He graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario in 1911 (cadet # 805). He served with the Royal Fusiliers in 1914. He served with the Royal Fusiliers in 1914. He was lieutenant-colonel of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry. He practiced law from 1919. He was a founding member of the Royal Military College of Canada ex-cadet club in Hamilton, Ontario in 1930. As Member of Parliament for Hamilton West, he was reelected three times from 1940.03.26 to 1950. He was first elected as the LiberalMember of Parliament for Hamilton West in 1940, with 55.9% of the vote in a two candidate race. Following his election, he was appointed as Minister of National Revenue (1940.07.08 - 1945.03.07). Near the end of his first term, he was also appointed as the Minister of National Defence for Air (1945.03.08 - 1946.12.11).  He served as Secretary of State (1948.11.15 - 1949.03.31) and (1946.12.12 - 1948.11.14). He was Minister for Mines and Resources (1949.04.01 - 1950.01.17).
Following his re-election with 40.2% of the vote (in a three-way, four-party race), he continued as Minister of National Defence for Air(1945.01.11 - 1945.03.07). He was made the Secretary of State for Canada (1948.11.15 - 1949.03.31) and (1946.12.12 - 1948.11.14). Just before the end of his second term, he was moved to the post of Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources (Canada) (1949.04.01 - 1950.01.17).
He continued in this post after he was re-elected in 1949 (with 43.5% of the vote). He resigned from both cabinet and parliament upon his appointment as Puisne judge of the Supreme Court of Ontario. He died in 1974.
1The department was eliminated in 1993 when the government was reorganized. The position of Secretary of State for Canada was not legally eliminated until 1996 when its remaining responsibilities were assigned to other cabinet positions and departments, particularly the newly created position of Minister of Canadian Heritage.