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THE FRENCH NATIONAL BANQUET AT QUEBEC.

Year: 
1880
Month: 
6
Day: 
28
Article Title: 
THE FRENCH NATIONAL BANQUET AT QUEBEC.
Page Number: 
2
Article Type: 
Language: 
Article Contents: 

THE DAILY TIMES.

MONCTON, MONDAY, JUNE 28TH, 1880.

The National Banquet at Quebec on Thursday evening, in connection with the St. Jean De Baptiste celebration, was noted for the eloquence of the Speeches in reply to the toasts of the evening. Among the gentlemen who made speeches were His Excellency, The Marquis of Lorne, Governor – General, His Grace Archbishop Taschereau, the Lieut. Governor of Quebec, the Count de Foncault and Mr. Claudio Janet of France, Hon. H.L. Langevin, Hon. Mr. Chapleau, Premier of Quebec, and Hon. P.A. Landry, Chief Commissioner of New Brunswick, the latter making a brilliant speech in reply to the toast “Les Freres le Acadien,” – “Our Brothers, the Acadians.” The Speech of His Excellency, the Governor General, is reported as follows in the Quebec Chronicle of Saturday: Gentlemen and Friends of the French Canadian race from abroad as well as from our own Dominion: -

I rise with the greatest pleasure to thank you for the way in which you have received the toast which has been proposed by the President in drinking the health of the Princess and myself. The Princess has especially desired me to convey to you her gratitude, and I regret that owing to the short duration of the stay of Princess Leopold in this country she has been unable to remain with me for the imposing celebration which we have witnessed to-day. She is at all times sorry to quit Quebec – a place she loves as much for the moral worth of its people as for the grandeur of its scenery. As for myself, gentlemen, I have obeyed a pleasant call in being among you to-day to testify my respect for our French-Canadian fellow-citizens, and my appreciation of the value of the element furnished by its noble and gallant race in influencing for good our young and growing Canadian nationality. I am here to show, how I prize the loyalty evinced by you on all occasions towards Her Majesty the Queen, whose representative I am. At the same time I do not wonder at the devotion shown to so august an embodiment of the principle of Constitutional Rule. The Queen sets the example of a Sovereign, who has at all times given constant proof that with us the acts of power are the expressions of the will of the people. It is this that gives to her the highest rank among rulers in the eyes of the nation who acknowledge her sceptre. It is among you especially that all men will expect that this should be recognized. It was the Normans who, in France, watched and guarded the cradle of liberty as at present enjoyed in England – it was the men of Normandy and Brittany who at a later age laid the foundations of the liberty loving community of Canada. The very usages in the Parliament of Britain survive from the days when they were planted there by our Norman ancestors. I do not know that it has been observed before in Canada, but it has often occurred to me that in the British Parliament we still use the old words used by your fathers for the sanction of the Sovereign given to bills of “la Reine le vent,” or “la Reine” remercie ses bons sujets et accepte leur benevolence et ainsi le veut,” forms which I would like to see used at Ottawa as marking our common origin instead of the practice that prevails of translating into modern French and English. In celebrating this fete to-day all can join with pride in the element predominant amongst us to-day, as it is to your race we owe the liberties of Runnymede and the practices that mark the free discussions of our Parliament. I rejoice to see so many met together and that we have representatives of our allies the French, as well as of those who have made a home – let us hope a temporary one only – among our friends in the United States. I rejoice to see these numbers of the race repatriated, if only for a time, and may assure them that our old and our new lands of the West are wide and fertile enough to justify us in detaining them here and in annexing any number who may be willing to be so treated. As they well know, they will always have with us the most perfect guarantees of liberty, the fullest rights of franchise, while they will not suffer so much as now from frequent waves of moral heat incurred by all who have to take part in constant -electioneering: nor will they, on the other hand, have to endure the winter, and mortal cord which may be, experienced by all who have to undergo the effects of a Gubernatorial or Presidential veto. Our visitors will see with us to-day the signs of a happy, a loyal, and contended people; they will see us sharing in that revival of trade which I am happy to say is marking the commencement of another decade; they will see us holding in highest esteem those traditions which associate us with the past, they will see you in the fullest enjoyment of your laws, your language and your institutions; they will see above all that you use the strength you thus inherit from your ancestors for no selfish purposes, but as imparting vigor and unison with the powers of other races to our great confederation, and in cementing a patriotism which is willing to bear the burdens as it shares the glory of a great country, the greatest member of the mightiest Empire ever known among mankind.