anm document

Inspection du travail, "Deuxième portion du contingent du chemin de fer de Thiès au Niger" (1929)
in ANM S 79 fonds recents

© 1999 by Jim Jones, Ph.D.

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"Entretien des travailleurs provenant de la 2ième portion du contingent"

This document contains an extract of the "... l'arrêté général du 4 Decembre 1926 portant exécution du décret de 31 Octobre 1926 sur l'utilisation de la 2ème portion du contingent pour le programme des grands travaux d'intérêt général en A.O.F." (1926 law concerning the use of forced labor on public works in AOF).

"L'entretien ... devait encomber ... les dépenses de solde, nourriture, habillement, installation des camps, soins medicaux, création d'infirmeries, personnel d'encadrement, etc" (workers are entitled to wages, food, clothing, lodging, medical care, and training).

Workers were assigned to either the Service Temporaire d'Irrigation du Niger (STIN) or the Chemin de Fer Thiès-Kayes-Niger.

The following people were listed as suppliers of goods to the railroad for the 2ième portion in 1927:

NAME Profession Note
Mahamdou Fall merchant at Kayes sold meat
Alioune Gagnindo merchant at Kayes sold 25 spoons
Mamadou Kouaté merchant sold meat
Bakry Doumbia merchant sold meat
Baba Diarra merchant sold meat


Chef du Service Spécial des Travaux au Chemin de Fer Thiès-Niger Faure to Délegué du Gouverneur du Soudan Français, letter n° 182/D (Kayes, December 18, 1929)

This was one of a series of letters and telegrams following the transfer of workers from the STIN to the Chemin de Fer Thiès-Niger in August 1929. All of the letters concerned the transfer of clothing and equipment necessary for the workers.

Also enclosed in this folder are the "Marché après appel à la concurrence de (various items)" from the Ministère des Colonies, Agence Générale des Colonies. All are dated in September- October 1928. In other words, they were the government contracts for the supply of the necessary clothing and equipment. These contracts give descriptions of each item and quantities ordered.


Chef du Service Spécial des Travaux to Directeur du Chemin de Fer Thiès-Niger, n°139SG (Kayes, July 19, 1928)

This 6-page memo listed all expenses (in francs) in 1927 and the 1st half of 1928 (to June 15) related to the 2ième portion of the contingent.

Time period Salaries Room and Board Total
Nov. 16-Dec. 15, 1927 11,445.90 31,427.72 42,873.62
Dec. 15-Dec. 31, 1927 6,138.00 15437.04 21,575.04
Jan.1-June 15, 1928 107,481.55 334,730.52 462,192.07
TOTAL 123,045.45 401,595.28 526,640.73
  1. Food : The total expenditures for food during this period was 978,870 francs. All figures in the following table are for 1,000 men over a contract period of 183 days.

    Item Weight (kg) Unit price (francs/kilogram) Note
    Rice 61,000 2.48 500 grams 2 out of 3 days
    Millet 61,000 2.50 1,000 grams every third day
    Karité 7320 4.25 40 grams per day
    Meat 122,000 3.00 500 grams 2 out of 3 days
    Fish 19,300 5.00 300 grams every third day
    Salt 3,660 0.70 20 grams per day
    Millet flour 45,750 2.50 250 grams per day
    Firewood 183,000 0.39 1,000 grams per day

  2. Clothing : Each man received a police cap, 2 cotton pants, 2 cotton shirts, and 1 khaki overcoat. The total expense for clothing was 48,000 francs.
  3. Equipment : Each man received a 2-liter bottle, 1 "quart," spoon, fork, mess kit. The total coast was 3100 francs.
  4. Camping equipment : Each man received an individual mat and blanket, and shared the following cooking euipment with coworkers: 8-man bowl, boiling pot, wood stove, and courve- pied. The total expense was 8,200 francs.
  5. Lodging : This expense item was equivalent to the cost of time lost from work while workers constructed their own housing out of straw, wood and vines, and other buildings (dispensary, European quarters, warehouses, offices). It also included some building materials such as toles, pointes chevrons, etc. The total cost was 85,000 francs.
  6. Salaries and withholding allowance : The total was 137,250 francs.
  7. Training : This item paid the salaries of supervisors, which included one adjutant and 15 sergent-chefs surveillants (at 8.50f/day) per 500 workers. The total cost was 70,665 francs.
  8. Medical care : This item includes staff, buildings, and materials. The total was 103,106 francs.
  9. Transport : The total was 36,000 francs.

The grand total was 1,470,191 francs for 1,000 men over a 183-day period.

The report also indicates the number of man-days that were lost in each half-year. There were 70 non-production workers: 34 cooks, 4 watchmen, 3 warehouse guards, 6 camp maintainance workers, 3 tailors and an average of 20 sick workers per day. There was also an average of 1,251 hospital days lost each semester, and 30 Sundays and holidays per man in each semester.

Using the information in the previous paragaph, this table shows the actual number of productive man-days of labor by subtracting non-productive man-days from 183x1,000.

Calculation Result Description
183 x 1,000 183,000 total man- days
70 x 183 -12,810 non-productive man-days
1,251 -1,251 hospital days
30x1,000 -30,000 days off
- 138,939 productive man-days per semester
138,939/1,000 138.9 Average work days for each individual

Dividing the total cost of this labor by the total number of productive man-days, 1,470,200/138,939 = 10.5 francs/man-day.


Budget Local du Soudan Fran‡ais, Compagnie de Travailleurs du Soudan n°2, "État des previsions de depenses pour 1929 en ce qui concerne le personnel d'encadrement"

This list shows the total budgeted for salaries for training/supervisory personnel for the deuxième portion du contingent (forced labor) in the Soudan in 1929.

NOTE: Janssens was accompanied by his wife and daughter. Maia had a wife.


Budget Local du Soudan Fran‡ais, Compagnie de Travailleurs du Soudan n°2 bis, "État des previsions de depenses pour 1929 en ce qui concerne le personnel d'encadrement et médical"

This list shows the total budgeted for salaries for the medical personnel for the deuxième portion du contingent (forced labor) in the Soudan in 1929.