March 21, 1929 (16th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Charles Marcil


Hon. CHARLES MARCIL (Bonaventure) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, I trust the house will allow me-being one of its oldest members-*to thank, on behalf of the Frenchspeaking people of Canada, the right bon. Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), and the distinguished leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett), for the so well deserved tribute paid

Grading of Grain-Mr. Campbell
to the great field-marshal Foch. If the citizens of English origin in this country manifest both admiration and veneration for the memory of this distinguished man and illustrious soldier, such admiration and veneration are doubly felt by those in whose veins flow the same blood as that which flowed in the veins of Ferdinand Foch.
We, of French ancestry, have always sought the "entente cordiale" between Great Britain and our former motherland. We most anxiously hoped for this entente, under Edward VII-the great arbitrator of peace in Europe-and we finally realized it with the great world war of 1914. We were doubly honoured on that Sunday morning in December, 1921, when Ferdinand Foch visited Ottawa to officially thank the Canadian people for its participation in the war. He had then gloriously crowned his victory, and had what is more the very great satisfaction of having prevented further carnage the moment that honour had been vindicated.
The hon. leader of the opposition has just told us that Field-Marshal Foch was mindful of his obligations to his God, and that, in the midst of the greatest battles, it was his custom to repair to a little countryside chapel and there invoke the aid of his Creator. He gave us a beautiful example of piety, that Sunday morning in December, 1921, when in leaving the railway station, he drove to the Basilica to hear holy mass, kneeling in the choir beside His Grace the Archbishop of Ottawa. He performed this religious duty previous to receiving the welcome tendered to him by the people. We have a vivid recollection of his visit to the University of Ottawa, the seat of French culture, and furthermore he duly paid his respects to the representative of our Sovereign in Canada.
No more need be said. I think it was but proper that a French voice be heard in this house so as to thank those wh'o paid tribute to the great departed soldier. What we are saying to-day will be re-echoed in France, in Paris. Even at present, the government of the French Republic is making arrangements to pay the late Field Marshal Foch the supreme honours paid to her great men, to those who have well served their country.
I wish to thank the leaders of the three parties-since there are three parties in the house-for their participation in this display of sincere friendship and bonne entente we have shown to-day, by paying tribute to the great generalissimo who has just passed away.

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