, will find on the part of the American Command on the Island more understanding in the relations which these authorities must entertain with the local government.

I express the wish that American Citizens may never forget that it is thanks to the permission granted by Frenchmen, a handful of Frenchmen, that their troops are in New Caledonia. This has conditioned the fate of the Pacific ; it is, without doubt, an historical event of more importance than Pearl Harbour During his period in New Caledonia Laigret had championed the interests of the French administration and of European New Caledonians against what were seen as American encroachments.

When it was announced in December that his term as Acting- Governor would soon come to an end, he received several expressions of support from Caledonians.

Le Français face à l'anglais : aspects linguistiques

Bravo pour votre interview [i. Pour une fois, officiellement, une personne a eu le courage de leur dire en face, ce que tout le monde. C'est vieux, n'est-ce pas? Father Patrick O'Reilly later noted that Laigret: The American authorities, in contrast, were relieved at Laigret' s departure. The failure of two different French leaders in New Caledonia to place the winning of the war above personal ambitions, combined with their suspicions of American imperialism in the Pacific, has been the cause of most of the seemingly major difficulties which arose between the Americans and the French on New Caledonia.

La Chine antique a-t-elle subie l'influence de l'Egypte pharaonique? Il y donne, p. Les autres commencent par Hoang ti [] av. Ils disent pour raison que c'est des fables: C'est sous la dynastie Shang [] que commencent les temps historiques. Notre abondante collection accueille sa grammaire mandchoue mais non son dictionnaire mandchou en trois volumes 1. Akoui IX 25, ; XV Amiot X sq. Armes des soldats VII Art militaire VII v. Arts-pratiques en Chine v. Astronomie VI ; XI Botanique XI v. Charbon XI , Chaux noire de Chine XI Cong fou tse, Confucius.

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