Vo Nguyen Giap – the first Minister of Home Affairs
VietNamNet Bridge – At the age of 34, Vo Nguyen Giap was appointed as the first Minister of Home Affairs of the Provisional Government, in 1945. One year later, he became the Minister of Defense and was conferred the High-ranking General title at the age of 37.
Established in August 1945, the Ministry of Home Affairs was one of the three 13 ministries of the Provisional Ministry of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, led by President Ho Chi Minh. It is little known that General Vo Nguyen Giap was the first Minister of Home Affairs and is the only living minister of the Provisional Government.

On behalf of the government, Minister Vo Nguyen Giap signed around 30 important decrees after the Democratic Republic of Vietnam was established.

The most important decrees among them is the one to abolish poll-tax to “relieve the burden for people and to be appropriate in justice”.

Thanks to Decree 7 on rice trading and transportation signed by Minister of Home Affairs, Vo Nguyen Giap on September 5, 1945, rice trading and transport was free. Rice speculators were punished severely.

To ensure security for the day of Declaration of Independence (September 2, 1945), Minister Vo Nguyen Giap issued Decree 3 on “martial law” in Hanoi.

Minister Giap also issued the Decree to fine-tune the official time in Vietnam, the Decree on Vietnam’s flag.

To strengthen the young voluntary government, the Minister of Home Affairs signed the Decree on the general election of the National Assembly. Accordingly, all Vietnamese citizens from 18 years old have the rights to elect and run for election, except for those who lose their citizen rights and mental patients. On June 6, 1946, the first general election was successful.

Assigned by President Ho Chi Minh, Minister Giap set up the Constitution Compilation Board to compile the Constitution 1946, the first basic law of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

Minister Giap also signed decrees on opening evening classes for farmers and workers, on compulsory and free of charge studies of national language for every body.

Assuming the position for only one year, Minister Vo Nguyen Giap greatly contributed to organizing the state status under the leadership of President Ho Chi Minh. He advised the government to issue more than 100 decrees in many fields, including 30 decrees, signed by himself.

In 1946, he became the Minister of Defense and the Minister of Home Affairs post belonged to Huynh Thuc Khang. On May 27, 1948, he was conferred the High-ranking General title, at the age of 37, and became the first general of the Vietnam People’s Army.

On the occasion of General Vo Nguyen Giap’s 100th birthday, the Hanoi-based National Archive Center III, opened an exhibition of selected photos of the first Minister of Home Affairs on August 25.

Decrees signed by Minister of Home Affairs Vo Nguyen Giap:


Visitors at the exhibition.









Decree 7 on rice trading and transport signed by Minister of Home Affairs
Vo Nguyen Giap, dated September 5, 1945.





The decree signed by President Ho Chi Minh which grants the High-ranking
 General title to Minister of Defense, Vo Nguyen Giap, dated January 20, 1948.





Decree 3 dated September 1, 1945, on “martial law” in Hanoi.





Decree 5 dated September 5, 1945, on Vietnam’s national flag.





The document describes the national flag.





Decree 14 dated September 8, 1945, on the first general election of the National Assembly.





Decrees 19 and 20 dated September 8, 1945 on evening classes for farmers and workers
 and compulsory study of national language.












The list of members of the provisional coalition government of the Democratic
 Republic of Vietnam, which was established on January 1, 1946.







On the occasion of the National Day 1954, President Ho Chi Minh signed a decree on
conferring the First-class Military Cross on High-ranking General Vo Nguyen Giap,
 Minister of Defense cum Commander-in-chief of the Vietnam People’s Army.


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