Speech of President Leconte of Haiti at a banquet given to Mr. Knox, Port au Prince, April 3, 1912.
Mr. Secretary of State: It gives me great pleasure to reiterate, in the name of the Republic of Haiti, our expressions of cordial welcome. And it is also pleasing to feel that your presence, at this time, among us is an unmistakable evidence of the interest which our great sister of the north takes in us.
You, Mr. Secretary of State, have, without doubt, passed through countries of Latin America that are richer, more prosperous, than ours; a wealth and prosperity which consists, to a large degree, in the same conditions existing when those peoples of this continent won their independence.
But here you will encounter the sincere and loyal expression of our high esteem and our keen sympathies for the people and Government of the United States.
Your visit to us, which we shall cherish as a most precious remembrance, will certainly strengthen the bonds of intimate friendship which unite the two countries, tend to make more cordial our relations, and to develop the economic interests of the two nations.
I pray that you deign to convey my personal respects to President Taft, and that you please assure him that the Republic of Haiti earnestly wishes him happiness and the prosperity and greatness of the American people.
I thank you, Mr. Secretary, in the name of the Government and people of Haiti, for the visit you have been pleased to pay us, and I raise my glass in honor of President Taft, to your health and to that of your friends, and to the success of the mission of friendship and concord which you have undertaken.