Loubet, Émile François (āmēlˈ fräNswäˈ lōbāˈ) [key], 1838–1929, president of the French republic (1899–1906). As a member of the chamber of deputies, he advocated secular education. After serving (1887–88) as minister of public works he became premier in 1892. His hesitance to investigate the Panama Canal scandal forced his resignation, but he continued as minister of the interior until 1893 and became president of the senate in 1896. In 1899 he succeeded Félix Faure as president of the republic. Favoring revision in the Dreyfus Affair, Loubet pardoned Alfred Dreyfus in 1899; in foreign affairs his reception of King Edward VII of Great Britain symbolized the growing rapprochement between the two countries. During his presidency premiers René Waldeck-Rousseau and Émile Combes secured the limiting of Church privilege, culminating (1905) in the separation of Church and state in France. Loubet retired in 1906 and was succeeded by Armand Fallières.