One day after meeting with French Minister for the Colonies Albert Sarault, Nguyen Ai Quoc, an alias of Ho Chi Minh, sent him a letter saying: “Could you let me know if any of our eight claims have been carried out? I want to confirm that none of them have been resolved satisfactorily.”
File photo of President Ho Chi Minh
Through this letter, he denounced the colonialist government for paying no attention to the Vietnamese people’s claims that had been referred to at the Versailles Peace Conference in June 1919.
In an article in French newspaper La Vie Ouvrière, Nguyen Ai Quoc mentioned the colonialist policy on conscription. He wrote: “French workers should take action. They should get along with indigenous soldiers and help them understand that workers in France and soldiers in French colonies are suffering the same suppression and exploitation. Therefore, they are in the same class and when a fight against suppressors and exploiters is required, they must join in that fight. They should not fight against each other.”
President Ho Chi Minh met with local media and when asked about his life, he said: “I have seen the country under the yoke of slavery since I came into the world. To get rid of that slavery, I have, since my childhood, joined struggles for national liberation. That may be the only best service I have given to the country.”
The same day he received a delegation from the Northern Provisional Committee for Culture.
Mentioning the role of culture in national independence, he said: “I hope officials in charge of culture clearly understand that their current tasks for the time being are: consolidating Vietnam’s independence and building a new culture for the nation. The new culture must be based on a scientific foundation and popularization so that it can be in harmony with the evolutionary trend of modern thinking.”
Writing back to a French government diplomatic note, President Ho Chi Minh expressed his hope that Vietnam and France would reach unofficial agreements on the sidelines of Fontainebleau conference and identify issues that were acceptable to both sides to prevent a tension that could trigger conflicts in Indochina, particularly in South and South Central Vietnam.
The same day he met with some foreign guests, including a Swedish journalist and the director of AFP.
In “New Democracy” in Cuu Quoc (National Salvation) magazine under the pseudonym D. X., the President mentioned five features of a new democracy.
“First, under the Party and the working class’s leadership that is based on the alliance of workers and farmers, our people is the master of the State and is the builder of the people’s democracy;
Second, in that democracy, there are five forms of economic entities: State-owned enterprises, cooperatives, individual businesses, private capitalist companies and State capitalist companies. Of these forms, State-owned enterprises hold the leading role;
Third, the ideology of the working class and the Marxist-Leninist thought play the decisive roles in the new democracy;
Fourth, the Party leads the people in the implementing the new democracy and in the way of building socialism; and
Lastly, the people are willing to take part in the resistance war and in production emulation movements.”
In “The Vietnamese and French peoples” in Nhan Dan (The People) newspaper, the President expressed ”gratitude towards the peoples of friendly countries and the other peoples who love peace for their support to Vietnam in its resistance war.”
He wrote: “We profoundly realize the friendship the French people has given to our people.”
By Duong Trung Quoc and his assistants
The author is a historian and member of the National Assembly