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The province of Cho Lon [Chợ Lớn] is divided into 4 administrative districts, under the direction of delegates domiciled in the chief town, at Cangiuoc [Cần Giuộc], at Canduoc [Cần Đước] and at Duc Hoa [Đức Hoà]. These delegates are instructed to co-ordinate the work of the leading men in order to submit same to the chief of the province, and to supervise the proper execution of the orders emanating from the Administrator and by the cantonal and communal authorithies placed under their supervision. The administrative delegates are assisted by cantonal chief magistrates and subprefects. There are 12 cantons with 66 villages. Each village is administered by a council of leading men and given a communal budget approved and rendered executive by the Prefect of the province. In 1924 the amount of the communal budget rose to $ 434.424.
The population of the province of Cho Lon [Chợ Lớn] consists nearly exclusively of Annamites and amounts to 201 183 inhabitants. Among this population are 1973 Chinese and mongrel Chinese, 11 Europeans, 2 Cambodians and 9 foreigners. The Annamites generally cultivate the land, or trade in their barques. The Chinese monopolize nearly the whole paddy trade.
Owing to the alluvial formation of the ground it can be used for all sorts of cultivation. The cultivation of rice predominates. In an area of 121 441 het, the part cultivated with rice amounts to 103.034 ha., giving a yearly produce of 100.000 tons. It will be possible to double this quantity as soon as the important hydraulic-works, undertaken in the region of Cau An Ha [Cầu An Hạ], will have fertilised and freed from alum this vast plain, unfertile till now.
Cho Lon [Chợ Lớn] does not suffer from the inundations as is the case with the other provinces situated along the Mekon. The cultivation of rice depends on the rainy seasons. A few years ago industrial plants have been tried on a great scale in the northern region of the province. A French society, name “Societe des Sucreries et Raffineries de l’Indochine”, has been formed in the village Hiep Hoa [Hiệp Hoà] in order to treat the sugar-cane harvested in this region.
The secondary cultivations of maize, beans, bananas, yams, are also of great interest. The present harvest is ample for local consumption. Finally, orchards of orange-trees, lemon-trees, mangoe-trees, banana-trees, an other exotic trees are cultvated everywhere around the habitations.
Factory of Hiep Hoa [Hiệp Hoà] – This society, formed at the beginning of 1921, extends over an area of 800ha., of which more than 300ha. Are already planted with sugar-cane. The buildings of the factory cover an area of 3 400 square m. and comprise a sugar-factory and a distillery, provided with the newest engines and implements. The whole of the material represents a value of about $500.000. The value of the different constructions (factory and buildings) amounts to $150.000. Besides the sugar-factory, a Rum refining establishment, the construction of which is already finished, should deal whith molasses already this year. This factory will be able to furnish from 4 to 5000 Rum in the 24 hours.
With exception of the “Soci6te de Suereries et Raffineries de Hiep Hoa [Hiệp Hoà]” there are no other industrial establishments. There are also some brick-kilns, small saw-mills, and a small industry of straw-mats, of straw-sacks and straw-covers for bottles. But it is only a question of industrial homework on a very small scale with a limited output.
TRADE AND TRANSPORT
Trade flourishes principally in the interior of the province. The paddy constitutes the principal traffic. The annual produce always leaves a balance which is then sent to the factories in Cho Lon [Chợ Lớn] town. We must also mention the existence of a very numerous and industrious population of dealers in bark, who are generally buying the produce of the western provinces for re-sale at Saigon, or at Cho Lon [Chợ Lớn]. Thanks to the many canals that cross the country, the river trade is very extensive. With regard to transport on land, we can name three routes regularly used by motor-vehicles which secure the transport of goods from one place to the other. The route from Cho Lon [Chợ Lớn] to Duc Hoa [Đức Hoà]: 48 km., the route from Cho Lon [Chợ Lớn] to Rachkien [Rạch Kiến]: 22 km., the route from Cho Lon [Chợ Lớn] to Cangioc [Cần Giuộc], Canduoc [Cần Đước]: 31 km.
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