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Description found in Archives

Arnold Danford Patrick Heeney fonds [textual record, graphic material]. 



Place of creation

No place, unknown, or undetermined

3.095 m of textual records.
586 photographs b&w and col.

Scope and content

The fonds documents Heeney's personal life and all phases of his career and is organized into the following series: career correspondence and memoranda, 1935-1970; memoirs and related material, 1836-1971; subject files, 1940-1969; benevolent and learned associations, 1949-1970; personal and family papers, 1867-1970; articles, speeches and clippings, 1923-1970; and material relating to the Royal Tour of 1939. Fonds also contains photographic material. Fourty-four photographs, 1900-1968, are portraits of the Heeney brothers in the company of individuals and groups; portrait of Pat and W.L. Mackenzie King. Sixty-seven photographs, 1907-1968, depict a visit to Europe of Mr. and Mrs. Heeney, 1950; tour by the Permanent Joint Board on Defence to U.S; army installations in Alaska, June 1968; Rev. W. Bertel Heeney (accession 1977-220 NPC) includes separations and composites. Copies of 121 photographs, 1930-1970, depict air training plan, 1940; Quebec Conference, 1943; Paris Peace Conference; NATO 1952-53 Permanent Joint Board on Defence, 1970; Ambassador to United States, 1953; portrait of A.D.P. Heeney. Twenty-three photographs, 1939-1945, depict the Royal Tour, 1939; Air Training Conference, Ottawa, Ont., 1939; Canadian Cabinet War Committee, 1943 and 1944; Canadian Cabinet Secretariat, March 21, 1945. There are also 6 files of 331 photographs, ca. 1930-ca. 1970, that are related to the diplomatic career of Arnold D.P. Heeney, with an emphasis on his period as Canadian Ambassador in Washington, D.C. from 1953.

Graphic(photo): electronic
99: Closed pending processing
Textual records
90: Open
from 1 to 17
90: Open
Graphic (photo)
96: Restrictions vary
90: Open
Archival reference no.
Former archival reference no.

Terms of use

Original photographs: No donor restrictions. Various copyrights on items less than 50 years old. Copyright expired on items more than 50 years old. Credit: Name of photographer / National Archives of Canada / Copy negative no. Photographs by Y. Karsh (in accession 1981-136 NPC): See accession 1987-054.
Copies of 121 photographs, 1930-1970, (accession 1972-042 NPC): National Archives does not provide copies; they must be obtained from lender. Copyright: for items still in copyright, copyright must be established by the holder of the original(s).

Textual records The finding aid consists of a descriptive file list for all textual records. MSS0637 90 (Electronic)

Biography / Administrative history

Public servant and ambassador.

Born in Montreal on 5 April 1902, Heeney was the son of an Anglican clergyman, the Reverend Canon Bertal Heeney, and Eva Marjorie Holland. Admitted to the Bar of Quebec in 1929, he practiced law with the Montreal firm of Meredith, Holden, Heward and Holden until late in 1938. During this period he was also a sessional lecturer in the Faculty of Law at McGill University from 1934 to 1938. He was married in June of 1931 to Margaret Yuile. The couple had two children, William Brian and Patricia Jane. Heeney died at Ottawa on 20 Dec. 1970.

Heeney was educated at St. John's college school, Winnipeg, and the University of Manitoba where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts in 1921 and his Master of Arts in 1923. He attended St. John's College at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship from 1923 to 1926 where he studied modern history and law. He received his B.A. from Oxford in 1925 and an M.A. in 1936. While at Oxford University, he was an avid sportsman in a range of different sports. In 1926, Heeney entered the law faculty at McGill University graduating in 1929 with the degree of Bachelor of Civil Law. In 1948, he was presented with the honorary degree of LL.D. from the University of British Columbia.

Recruited by Prime Minister King, Heeney was appointed to the post of principal secretary to the Prime Minister on 1 October 1938. Heeney was the first person to be appointed as principal secretary and tried to remain non-partisan in this office. From 1940 to 1949, he was Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet, organizing the work of the Cabinet War Committee and the key ministers of the crown. He is considered to have modernized the business of government and the work of the Cabinet.

From 1949 to 1952, he served as Under Secretary of State for External Affairs. He then served as Ambassador to NATO from 1952 to 1953. He was Canada's Ambassador to the United States twice: from 1953 to 1957 and from 1959 to 1962. He was Chairman of the Civil Service Commission, 1957 to 1959, and later Canadian Chairman of the International Joint Commission, 1962 to 1970. He also served as the Canadian Chairman of the Permanent Joint Board on Defence from 1967 to 1970.

Heeney wrote several books on Canadian government and the Public Service. His autobiography, entitled The Things that are Caesar's: Memoirs of a Canadian Public Service was published posthumously in 1972.

Additional information

Most of the material was received in 1973 and 1974 from Mrs. A.D.P. Heeney and Mr. Brian Heeney. A few items were transferred in 1969 from the Department of External Affairs and in 1971 from the Office of the International Joint Commission. Material was also received in 1982 from Mr. Brian Heeney of Peterborough, Ontario. In 1998, family correspondence between Arnold Heeney and members of his family was received from Goodith Heeney.

Availability of other formats note
The National Archives of Canada does not hold the originals, but the copies are available as copy negatives.

Associated material note
Publications: Transferred to the National Archives Library.

Subject heading

1. Civil servants - Canada, 1902-1970 William Lyon Mackenzie, 1935-1970.
2. Canada - Foreign relations, 1940-1969 Canada. Privy Council, 1935-1970.
3. Ambassadors - Canada, 1936-1970 Canada. Dept. of External Affairs, 1935-1970.
4. Associations, institutions, etc. - Canada, 1940-1969 Canada. Dept. of External Affairs. Embassy (United States), 1935-1970.
5. Learned societies, institutions, etc. - Canada, 1949-1970 Public Service Commission, 1935-1970.
6. Secretaries - Canada, 1902-1970 International Joint Commission, 1935-1970.
7. Royal visitors - Canada, 1939 Permanent Joint Board on Defence, 1935-1970.
8. Authors - Canada, 1836-1971 The Things that are Caesar's, 1836-1970.
9. Sympathy letters, 1970-1971 Merchant-Heeney Report, 1940-1969.
10. Anglican Church, 1949-1970 Public Service Commission, 1940-1969.
11. Atlantic Institute, 1949-1970.
12. Arctic Institute of North America, 1949-1970.
13. Canadian Institute of International Affairs, 1949-1970.
14. Institute of Public Administration, 1949-1970.
15. International Affairs, 1940-1970.
16. Montreal Neurological Hospital (Montreal, Quebec), 1949-1970.
17. National Capital Arts Alliance, 1949-1970.
18. University of Manitoba, 1940-1970.
19. McGill University.
20. Vanier Institute of the Family.
21. Institut Vanier de la famille.


Other system control no.

Related control no.

1. 1972-042 NPC
2. 1973-359 NPC
3. 1975-099 NPC
4. 1977-220 NPC
5. 1981-136 NPC
6. 2002-01168-0
7. MG30-E144