Georges-Henri HÉON

HÉON, Georges-Henri, Q.C., B.A., LL.M.

Personal Data

Independent Progressive Conservative
Argenteuil (Quebec)
Birth Date
September 6, 1902
Deceased Date
January 8, 1965
crown attorney, lawyer

Parliamentary Career

February 28, 1938 - January 25, 1940
  Argenteuil (Quebec)
June 11, 1945 - April 30, 1949
  Argenteuil (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 26)

March 28, 1949

Mr. Georges H. Heon (Argenteuil):

Mr. Speaker, there is now before this house the text of a proposed pact officially designated as the North Atlantic security pact, slated for signature by our duly accredited mandataries during the first week of April next in Washington. We are asked, as elected representatives of the people, to express our approval thereof. In seeking the approval of the house prior to affixing its signature, the government is acting strictly as it should if we are to remain an active Christian democracy instead of becoming a totalitarian state. We could not honestly bind ourselves to safeguard "the freedom, common heritage and civilization" of the peoples participating in the treaty and "the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law" invoked in the preamble to the pact, unless we observed them in our midst.

Briefly the signatories to the treaty express therein their faith in the purpose and prin-

North Atlantic Treaty

ciples of the United Nations charter, their desire to live in peace with all peoples, settle their disputes by peaceful means, unite their efforts for collective defence, develop their individual and collective capacity to resist armed attack on any of the signatories in Europe or North America, and if such an armed attack occurs, to take necessary action, including the use of armed force.

Clearly the proposed pact, which is unfortunately only regional in scope, since a plan of universal co-operation has failed through no fault of our own, is a determined effort to seek and maintain peace in our time; but bluntly, the pact also means war if an armed attack occurs against any signatory. We cannot, in good faith, sign the proposed treaty, unless we are fully prepared to honour our signature in peace and in war. It is well that our people as well as our potential enemies be amply warned of this last alternative, so that no one may ignore the responsibilities, guarantees, rights and dangers therein contained. We shall gain in prestige and respect both at home and abroad if our foreign policies, instead of being laid in secrecy, sentiment or political advantage, are based upon easily ascertainable and avowable moral and Christian concepts which all men of good faith will clearly understand.

In listening to the Right Hon. Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent), the distinguished Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Drew), and the leaders of the other parties in the house give their explanations of this proposed North Atlantic pact, I could not help but reflect on the relentless march and evolution of Canada's foreign policies during the course of the last fifty years, and the tremendous responsibilities and obligations accruing therefrom. This evolution has not come without friction, conflicts, deep resentment and marked divergences of opinion. Our geographical and economic tensions, the different racial origins, traditions and culture of our two major groups, particularly the head-on collision of a rising nationalism with an obstinate colonialism, the slow but enduring Americanization of many Canadians, particularly of the younger generation, through the persistent influence of United States movies, literature, radio, business intercourse and methods, have all contributed to the shaping or rather the reshaping of our attitude toward international problems. Too many stupidities and unfounded accusations have been uttered by theorists and self-styled directors of the national conscience concerning isolationism and international organizations. The wheat must be separated from the chaff. We can have no other foreign policy which will be acceptable to all racial groups than one based upon the autonomy and

[Mr. Heon.l .'

sovereignty of Canada; because without sovereignty there can be no true international law. What liberty is to the individual, autonomy and sovereignty are to a nation: a divine and fundamental right. But it carries with it the corresponding duty to reconcile sovereignty with the right to collective peace and progress in international society. Through sovereignty a nation decides freely upon its form of government; signs or abstains from signing treaties, alliances and pacts; declares and wages war; proclaims and enforces its neutrality; organizes efficient defence of its territory. Here again, however, there necessarily arises the duty of every nation, big or small, either alone or through pacts and alliances with other sovereign nations, to vigilantly safeguard, even at the price of war, the sovereign autonomous action of its chosen government.

Viewed thus, it is not isolationism for one to proclaim the autonomy and sovereignty of his country, but intelligent and reasoned patriotism. And if the absolute and atheistic dictators of Russia today had this conception of autonomy and sovereignty there would be no necessity, much less urgency, for a North Atlantic regional pact. However, because these saboteurs of international peace and friendliness acknowledge no obligation to either God or man and persist in their belief that the outside world is hostile and should be overthrown, no one must be led astray by the broad principle of sovereignty, nor distort its true meaning in the present world crisis. Let us not for a single moment forget that today sovereignty is not only invoked by the righteous nations who are weak, but by the powerful who are wrong, much as in the fable of the lamb and the wolf. I have no hesitation in asserting that each and every Canadian, whether of English or French or other racial descent, in my constituency and indeed in the whole province of Quebec, is anxious and willing to sacrifice to international sovereignty that portion of the national sovereignty which may appear necessary or useful not only to establish the reign and respect of righteousness but to secure it permanently by power with justice.

Apart from the considerations I have just mentioned, Mr. Speaker, there is another stark reality which is inescapable. After total effort in two world wars, at the cost of thousands upon thousands of precious human lives and a national debt which runs to almost astronomical figures, Canada has greatly increased its international stature. With the radical redistribution of world power brought by the late war, our country has become a strong middle power, with commensurate obligations and responsibilities. Through our allegiance to a common crown,

Canada is a member of the British commonwealth. Through our proximity to the mighty United States we are materially, economically and psychologically joined to them by the same problems of peace and security. Finally, through our little to be envied nearness to totalitarian, communistic Russia in the far north, we find ourselves in a most complicated if strategic position which calls for honesty, courage, cool-headedness, realism and prudence in the conduct of our international relations. It is not presumptuous to affirm, I think, that Canada always has been prepared to live in peace, security and justice with all its neighbours; but if one neighbour not only obstinately refuses co-operation but shows open hostility and a bellicose disposition, remaining largely mobilized while other friendly nations have disarmed to the point of danger, Canada cannot but join the other neighbours who share and cherish the same desire for peace, liberty and security.

One cannot forget, Mr. Speaker, that with the advent of atomic weapons, rockets, guided missiles, jets and other deadly and terrifying instruments of war, Canada has ceased to be "a fireproof house far from inflammable materials." We must, therefore, guard against an international conflagration.

There are other depressing certainties which, unhappily, are crystal clear and which command us to be on the alert. Our far northern neighbour, soviet Russia, is not only a police state but a military and militaristic one, whose basic and final ideology is world revolution by all or any means. The teachings of Marx, Lenin and Stalin are brutally frank and affirmative on this subject. The behaviour of soviet Russia at the council tables from the Russo-German treaty of 1939 to Teheran, Yalta, Potsdam, San Francisco and Lake Success, has been marked by deceit, trickery, unfriendliness and hostility.

The burglarizing tactics of soviet Russia towards Poland, Roumania, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Hungary and eastern Germany; its bullying intimidation of gallant little Finland; the treacherous activities of such names as Thorez, Marty, Duclos, in France, and Togliatti, in Italy, and their carefully-timed joint statements that they would welcome the Russian army with open arms were it to invade their respective countries, constitute a direct threat to the peace and security of the Christian world which cannot remain unchallenged.

These tactics, threats and intimidation can and must be met by a coalition of the national strength of all those nations and peoples whose norm of international conduct is based on co-operation, peace and, con-

North Atlantic Treaty

sequently, security against war. Let us remember that "co-operation requires strength, while weakness can only appease and beg."

Mr. Speaker, there is another all-important issue which the proposed treaty should bring to our minds and consciences, particularly those of us who believe in and practise the Christian religion and its divine precepts. Those of us who have an unshakable belief that man is a creature of God with an eternal destiny should remember that moral and spiritual values should prevail over the material ones. The communistic policies which the Russian authorities have imposed on their own enslaved people, their chained satellite countries, and would impose upon the whole world if they could, are the philosophy of irreligion, atheistic materialism and are therefore intrinsically wicked.

One has only to refer at random to the many lucubrations of the founders of the present Russian regime to became convinced that that is so. In 1844, for instance, Marx had written:

The true happiness of the people requires that religion be suppressed.

Lenin, as quoted by Bezbojnik in September 1935, has affirmed that:

Any idea of religion or conception of God is an abominable thing. Marxism is essentially materialistic and therefore relentlessly opposed to religion.

In his "A.B.C. of Communism", Nicholas Boukharine writes:

Religion and communism are as incompatible In theory as in practice.

Without a doubt, however, the grand prize goes to one whom an unsuspecting and overconfident U.S. president nicknamed Uncle Joe Stalin. In 1936, this "Uncle Joe" made the following statement:

We consider religion as our worst enemy, and the struggle against it must be relentlessly pursued, because there can be no compromise with religion whose purposes are diametrically opposed to ours.

As if to substantiate these various affirmations of anti-religious policies, the communist leaders of today have in the course of the last two years imprisoned Archbishop Stepi-nac, Cardinal Mindszenty, and numerous Protestant clergymen, after mock trials and sordid procedure.

Mr. Speaker, bitter disillusion has now replaced our cherished illusions; the masks have fallen and the godlessness of our erstwhile ally is self-evident. With the yet unchecked advance of the forces of irreligion and atheistic materialism, avowedly bent on destroying those essential Christian principles and institutions, moral and spiritual values in which we believe and on which our whole way of life, autonomy and sovereignty are based, Canada like other Christian God-believing and God-fearing nations, must

North Atlantic Treaty

remain relentlessly firm and vigilant in the containment of these satanic forces. True, we should not lightly throw stones at the communistic adultresses abroad because our own individual, social and international consciences are not without sin. Our norm of morality has not been always equal to the precepts of the divine Peace-Maker which we are now called upon to uphold and defend. We must be courageous enough, however, and sufficiently spiritually-conscious to unhesitatingly choose the Christian way instead of the other.

It is to be deeply regretted that, the sacredness and righteousness of our cause being so evident, those who drafted the United Nations charter and the projected North Atlantic treaty did not see fit to insert at least once in the text the words "God", "eternal destiny of man", "spiritual and moral values". The preamble to the proposed pact would be strengthened if it contained the following assertion of faith:

They believe in God, the eternal destiny of man, and the safeguarding of moral and spiritual values.

The proposed North Atlantic treaty, although reticent in its text and only regional in its scope, affords at least partial assurance against the further progress of evil forces. It behooves all Canadians, therefore, in all the provinces without exception, to approve and support it.

It has been suggested in an official communique appearing in the press of March 19, 1949, that Canada hail with enthusiasm the proposed North Atlantic treaty. One cannot easily enthuse over the admission of failure by the security council of the United Nations to discharge its primary obligation of maintaining international peace and security, and the belated acknowledgment that Russia, by its abuse of the veto, never wanted an effective international enforcement agency. How can one enthuse over the apparent failure of an organization on which the civilized world had pinned its hopes for enduring peace, and over the confession of our statesmen that they have mistakenly relied on the good faith of a regime that has, from its inception, openly admitted as its goal world revolution, destruction of the Christian faith and the "construction of a communist society"?

It is my humble opinion, Mr. Speaker, that the thoughts of my constituents and of the people of the province of Quebec as to the treaty now before us for approval can be summarized as follows: Although we believe and will always believe in the autonomy and sovereignty of Canada and its exclusive and absolute right to decide-unhampered, unthreatened and unfettered-which course it should follow in the realm of international

affairs, we shall fully approve, not with enthusiasm nor gladness in our hearts but with a deep sense of responsibility towards our fellowmen and ourselves, the North Atlantic treaty. We shall do so, not only to ensure the integrity of our territory, our political independence and our autonomy, but especially to underline our deep attachment to the Christian principles which should guide nations as well as individuals; our religious beliefs; our unshakable faith in the eternal destiny of mankind and the superiority of spiritual and moral values over the material. And because in Quebec, we remain unashamed to pray, we shall pray that the full implementation of the treaty will bring to our world peace, freedom and security.


Mr. Speaker, by concluding in French I only wish to do my humble share to encourage this praiseworthy and growing habit of introducing more French in the debates of the House of Commons. I wish to emphasize that the province of Quebec is being wrongly accused of hostility towards the North Atlantic pact or of trying to isolate itself in its small corner of the country, as is sometimes said. My fellow citizens perfectly understand the present international situation. They came freely to the conclusion that the pact will protect their sovereignty and autonomy as well their religious, political and cultural institutions. I can state without fear of being mistaken, Mr. Speaker, that all Canadians of the province of Quebec, whatever be their racial origin, will unanimously approve this pact.

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March 25, 1949

Mr. Heon:

I was paired with the member for Joliette-l'Assomption-Montcalm (Mr. Lapalme). Had I voted, I would have voted against the motion.

Topic:   '2030 HOUSE OF COMMONS
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March 24, 1949

Mr. Heon:

I was paired with the hon. member for Joliette-L'Assomption-Montcalm (Mr. Lapalme). Had 1 voted, I would have voted against the resolution.

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March 11, 1949

Mr. Heon:

As you know, Mr. Speaker, I am permanently paired with the hon. member for Joliette-L'Assomption-Montcalm (Mr. Lapalme). Had I voted I would have voted for the amendment.

Topic:   II, 1949
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March 11, 1949

Mr. Heon:

Mr. Speaker, I was paired with the hon. member for Joliette-L'Assomption-Montcalm (Mr. Lapalme). Had I voted, I would have voted against the motion.


Topic:   II, 1949
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