George Harris HEES

HEES, The Hon. George Harris, P.C., O.C.

Personal Data

Party
Progressive Conservative
Constituency
Northumberland (Ontario)
Birth Date
June 17, 1910
Deceased Date
June 11, 1996
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Hees
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=e268685f-5f98-4956-a0d4-9aaefd036337&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
businessman, industrialist, manufacturer, military, military, professional football player

Parliamentary Career

May 15, 1950 - June 13, 1953
PC
  Broadview (Ontario)
August 10, 1953 - April 12, 1957
PC
  Broadview (Ontario)
June 10, 1957 - February 1, 1958
PC
  Broadview (Ontario)
  • Minister of Transport (June 21, 1957 - October 10, 1960)
March 31, 1958 - April 19, 1962
PC
  Broadview (Ontario)
  • Minister of Transport (June 21, 1957 - October 10, 1960)
  • Minister of Trade and Commerce (October 11, 1960 - February 8, 1963)
June 18, 1962 - February 6, 1963
PC
  Broadview (Ontario)
  • Minister of Trade and Commerce (October 11, 1960 - February 8, 1963)
November 8, 1965 - April 23, 1968
PC
  Northumberland (Ontario)
June 25, 1968 - September 1, 1972
PC
  Prince Edward--Hastings (Ontario)
  • Progressive Conservative Party Caucus Chair (September 1, 1968 - January 1, 1969)
October 30, 1972 - May 9, 1974
PC
  Prince Edward--Hastings (Ontario)
July 8, 1974 - March 26, 1979
PC
  Prince Edward--Hastings (Ontario)
May 22, 1979 - December 14, 1979
PC
  Northumberland (Ontario)
February 18, 1980 - July 9, 1984
PC
  Northumberland (Ontario)
September 4, 1984 - October 1, 1988
PC
  Northumberland (Ontario)
  • Minister of Veterans Affairs (September 17, 1984 - September 14, 1988)
  • Minister of State (Seniors) (August 27, 1987 - September 14, 1988)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 2201 of 2202)


September 2, 1950

Mr. George H. Hees (Broadview):

Mr. Speaker, on August 18 last I wrote to the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton) and, as a member of our present reserve forces, stated to him why I believe that our forces today are totally inadequate for defending this country. I also stated specifically what I considered should be done in order to fill these deficiencies. As I have had, to date, no answer from the minister, I am going to state again the points which I made in my

[Mr Noseworthy.]

letter to him, in the hope that I may receive an answer on the floor of this house. In my letter to the minister I said the following:

A few days ago, our government authorized the formation of a United Nations brigade. This step was endorsed by the vast majority of Canadians, because it enables us to live up to our obligations as a member of the United Nations.

This is one important step. The next, and even more important, is to prepare an armed force so that we can defend this country against the kind of attack which could be brought to bear against our shores at any time.

The possibility of this country becoming the Belgium of the third world war is a very real one. The oft-avowed aim of the communists is world domination, and this can only be accomplished by the subjugation of the United States. Canada would be the pathway for such an attack, and the possibility of this country becoming a battleground at some future date is something which every Canadian must bring himself to face.

First, then, what kind of force must we be prepared to meet? The Korean war has taught us that when the communists attack, their forces are well trained, well equipped, well directed, and in sufficient numbers to maintain the momentum of the attack. If they attack our west coast, they will do so in large numbers, and with heavy equipment. The ease with which such an attack can be launched from a distance of many hundreds of miles was demonstrated by the allied landings in Sicily in the summer of 1943. In that invasion, the first Canadian division sailed direct from England to the Sicilian beaches, a distance of many hundreds of miles by water. An invasion force of this kind could easily be protected by the large fleet of super submarines-both Russian and German-which the communists are known to have.

What, then, have we available to meet such an attack if one should come? The present brigade which is being recruited for Korea is for service in other parts of the world. When that force leaves this country, the only force which will be available for repelling an attack is one brigade group, consisting of 4,500 men, or less than one-third of a division.

As was pointed out last night by the hon. member for Nanaimo (Mr. Pearkes), this brigade group has no headquarters, and has no means of going into action as a formation until considerably further preparations have been made.

A force of that size could do no more than fight a brief delaying action against the size and type of force which could be landed.

In addition to the permanent brigade group which I have mentioned, we have our active reserve. As these reserve forces are up to no more than one-quarter strength, have very little equipment, and have never trained as complete battle formations, a minimum of six months to one year would be required before any reserve unit could take the field as an effective fighting force.

With what, then, do we plan to meet an attack if one should come? At the present time it is obvious that we have no plan, and equally obvious that, without one, we are living in a fool's paradise. I believe that we must recruit, train and equip a force which could be immediately available to lfieet and halt an attack, at least until American reinforcements arrive. The absolute minimum force which could do this would be, I believe, one armoured division, or an infantry division supported by an armoured brigade.

In order that such a force should be raised and maintained at the minimum cost to the taxpayer, I propose the following plan:

1st. The present recruiting and training plan should be expanded to include volunteers for a special reserve force, which would be known as "The Special Active Army Reserve".

2nd. Those who volunteer would receive training under active army conditions and rates of pay for whatever period the Department of National Defence considers necessary to bring them to a state of fighting fitness.

3rd. Legislation should be re-enacted to protect those who enlist by ensuring their release for necessary training or service by their present employers, without jeopardizing their job or seniority.

4th. Suitably located units of the present reserve army would be selected to organize 1st battalions or regiments, as an active army reserve, and continue their present units as 2nd battalions or regiments of the reserve army.

5th. Upon completion of the initial training period, personnel would join the active army reserve unit nearest to their home, and continue their training on a part-time basis while continuing to work at their regular employment.

6th. Terms of service would be for duty as and when required by the Department of National Defence, in any area. When on duty, active army regulations would apply, including casualty pensions.

7th. After the initial training period has been completed, a retaining fee of $30 a month for officers and $20 a month for other ranks should be paid, in addition to pay for intermittent training periods. This will help to attract battle-tried veterans, and make the service attractive to new recruits.

8th. Active army reserve battalions and regiments should be supplied with a full-time skeleton staff to maintain equipment, which should be procured at the earliest possible date, and in sufficient quantity, to place units on a war footing when ordered on service.

The initial training and equipping of this force would cost a considerable amount of money, but the overhead required to maintain the skeleton staffs and house the equipment, plus the yearly compensation, would make available an effective defence force at a minimum cost, and ensure its readiness on very short notice. The fact that this force would be considered as an integral part of our first line defence would have a strong appeal to the best type of fighting soldier, and the retaining fee when not on full-time duty would be an excellent drawing card for new recruits. In addition to the army, there is no reason why the plan I have outlined could not be applied to the navy and the air force in the same manner as to the army.

This is the only way in which we can prepare ourselves to repel armed aggression against this country if it should come. It is also our best insurance against being attacked, because the only language which the communists understand is strength and preparedness. If we are strong and prepared, we are far less likely to be attacked than if we remain in the weak and vulnerable position we "are in today.

We can never permit a recurrence of what happened in the last war, when young men with little training and equipment were sent to Hong Kong, and as reinforcements to Italy and northwest Europe. Let us train and equip ourselves now before it is too late.

I am submitting this plan for preparedness to the government, as a veteran of the last war, as a member of the present reserve army, and as a Canadian who wishes to see his country remain free. I sincerely hope that the Minister of

The Address-Mr. Hees

National Defence will see fit to put this plan, or some better plan, into operation before world events catch up with us.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Full View Permalink

September 2, 1950

Mr. Hees:

I sent a letter to the minister stating that these were opinions which I held and which I had expressed in a radio speech, which in no way minimized the suggestions I made. I said I would appreciate very much his comments, and that I sincerely believed this plan merited consideration by the government. I sent a copy of the same letter to the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) and received a prompt reply saying that this matter would be brought to the attention of the government. I am reciting these points at the present time because in my view this is an exceedingly important matter. I would like to see the government consider it and either produce a plan of this kind, or some better one-and I am not partial to mine- at the earliest opportunity.

On Tuesday last when the Prime Minister was reciting the series of events leading up to, and including, the rail strike, he told us that when the strike occurred the government was taken completely by surprise, as he believed everybody was. Those were his words as stated last Tuesday and reported at page 13 of Hansard. He said the rail strike had caught the government completely by surprise because they had believed it could not happen here.

If that kind of thinking is applied to national defence, it will be a disaster. That such thinking does exist in the Department of National Defence was made evident by the minister's speech two days ago, when he outlined the situation as one completely in control, exactly as the country would wish it to be, and left the impression that no Canadian had anything to worry about.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Full View Permalink

September 2, 1950

Mr. George H. Hees (Broadview):

Mr. Speaker, on August 18 last I wrote to the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton) and, as a member of our present reserve forces, stated to him why I believe that our forces today are totally inadequate for defending this country. I also stated specifically what I considered should be done in order to fill these deficiencies. As I have had, to date, no answer from the minister, I am going to state again the points which I made in my

[Mr Noseworthy.]

letter to him, in the hope that I may receive an answer on the floor of this house. In my letter to the minister I said the following:

A few days ago, our government authorized the formation of a United Nations brigade. This step was endorsed by the vast majority of Canadians, because it enables us to live up to our obligations as a member of the United Nations.

This is one important step. The next, and even more important, is to prepare an armed force so that we can defend this country against the kind of attack which could be brought to bear against our shores at any time.

The possibility of this country becoming the Belgium of the third world war is a very real one. The oft-avowed aim of the communists is world domination, and this can only be accomplished by the subjugation of the United States. Canada would be the pathway for such an attack, and the possibility of this country becoming a battleground at some future date is something which every Canadian must bring himself to face.

First, then, what kind of force must we be prepared to meet? The Korean war has taught us that when the communists attack, their forces are well trained, well equipped, well directed, and in sufficient numbers to maintain the momentum of the attack. If they attack our west coast, they will do so in large numbers, and with heavy equipment. The ease with which such an attack can be launched from a distance of many hundreds of miles was demonstrated by the allied landings in Sicily in the summer of 1943. In that invasion, the first Canadian division sailed direct from England to the Sicilian beaches, a distance of many hundreds of miles by water. An invasion force of this kind could easily be protected by the large fleet of super submarines-both Russian and German-which the communists are known to have.

What, then, have we available to meet such an attack if one should come? The present brigade which is being recruited for Korea is for service in other parts of the world. When that force leaves this country, the only force which will be available for repelling an attack is one brigade group, consisting of 4,500 men, or less than one-third of a division.

As was pointed out last night by the hon. member for Nanaimo (Mr. Pearkes), this brigade group has no headquarters, and has no means of going into action as a formation until considerably further preparations have been made.

A force of that size could do no more than fight a brief delaying action against the size and type of force which could be landed.

In addition to the permanent brigade group which I have mentioned, we have our active reserve. As these reserve forces are up to no more than one-quarter strength, have very little equipment, and have never trained as complete battle formations, a minimum of six months to one year would be required before any reserve unit could take the field as an effective fighting force.

With what, then, do we plan to meet an attack if one should come? At the present time it is obvious that we have no plan, and equally obvious that, without one, we are living in a fool's paradise. I believe that we must recruit, train and equip a force which could be immediately available to lfieet and halt an attack, at least until American reinforcements arrive. The absolute minimum force which could do this would be, I believe, one armoured division, or an infantry division supported by an armoured brigade.

In order that such a force should be raised and maintained at the minimum cost to the taxpayer, I propose the following plan:

1st. The present recruiting and training plan should be expanded to include volunteers for a special reserve force, which would be known as "The Special Active Army Reserve".

2nd. Those who volunteer would receive training under active army conditions and rates of pay for whatever period the Department of National Defence considers necessary to bring them to a state of fighting fitness.

3rd. Legislation should be re-enacted to protect those who enlist by ensuring their release for necessary training or service by their present employers, without jeopardizing their job or seniority.

4th. Suitably located units of the present reserve army would be selected to organize 1st battalions or regiments, as an active army reserve, and continue their present units as 2nd battalions or regiments of the reserve army.

5th. Upon completion of the initial training period, personnel would join the active army reserve unit nearest to their home, and continue their training on a part-time basis while continuing to work at their regular employment.

6th. Terms of service would be for duty as and when required by the Department of National Defence, in any area. When on duty, active army regulations would apply, including casualty pensions.

7th. After the initial training period has been completed, a retaining fee of $30 a month for officers and $20 a month for other ranks should be paid, in addition to pay for intermittent training periods. This will help to attract battle-tried veterans, and make the service attractive to new recruits.

8th. Active army reserve battalions and regiments should be supplied with a full-time skeleton staff to maintain equipment, which should be procured at the earliest possible date, and in sufficient quantity, to place units on a war footing when ordered on service.

The initial training and equipping of this force would cost a considerable amount of money, but the overhead required to maintain the skeleton staffs and house the equipment, plus the yearly compensation, would make available an effective defence force at a minimum cost, and ensure its readiness on very short notice. The fact that this force would be considered as an integral part of our first line defence would have a strong appeal to the best type of fighting soldier, and the retaining fee when not on full-time duty would be an excellent drawing card for new recruits. In addition to the army, there is no reason why the plan I have outlined could not be applied to the navy and the air force in the same manner as to the army.

This is the only way in which we can prepare ourselves to repel armed aggression against this country if it should come. It is also our best insurance against being attacked, because the only language which the communists understand is strength and preparedness. If we are strong and prepared, we are far less likely to be attacked than if we remain in the weak and vulnerable position we "are in today.

We can never permit a recurrence of what happened in the last war, when young men with little training and equipment were sent to Hong Kong, and as reinforcements to Italy and northwest Europe. Let us train and equip ourselves now before it is too late.

I am submitting this plan for preparedness to the government, as a veteran of the last war, as a member of the present reserve army, and as a Canadian who wishes to see his country remain free. I sincerely hope that the Minister of

The Address-Mr. Hees

National Defence will see fit to put this plan, or some better plan, into operation before world events catch up with us.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Full View Permalink

September 2, 1950

Mr. Hees:

I sent it to the minister, and his office acknowledged receiving it about ten days ago, stating that it would be brought to the minister's attention immediately. I have received no answer.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Full View Permalink

June 26, 1950

Mr. Hees:

Mr. Chairman, as a member of the active reserve of the armed forces, and having attended Petawawa military camp for the last three years, I agree with everything the minister and the leader of the opposition have said about the excellence of the training which is given the militia branch of our armed forces. It could not be improved upon. But something the minister said I believe is of vital importance to this house, and that is that the funds which this house is willing to vote for defence for the coming year will not make us as well prepared for any eventuality as we should like to be. The minister said that if we desire more preparation for the army, shall we say, we have to rob the air force and the navy; and if we want more preparedness or more equipment for the air force, we have to rob the other branches of the service. What this committee and this country want to hear from the Minister of National Defence is an indication as to how much money is needed to bring the forces of this country into such a position that we shall be able to deal with aggression from outside and take our place as a member of the North Atlantic alliance.

After hostilities have started-if they do- in which we find ourselves involved, if we are not sufficiently prepared either to defend ourselves adequately or to take an honourable position as a member of the north Atlantic alliance, as we have pledged ourselves to do, the minister cannot come to us and say: If you had voted me the funds, I would have been able to see to it that you were properly prepared. He and his department and this government are the people who have the knowledge on which to say what we require, on June 26, 1950, to prepare ourselves for attack from outside or to take our proper place in the north Atlantic alliance. I say to the minister that what this committee wants to hear before this session is over, in order to make these estimates mean anything, is not what it will cost to give us semi-preparedness, but what, in his greater knowledge than is available to the members of this committee and to the people of this country, he thinks are the appropriations that are needed to give us the preparedness that we require today to fulfil our duties, as a party to the North Atlantic pact, in defending this country or in quelling aggression wherever it may take place.

The minister should bring these figures before the committee and let this parliament decide, on behalf of the people of Canada, whether or not the people are willing to

foot the bill to give this country the kind of preparedness which the Minister of National Defence has implied should be considerably greater than the estimates now before us provides for the armed forces of Canada. I am asking the minister to let this committee know, today, or certainly before parliament closes, what funds are necessary to give us the preparedness which, as of June 26, 1950, in the light of the latest developments in international affairs, this country is entitled to with respect to its armed forces.

Topic:   PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
Subtopic:   USE OF DIESEL
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