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Modern History Sourcebook:
France: The "Loi-Cadre" of June 23, 1956

Authorizing the French Government to Carry out the Reforms and Take the Measures Calculated to Ensure the Development of the Territories under the Jurisdiction of the Ministry of France OverseasArticle First. Without prejudice to the expected reform of Title VIII of the Constitution, in order to give the overseas peoples a more direct share in the management of their own interests, measures of administrative decentralization and devolution shall be introduced within the territories, groups of territories and central services under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of France Overseas.To this end, decrees taken . . . on the basis of the report given by the Minister of France Overseas and, on occasion, by the Ministers concerned, may:
1) Modify the role and powers of administration and management of the general governments with a view to transforming them into coordinating bodies, and modify the composition and attributes of the grand councils and of the representative assembly of 'Madagascar;2 ) Institute government councils in all the territories and in addition, in Madagascar, provincial councils charged, in particular, with administering the territorial services;3) Grant broadened deliberative powers, notably for the organization and management of the territorial services, to the assemblies of the territories as well as to the representative assembly and provincial assemblies of Madagascar, regarding the exercise of their attributes, which shall be defined in tile decrees to be introduced, and when the decrees taken in pursuance of the present article shall authorize them to do so, the assemblies may abrogate or Modify any regulatory text governing matters which fall under said attributes;4) Determine the conditions of the institution and functioning, as well as the attributes of the councils In the administrative circumscriptions and rural communities, and the modalities of granting legal status to these circumscriptions, without this impeding in any way the establishment of new municipalities.
The decrees taken in pursuance of the present article may modify, abrogate or revive in the form of regulations existing legislative provisions.….Article 3. The Government may, by,- decree taken in the Council of Ministers on the basis of the report given by the Minister of France Overseas and, on occasion, by the Ministers concerned, and after consultation with the Council of State, inaugurate a reform of the public services charged with managing the interests of the State and, on the other hand, the territorial services charged with managing the interests of the territories, as well as the division of attributes between those services. The purpose of this reform shall be:On the one hand, to facilitate the access of native-born civil servants to all ranks in the administration;On the other hand, to institute independent regulations pertaining to the civil service overseas, as far as the territorial services arc concerned. . . .Article 4. The Government may, in the manner stipulated in Article 3 above, without interfering in any way with Law No. 46--860 of April 30, 1946 and the legislative provisions referring to it, take all measures intended to raise the standard of living in the territories under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of France Overseas, to promote economic development and social progress and to facilitate economic and financial cooperation between Metropolitan France and those territories, especially:
By generalizing and standardizing education;By organizing and supporting the production of goods necessary to the economic equilibrium of the territories and to the needs of the franc area;By inaugurating modern methods of rural development and establishing a cadastral plan in which the customary rights of the autochthones will be respected;By setting up and enforcing the registration of births, marriages and deaths;By setting up suitable structures in the field of credit and savings;By effecting all modifications, in matters of financial law and regulations, calculated to promote private investment overseas, without derogating in any way from the prerogatives of the territorial assemblies;By taking all measures calculated to ensure a successful social program,
The Government must make all useful arrangements to ensure on a permanent basis and at the level of the presidency of the council the coordination of economic and financial measures concerning the Metropolitan Overseas complex.[ ]Article 10. In the territories under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of France Overseas, elections to the National Assembly, to the territorial assemblies, to the provincial assemblies of Madagascar, to the circumscription councils and to the municipal assemblies shall be held on the basis of universal suffrage of citizens of both sexes, without regard to their personal status, who are twenty-one years of age or over, who are regularly inscribed on the election rolls and who are not disqualified for any reason stipulated by law.[]Article 12. The election of members of the National Assembly, members of the Council of the Republic, members of the territorial assemblies, members of the representative assembly and the provincial assemblies of Madagascar, of the circumscription councils, and also members of the municipal assemblies of the fully organized communes, the semi-organized communes and the mixed communes shall be by a single electoral college.

Source:Text of the "loi-cadre" was from an English translation through the courtesy of the French Press and Information Service, New York.

This text is part of the Internet Modern History Sourcebook. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts for introductory level classes in modern European and World history.
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© Paul Halsall, July 1998
halsall@murray.fordham.edu