QUEBEC OF YESTERDAY AND QUEBEC OF TOMORROW
AN ADDRESS DELIVERED BY HON. LOUIS ATHANASE
DAVID, K.C., LL.B. PROVINCIAL SECRETARY AND
MINISTER OF EDUCATION FOR QUEBEC
Before the Empire Club of Canada, Toronto,
October, 28, 1920
PRESIDENT HEWITT in introducing the speaker said, Gentlemen, I esteem it a great privilege indeed to be able to introduce to the members of the Empire Club the Honourable the Provincial Secretary and Minister of Education for the Province of Quebec. The Hon. Mr. David has devoted himself to the service of his country and is the type of man the country needs. Plato has said that the punishment suffered by the wise who refuse to take part in government is to live under a government of bad men. Canada's need today is that the best of her sons should devote their lives to some branch of the public service (hear, hear) and to the solving of the many complex problems that concern her as a nation. In fact, not until we all own responsibility as individuals, our responsibility for the things that are and the things 'that ought to be, shall we reach the goal of a united and prosperous Canada. (Applause) We welcome the guest of today as a representative of more than two and .a half millions of Canadians of French origin whom, if we would realize to the fullest extent a happy, prosperous and united Canada, we must know well enough to appreciate (applause) and to whom we, as English-speaking Canadians, must prove our sincere desire to co-operate in all things 'that are best for our country (applause) in the upward march toward the glorious destiny which we believe is designed for Canada. (Hear, hear)
Gentlemen, a great deal of interest has been created by the visit of the Hon. Mr. David to our city. I believe that it is seven or eight years since any public man from the government of the Province of Quebec has visited Toronto and delivered a public address to a Toronto audience. The Empire Club has been striving for some time to secure for its meetings one of the outstanding men of that Province, and we are delighted today to have Mr. David with us. This has been noted by a friend and fellow-member, Mr. J. W. Bengough, who has handed to me these lines, which I am going to use, with your permission, in introducing the Hon. Mr. David :
"Bonne Entente Cordiale" proclaim we to the nations great and small,
Friendship, peace, good understanding round the world to one and all; '
But a warmer, freer greeting we reserve for our own hearth. And the sons we're proud to honour of Canadian blood and birth.
Bonne Entente for every stranger coming to us in good-will, But for such as you, compatriots, something homier, nearer still. For yourself, the meed of honour we would frankly speak,
And, through you, our admiration and our love for old Quebec. In our faces as we listen to the message you will bring.
Wecan read the happy promise of faith's future harvesting.
Master of the speech and genius of the English, you may well
Translate to warmer phrase our feelings than "Bonne Entente
Horn. MR. DAVID on rising was received with loud applause. He said:-This morning about five o'clock as the movement of the train, very much against my will and desire, awakened me. I lifted up the curtain of the drawing-room, and I could see in the far east the sun that was rising. It was all beautiful; and exactly at that moment as-the sun's rays were attracting my eyes, we were passing in front of a little station, and that little station was Agincourt. (The speaker gave it the French pronunciation Azh-in-coor-amid laughter.) I took it from this coincidence that evidently the sun in Ontario was rising on English and on French. (Applause) I come to you, gentlemen-can I say-with a little of those rays of the sun, and with that good-will that Mr. Bengough wants us to promote, and which in our state and in our relations is not only good for Ontario, not only good for Quebec, but 'there is something larger than Quebec and Ontario, and that is, Canada. (Hear, hear, and applause)
HON. LOUIS ATHANASE DAVID
Mr. President, and Gentlemen,-The War has exercised such an influence on the world at large that one will not marvel at the fact that, in the province of Quebec, a great and altogether new idea is gathering strength
Quebec, for 150 years centre of French thought in America; Quebec, which throughout its vast extent always has fought for the highest concepts and its loftiest beliefs; this ancient Quebec, settled in its old, deeprooted traditions, which has hitherto allowed its guiding thought to be one, subject only to the moral and intellectual needs of the moment, now realizes, all at once, that ideas alone cannot be given credit indefinitely, and that, no matter how indulgent one might be, these ideas will, sooner or later, be called to account. And so, one may actually notice, in our midst, a tendency to measure up those ideas against our present economic needs.
We, of Quebec, constitute something like a nation, that is a "political entity." And "political" does not mean here any of those ephemeral questions which might, from time to time, retain the attention of the professional, but rather, the more noble and lofty work of guiding the destiny of a young people, of assuring the survival of such a people tenaciously clinging to the rock of convictions upon which it has firmly and decidedly established itself.
But there is not only a political, Quebec; there is an economic Quebec, as well, which also counts. In fact, it is no exaggeration 'to say that our natural resources are unequalled anywhere. Coal is the only thing, indeed, that we lack. But why should we worry when we have millions of horse-power closer to us in our unharnessed streams. And this very fact allows us to defy and mock a bit the "Big Stick" which an American Senator said had to be hidden behind their backs when they talked conciliation to us over here. We do not fear the "Big Stick." Menaces, or threats, moreover, hardly ever impress us.
What then is it that cannot be found in our Province -from the red sands of Berthier to the iron mines of the mountains of the North, not to mention the gold mines of Thetford, and those recently discovered in Landrienne? Is it known that our Province furnishes 85% of the entire world production of this mineral? And, when we think that the other 15 per cent comes from the Ural mountains, it is easy to see that far-off Russia is our only competitor in the world market for a commodity the demand for which exceeds the supply. And by the way, I beg you to consider that our total production of this substance, in 1917, represented scarcely more than seven million dollars.
There lies the economic strength of Quebec, a strength of which we have but the barest outlines. Certainly you, Gentlemen, have not to be told that the primary element in a consideration of the economic strength of a people is a complete and exhaustive inventory of its natural recources. It is not exaggeration, to say that this inventory is going on, and all that we need is the co-operation of industrial pioneers to transform the natural riches into national wealth.
And that is why we hail our manufacturers and industrial men as a force for good which, enlisted in the service of this transformation (profitable to them. of course) of our natural resources, will ensure to Quebec a lively prosperity, and thanks to which, tomorrow, with the help of those sane and solid ideas which never failed her, Quebec will again proudly justify her pretention--and you won't resent her pride,-as being the first of the Provinces of the Dominion.
About the end of August, a year ago, when nearly every country was looking into her national conscience, which meant, as well, casting about to discover what economic strength she could rely upon in the future, Mr. Nitti, the then President of the Italian Cabinet, throwing popular opinion to the winds, stated that the tendency now was for a continual mental jag, carried on in an atmosphere of unproductive far niente. And he added these severe words: "All classes of the community, now, have the same meeting ground of interest, and all should have the same directing force. When the fields lie cultivated on account of the willfulness of the owner, or on account of the high cost of labour, when the mines lie undeveloped, when there are ships that rest idle in their ports, because of the owners or on account of the seamen's demands, there is destruction going on there." This is tantamount to saying that he who, today, does not create, destroys just as surely by his willful inactivity as by his willful laying-waste.
Paraphrasing Mr. Nitti, I would say that not to seek out opportunities to create or produce in our Province, where Nature has with a lavish hand put everything to work with at our disposal, not to contribute to the last ounce of one's strength to ensure our economic stability, is indeed to be guilty of improvidence and neglect which will directly affect and even compromise our future; it means in fact, destroying some of our future economic strength.
How many are the pressing duties, in truth, which the provident person can plainly see before him, nowadays, if he only tries to step out of his smug contented self. But it seems to me that there is one that we cannot pretend to miss seeing, one which stands directly before us, looming spectre-like, and that duty is for us to industrialize.
I am far from forgetting 'that Quebec, first of all, is a farming centre, and that she is and will remain an agricultural province. It is not my intention to overlook this, nor do I intend to place agriculture in a subordinate position among our national accomplishments, nor to slur over that element to which we owe much of our economic strength, now.
But, on the other hand, we must measure up to the level of modern necessity. And thinking Quebec would hardly be allowed to gloss over present necessities when France herself bows to them, and when she admits with a frank and audacious economist that she nearly paid with her national life because she did not sooner appreciate the error of her past.
I have already said, and you will perhaps allow me to repeat here, that young peoples are not free to turn a deaf ear to the teachings of older members of the family of nations, nor purposely to avoid the demonstrations which go on before 'their eyes. And if there is a truth which we can readily extract for our own use, upon seeing those older nations, with courage, start again up the road of economic progress, it is assuredly that of the modern need of industrialization.
In speaking as I did, just a moment ago, about asking Quebec for an accounting, I hope that I have not let any one believe that ideas were any hindrance or obstacle 'to Quebec's progress. It has been quite the contrary as I will show you.
I would ask you, Gentlemen, and those of your race who have settled down with us and who, for the most part, I hope, consider themselves at home; I would ask those who now live amongst us, and who know or begin to know us; those who have made money among us, or with us, I would ask them to tell you whether our dominating and moving idea has ever prevented us from giving 'them our most loyal support, or from giving, as employees, the best that was in us! Is it not true, let them tell you, that our attachment to our own origin, different from theirs, never altered the cordiality of our relations? Is it not true, Gentlemen, that while we were fighting for such things as the spread of an idea, or the recognition of a principle, you all used to look upon it as a mere battle of words and continued your kind of battle in the economic sphere; while we were creating a mentality, were you not asking the money which now allows you to predominate the commercial and financial fields of Canada?
But, I want to be fair; your splendid and untiring racial energy has allowed you to make Montreal and Toronto magnificent rivals for financial superiority, while our sane and solid mentality as well as our unshaken conviction allowed us to make of Montreal the third French city of the world.
And so, we are just about even. You are gratified over your success; we are quite satisfied with what we have done. We, therefore, find ourselves today on a very convenient meeting ground, both equal and proud of our deeds and past. Is it not time to state that here we stand together, and that, after all, we have never ceased so to stand.
Allow me to continue further, since I would seek in vain a more kindly disposed audience, and note that the labour of the French-Canadian, the modest, humble worker, has played a large part in the fortune of the old English families whose names we respect.
What would you? That is the kind of metal we are made of. We cannot help feeling that we have a mission here, something that we owe to our origin and ourselves to perpetuate in this country. Is there any one here, I wonder, unable to understand this, or unwilling to admit it? Our mission here is to continue in this English land, with the protection of the British flag, and thanks to the mildness and solidity as well of those institutions which regulate us, to continue here the traditions and to safeguard the language of "la plus belle nation du monde, Gentlemen, la France!"
I know very well that occasionally, in watching us scaling the heights, you may have thought that we were going to lose ourselves in the clouds of idealism. It may be true that, too long a while, we were idealists only, and that it took us a longer time than you to find out the value of money. But indeed, can you complain on that score? Were not the victories in this domain, industrial, commercial or financial, just the more easy for you on that account?
But now, having acquired more assurance about what we can do, and satisfied that our language, our traditions, our institutions which we fought for ought not to die and shall not die, here we stand before you, perhaps with a little pride because we weathered the storm so well, and, as at Fontenoy, after having invited you to fire first in the economical domain, we say to you: "Let us fight it out?"
And this means that we are about to offer you, in the fields of commerce, finance and industry, a loyal and unceasing fight.,
Before the encounter, Gentlemen, Quebec cordially holds out her hand to you. Grab it! And in the struggle to come, let us denominate and exclude as illegal warfare the implements of fanaticism and prejudice. We have had enough of these internecine quarrels, these religious differences. . . How much harm that has done to both of us! Without sacrificing nor abandoning any of our principles, on either side, but rather ready to stint ourselves 'to defend them,-let peace and harmony reign among us.
The happy rivalry which will follow will ensure the future greatness of our two provinces, and of our country. For the industrial development which will grow out, as a result, will promptly decrease the exportation of our raw material, and, at the same time, considerably increase our revenues.
It is instructive to look at the budget of a province .as we would look at the statement of assets and liabilities for an ordinary business house. In this latter, we would see that the expenditure on improvements is necessarily limited to a part of 'the profits on the business. Improvements are subjected to a like condition of affairs in administrative business; even the necessary expenses must be kept within the revenue. And why should I hesitate to say my thought behind all these remarks when it is the thought that animates all our best business brains? The Revenue of the Province of Quebec must increase if its people wish that it shall meet the obligations which the new epoch has thrust upon it.
The public health, and hospitals, the asylums, the orphan asylums, public assistance in a word has not exhausted all the kindly offices of private charity. But the field of action is increasing so, the opportunity to do good there is so boundless, that these matters require the most serious consideration from the Government. Gentlemen, all will agree with me that we could spread increased revenues, accruing from the utilization of our natural resources, upon all these humanitarian objects,increased revenues which the Province has not only a right to count on, but to discount.
But will you allow me to illustrate what I have just said about the utilization of natural resources? During the fiscal year ending June, 1918-1 am using Federal Statistics,-Canada exported more than eleven million pounds of raw leather, representing .a value of $8,412,060. We imported, during the same period, manufactured leather products amounting to $4,068,869. Let us suppose that this raw leather had been turned over to Canadian manufacturing houses and the manufactured product turned out in this country, 'to be used by Canadian consumers; is there not right there, a profit of six million dollars? And how much of it' would have found its way into the trouser pockets of the Canadian workingman. Foreign workmen, instead, have profited thereby, and we had to import more than four million dollars worth of shoes.
During the same period, we exported more than 1,800,000 cords of pulp-wood, which represents an amount of $8,500,000. Here is what happened; that pulp-wood made into paper, suddenly became worth $75,000,000; right there again, was a loss of $66,500,000 for Canada, and of this the Canadian workingman would have received about, twenty-five millions. I could recite the same depressing tale about the export of asbestos.
To express the wish that industry should be fathered here among us is only the part of patriotism, I think, and the attitude of anyone with the. good of the country at heart; because industry can become, as I have shown you, .a factor for developing the riches of a country, and therefore of the nation itself.
But it is being said that it is dangerous to advocate industrial expansion nowadays, because of the thorny labour problems. But, as Mr. Daniel Straton has recently remarked, we have nothing at all to fear on that score, in Quebec. This writer recently stated that Canada was being buffeted-about between forces which were unalterably opposed. "We have," says this writer, "East and West, native-born and foreigners, Labour arid Capital, United Farmer and old-time party, free-trade and protection, manufacturers and consumers." But he hastens to add that Quebec did not seem to have such divisions, or if she did have them, they did not serve as separating lines, but, rather, that these elements unanimously agreed on one point-a necessary amount of economic protection for all; and to bring about this we have wise and enlightened legislation which, far from creating animosity among these elements, serves to bind them more closely together.
In truth, Gentlemen, have you not wondered how Quebec, essentially an agricultural province up to a short time ago, should have such an enlightened and progressive set of laws affecting the workingman on its statute books ? The reason is that those who have been in charge of its government were far-seeing enough to understand that the two great economic forces, capital and labour, should not be brought into conflict. And so, I suppose, you will not find it exaggeration for me to say that we have good reason to be proud of our Province, that, in fact, it is our bounden duty to take pride, whether we are English or French, in the protection the laws grant everyone in our province, and, therefore, to take pride also in the handiwork of those who preceded us and who are responsible for our Province being admired and envied throughout the Dominion, today.
To such an extent, Gentlemen, is this so,-and, I pray, do not interpret this as a political allusion,-that the recognized opinion is that whatever party voluntarily deprives itself of Quebec's ideas and services can only grope in darkness and instability.
Foresight: that is what the art of governing consists in. And that country which, through its legislation, has succeeded in neutralizing the irritating effect of riches, -rendered still more so by the war,-has reached a degree of stability which few peoples, indeed, can flatter themselves upon.
The workingman bears with the state of affairs where all the riches are gathered in few hands, providing he feels that his employer is doing what is right by him; he over-looks this state of affairs when he feels that his work is sufficiently rewarded to allow him to provide for the needs of his family. But he does so the more willingly when he knows that he is protected by sane legislation which lays down, side by side, the rights of the labourer and the obligations of the employer,-a legislation inspired by real democratic progress.
It is often enough said that the labourer is exacting, that he is impossible to satisfy. But whose fault is that? When you consider that for centuries he has been purposely left in the deepest misery and profoundest ignorance, in the belief 'that he would be more easily managed in that condition; when his share of the riches of the nation has been but that of the pack animal; when his usefulness was measured by the amount of physical effort he put forth or muscular development he could muster-, when Capital could say, so long, without fear of consequences: "Get to work or starve to death!"
Macaulay, in his History of England, foresaw that the workingman would lift up his head and his words are full of pregnant meaning, now: "It may be well in the 20th Century," he said, "that the peasant of Dorsetshire may think himself miserably paid with 20 shillings a week; that the carpenter at Greenwich may receive 10 shillings a day; that labouring men may be as little used to dine without meat as they now are to eat rye bread; that numerous comforts and luxuries which are now unknown or confined to a few may be within the reach of every diligent and thrifty working man." (One does not even need to be thrifty, at that!)
And he added, with truly historical foresight, that, after all, History may register that England during the time of Queen Victoria was truly merry England, "when all classes were bound together by brotherly sympathy, when the rich did not grind the faces of the poor, and when the poor did not envy the splendor of the rich."
But, it has turned out 'that Capital and Labour have grown to look upon each other as brothers; the rich man, does he entertain any thoughts at all, about the poor man? the poor man, is he any less envious of the rich man? If anything has been changed, it is this: The People have asserted themselves.
Capital and Labour have grown more powerful, and because they have never wanted to meet each other halfway, the desire in the back of their heads was to strangle each other. And now, the masses, for a long time led through the nose, find themselves strong enough, today, to-demand a more equal distribution of enjoyment and wealth. And, without considering the consequences, filled with bitter taste of revenge, the masses allow their socialist leaders to affirm the proposition that possession of property is a countenanced system of robbery, that wealth belongs to everybody, destroying thereby the driving forces of ambition, emulation and initiative, and, in a word, demolishing the entire social edifice which twenty centuries of Christian endeavour have struggled to rear.
In our province, the rights of Labour happily were recognized; and the worker, as well, acknowledged his own obligations; and this is what prepared the common meeting-ground of understanding. A compromise has been reached, based on mutual respect and on the full understanding of the sharply defined limits of each other's obligations and duties.
But, how does it happen, Gentlemen, that at home, in Quebec, this compromise between Capital and Labour should appear so natural and so easy. Allow me to explain.
Some of you may have listened to attacks upon our own system of education; you were not quite aware of the wide liberties which the minority enjoy in the schools of our province; you did not know, perhaps, that Quebec spends nearly a quarter of .her revenue for the education of her children. But now, since you are seeking the reason why employers can always rely on their workmen's loyalty and the stability of their industries; since you are curious to know how the Quebec industrial man can be so sure, every morning, to see the ascending threads of smoke come out from his chimneys, indicating that everything is normal within, and all is well; since you want to know how it happens that the whirlwind of folly which has passed over the entire world, stirring up the masses, has left industrial Quebec unscathed, let me tell you. All that, we owe to the modest, humble primary school, that institution of ours so much decried. today, as yesterday, it teaches and will continue to teach those who pass through it, and inculcate in their minds the respect for convictions and principles, the respect for religion, the respect for the rights and obligations of each, the respect, finally, for authority.
Yes, Gentlemen, it is the little public school of Quebec which exhibits today to the entire world the spectacle of a generation it has formed, and which is capable of resisting the appeal of all false doctrines, and which still knows how to appreciate the justice and wisdom of authority. You, Gentlemen, who are acquainted with many countries, do you know of many which have produced such a generation? .
It is not so much applause, I want, as a recognition on your part of a truth that people have pretended to ignore a long time, or refused to admit.
Oh! I know that, judging from my manner, you think I am rather proud of my race. Indeed, I am, and you do not err on this point. I am greatly proud of it, and that is exactly why I find it so easy to defend it, and the reason, as well, why I feel ready to make any sacrifice for it. Does it not holdup before me a powerful example in having sacrificed itself and its material development for over a century and a half, in order to more fully assure its intellectual and moral development, while others were so allowed to increase their wealth and are so able, today, to preserve it better?
But I want to try and avoid being unfair, so much so, that I give cheerful recognition to the fact that, lately, a good many people have stated that: "Quebec i5 the bulwark of Civilization," and se forth. We thank them gratefully for it. May I tell them, though, that Quebec is but a very pretty woman, who, for some time past, has not ignored her own qualities; so, she finds it a little strange, today, and not quite to the advantage of her new suitors that they should have 'taken so long a while in finding these things. She is kind and sweet though, and sufficiently coquettish, thank Heavens l not to evince any great surprise at being told these pleasant compliments. She sees, not without a sweet satisfaction, that these overtures are due to a new habit of gallantry, a more refined sense of the beautiful, I dare say, which she has long regretted was not to be found before. But lest one is falsely impressed,-this pretty woman is not looking for sympathy, because, though the eldest, she has not forgotten the hey-day of her youth. She still has remembrance of her maiden youth, when she was sought after and courted by a "beau" named Jonathan, and when, on account of her unswerving heart, as well as because of a certain amount of personal pride, she dismissed him! We know that she had plighted her faith to John Bull.
You surely have heard what is often enough repeated that: "Old Quebec ever forgives, but never forgets!" This is only another way of being just without pardoning injuries too readily, and of always keeping in mind good deeds, as well.
For all we have said about our present needs, it would not be that industrialization should cause the desertion of our countryside. We can never repeat too often that agriculture is the mainstay of Humanity; every one admits that Industry, which is the life of a nation, and Agriculture, which provides the life of the individual, are wanted to furnish the national wealth together. Besides, looking at the industrial side only, the workingman must find his foodproducts ready at hand at reasonable prices; and how could that be without the farms working at their highest man-strength?
But, so far as the draining of the country-side immediately adjoining the cities is concerned, that is practically inevitable. And I believe that the glare of the electric lights, reflected in the sky, at night, does more to attract the moths from the country than the desire for worldly gain. For how canyon prevent from coming to the city, a youth, full of fire and curiosity, and in search of gayety, which he does not know, to be artificial only, and which he thinks he sees floating above every city, and which, unhappily is not to be found in the country! Let the day come when we have found the way to brighten up our villages, and we will have done more to keep our youth on the land than is possible, through books, lectures, speeches and other appeals to their moral duty. The day also when the programme in the village school shall include agricultural matters, and thus create love for land, in showing it under its most interesting aspect, its true colours, that is, as the fountainhead of real liberty, that day, surely, it will be allowed us to hope that the farms shall no longer be deserted. Quebec ought to maintain its agricultural character.
Industry and agriculture, nevertheless, ought to go hand in hand, in harmonious cooperation. In these times of democratic awakening, a workman needs to have the product of his labour measure up to his ordinary needs. And, it is a good thing that agriculture should permit him to obtain his daily food requirements at prices which will prevent him from indulging in recrimination or in incessant demands for increases in wages.
These two mighty factors, if they know how to discover the useful things in each other, will unite instead of fighting, and, thereby, can do more 'towards abolishing misery upon the face of this earth than any amount of social legislation. Socialist dreamers and communistic extremists would then be overwhelmed with the bankruptcy of their ideas in a world which would turn out its daily needs in plenty, and provide its people with them at reasonable prices.
A truth lies here which seems to be understood by all of us, and that is the reason why the conflict between the two great forces, all over the world, has not affected Quebec. It is because each has understood the place he fills in the scheme of things, and his usefulness in the arrangement of the essential forces of human progress. It is because the worker as well as the agriculturist, the labourer on the farm as well as he in the shops, and like the brain-worker too, have all understood with Gabriel Hanotaux, that there is no such thing as degrading Labour, that, in fact, there are no categories of Labour at all: manual labour, intellectual labour, practical labour, everything that means assiduity, tension, and victory over matter is upon the same plane.
The only distinction that can be made among us is that between the active bodies and the lazy ones. Without this last class of persons, there would not be any social problems. It is only what St. Paul had said that Lenine is repeating today, after many centuries: "Those who do not want to work, need not expect to eat!"
And so, whatever may be our condition in life, where ever the accident of birth has placed us, whatever part that society calls upon us to play, our imperative duty towards the State and the individuals who compose it, is to work.
Upon this common meeting-ground, Gentlemen, we can gather to discuss, and foresee in a clear vision, what the future has in store for us.
I must apologize, Gentlemen, if in the course of these remarks I have not only more than exceeded the usual limits of an after dinner speech, but if I have offended in touching upon certain subjects. It has been said about Gladstone, with whom I do not think of comparing myself in the least, but near whom I would take shelter, that his outstanding quality was his high political courage. This quality, I think, people have the right to demand from those they place at the helm of the State. Those who let themselves be halted, because they are afraid of the truth, or else, are afraid to state the truth, would do much better by the country by returning to their daily occupations, where, perhaps, they might never accomplish much, but where they will never do much harm.
The times we are going through call for men who know how to bear responsibilities, men who are not afraid to talk plainly to the people, nor to shock them in so doing. And, here, I say nothing but what a French writer claimed about his own country which needed "daring, persevering, well-balanced and well disciplined men, and not visionaries, dreamers, wordy persons; men knowing how to observe and to will things, in a word: Men."
Speaking recently to a gathering of my French compatriots, I referred to the words of a modern writer, "Ce sont les jeunes qui rebatiront!"
Allow me; today, appearing before a thoroughly English audience to quote an identical saying, and this from Disraeli: "The youth of a nation are the trustees of Posterity?"
If Disraeli was right about England, if L. Desclos-Auricoste spoke golden truth in France, should I be wrong in saying that the welding of the youth in our country, the off-springs of the two greatest races in the world, should produce something of fruitful endeavour? Our young men are the trustees of Posterity; theirs is the work of reconstruction; but, we are to help too, and, for our part, could we not try and repair what we may have undone; for racial friendship, respect for one another is the very price of our prosperity, and then the happiness and the might of our country will be the reward. (Great applause)
PRESIDENT HEWITT: Gentlemen, I feel sure that very few, if any, addresses that have been delivered before this or any other Club in Toronto, have been quite so thought fully worked out, have contained so much matter so well fitted for reflection as the address which has been delivered today. (Applause) We owe an extreme debt of gratitude, which we pay very gladly to our guest of today; and on your behalf I have much pleasure in extending the thanks of our Club to Hon. Mr. David. Three cheers for Mr. David were given most heartily.