According to the data of an evaluation of 1940, the total population would amount to 7,600,000 residents, With an annual increase equal to that which occurred approximately in the five-year period 1931-36. The characteristics of the human settlement have remained substantially unchanged, except those of the main ports (especially Algiers and Oran) and of some road and railway communication nodes, which have drawn new impetus from the landing of the allied forces.
Compared to 1935 the most important cereals – wheat, barley and oats – continue to form, together with the vine, the basis of Algerian agriculture. In 1945, 1,283,000 ha were used for wheat. with a production of q. 2,433,000, barley 873,000 ha. with a product of q. 1,138,000 and 215,000 ha for oats. (q. 432,000). The vine would mark a contraction of the cultivated area with a strong reduction in production and the same applies to oil, reduced to q. 75,000 in 1944-45. The production of dates (about 1,120,000 q in 1945) and citrus fruits is recovering. Interesting products are those of the first fruits: in particular potatoes (20,000 ha.) And tobacco. Certain forest resources also have some interest, in particular the cork oak, located almost entirely in the department of Constantina.
The resources of the subsoil have not given the desired results, especially in the oil field, while even the minor ones (antimony, mercury, etc.) have decayed.
The breeding constitutes a good resource, since the country is mainly steppe; in 1945 there were almost 5.5 million sheep and over 2.6 million goats, mainly concentrated in the Tell; 850,000 cattle and almost as many horses. The importance of fishing decreased as a result of the war.
The trade, in millions of francs, was the following in the period 1941-45 (data from 1942 are missing):
The increase in the railway network is almost nil and the increase in the road network connected to the most important ports, Algiers, Oran and Bona, which have seen their equipment improved, is discreet. For Algeria political system, please check politicsezine.com.
Finance. – The special budget for Algeria, separate from the French metropolitan budget, is approved by the Algerian financial assembly and subjected to approval by the French government.
The budget of the postal administration, in balance in 1939 at 267 million, was fixed for 1948, both for income and for expenses, at 3221 million. The Algerian franc has the same parity as the French franc. The Bank of Algeria, since August 1948 the Bank of Algeria and Tunisia, nationalized on May 17, 1946, has a monopoly on the issue of tickets. In November 1947 the circulation was 46 milliards compared to 3.2 milliards in 1939. In July 1946 deposits with banks and savings banks reached 37 milliards. A plan for the industrialization of the country is being implemented; to allow the accelerated amortization of new investments, tax exemptions and temperaments were granted to the companies operating under the plan.
Government. – The new Algerian statute is the realization of autonomist principles, that the war and its consequences – collapse of France, dualism between the followers of Pétain and De Gaulle, landing of the Allies (2 November 1942) and subsequent break in relations with the metropolitan territory – facilitated considerably, promoting the dissemination of the autonomist doctrines of Ferhat Abbas, and also of the distinctly separatist ones of Messali Hadj, whose political activity had already been banned in 1939. The ordinance of 7 March 1944 of the provisional government of Algiers, under which 60,000 Muslims were granted full citizenship and the right for the indigenous community to send to the future French National Assembly a number of deputies equal to that designated by the French of Algeria, resulted in the birth of the Party of “Friends of the Algerian Manifesto” of Ferhat Abbas, but together it created a serious state of tension between the white community and the indigenous people, which resulted in the massacre of Europeans in Setif (May 8, 1945), which was also followed by merciless repression. On that occasion, the party of Ferhat Abbas was also suppressed, which was therefore unable to participate in the elections of October 1945. Readmitted to legality before the elections of June 1946, Ferhat Abbas obtained a resounding success, winning for his own, 11 out of 13 seats of the Muslim college. The last elections of November 1946, in which Ferhat Abbas did not take part, while Messali Hadj reappeared as candidate, they have instead seen a certain recovery of the elements inclined to collaboration with France (8 collaborators in front of 5 followers of Messali Hadj, and 2 communists); while, on the other hand, the conservative Union algérienne (radicals, MRP and PRL) obtained, in the French college, a clear success on the left elements.
As for the constitutional reform project of Algeria, it is of decidedly socialist inspiration, having been drawn up by the Minister of the Interior E. Dépreux and the Governor of Algeria Y. Chataigneau (replaced in office on 11 February 1948 by M. Naegelen), and represents a compromise between the conflicting demands of the right, supporters of a policy clearly favorable to the white minority, and the communists, supporters of the Muslim cause. However, it leaves ample powers to the governor general and considerably limits the powers of the Algerian assembly (which should be made up of 120 members, 60 for each of the colleges). The statute was approved, with few amendments, on August 27, 1947 by the French National Assembly (with 322 votes in favor, 92 votes against from the right, the communists abstained). The elections for the first Algerian assembly (April 4, 1948) recorded, in the indigenous college, the defeat of Messalj Hadj and Ferhat Abbas who together collected 17 seats against 43 for independents; in the European college the victory of the Algerian section of the party of General De Gaulle (Union algérienne – RPF) which collected 38 seats, followed by the independents (14), the socialists (4), the radicals (3) and the communists (1).