George Halsey Perley

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Sir George Halsey Perley

Secretary of State of Canada
In office
29 June 1926 – 24 September 1926
Prime MinisterArthur Meighen
Preceded byErnest Lapointe
Succeeded byFernand Rinfret
Canadian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom
In office
4 August 1914 – 1922
Prime MinisterRobert Borden,
Arthur Meighen
W.L. Mackenzie King
Preceded byDonald Alexander Smith
Succeeded byPeter C. Larkin
Minister of Overseas Military Forces
In office
31 October 1916 – 11 October 1917
Prime MinisterRobert Laird Borden
Succeeded byAlbert Edward Kemp
Personal details
Born(1857-09-12)September 12, 1857
Lebanon, New Hampshire, United States
DiedJanuary 4, 1938(1938-01-04) (aged 80)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
NationalityAmerican, Canadian
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Annie Hespeler Bowlby
Alma materHarvard University
ProfessionLumber merchant

Sir George Halsey Perley, GCMG PC (September 12, 1857 – January 4, 1938) was an American-born Canadian politician and diplomat.

Early life[edit]

Born in Lebanon, New Hampshire, the son of William Goodhue Perley and Mabel E. Ticknor Stevens, Perley was educated at the Ottawa Grammar School, at St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire, and at Harvard University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1878. Perley became a partner in the Perley & Pattee, a lumber company in which his father was senior partner. After Perley & Pattee dissolved in 1893, Perley became head of G.H. Perley & Co which had mills at Pointe-Calumet, Quebec and vice president of the Hull Lumber Company, Ltd., which is operating largely on the upper Ottawa. For many years, Perley was vice president of the Canada Atlantic Railway Co., president of the Rideau Club and president of the Ottawa Golf Club. Along with the other heirs of his father, he donated his homestead on Wellington Street for the purpose of establishing a hospital and served as vice president of its Board of Management. In 1900, he was chairman of the Ottawa and Hull Fire Relief Fund, and distributed about $1,000,000 among the sufferers by the 1900 Hull–Ottawa fire.

Perley married Annie Hespeler Bowlby in Kitchener, Ontario on 4 June 1884. Perley had two children: Mabel, born 8 July 1885 and died 13 March 1887, and Ethel Lesa, born 16 September 1888.


Perley and his wife inspecting Lt. Gen. Sir Richard Turner during World War I

He was first elected to the House of Commons of Canada as the Conservative MP for Argenteuil in 1904, having failed to defeat Mr. W. C. Edwards for the seat in Russell County during the election of 1900. Perley served as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Minister of the Overseas Military Forces in the World War I government of Sir Robert Borden. He did not run for re-election in the 1917 federal election in order to concentrate on his duties in London. He returned to the House of Commons in the 1925 federal election and subsequently served as Secretary of State for Canada in the short-lived 1926 government of Arthur Meighen and then as Minister without Portfolio in the government of R. B. Bennett following the 1930 federal election. He was re-elected in the 1935 federal election which also saw the defeat of Bennett's government, and remained an MP until his death in 1938.


  • George Halsey Perley – Parliament of Canada biography
  • "A history of Quebec, its resources and people, Volume 2". Internet Archive.
  • George Halsey Perley fonds, Library and Archives Canada
Parliament of Canada
Preceded by
Thomas Christie, Jr.
Member of Parliament for Argenteuil
Succeeded by
Peter Robert McGibbon
Preceded by
Charles Stewart
Member of Parliament for Argenteuil
Succeeded by
Georges-Henri Héon
Political offices
Preceded by
Ernest Lapointe
Secretary of State of Canada
Succeeded by
Fernand Rinfret
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Donald Alexander Smith
Canadian High Commissioner
to the United Kingdom of Great Britain
and Northern Ireland

Succeeded by
Peter Charles Larkin
Political offices
Preceded by
Minister of Overseas Military Forces
Succeeded by
Albert Edward Kemp