April 3, 1967 (27th Parliament, 1st Session)


Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

Then, Mr. Speaker, on a question of privilege it seems to me that this is a matter in which the minister, in fact the Prime Minister and the government generally, must take some action. A report has been made as follows:
General Jean Allard, commander In chief of the Canadian armed forces, says opposition to unification mostly is a result of political ambition.
Members of the opposition in the House of Commons hope to strengthen their chances of being re-elected by opposing Defence Minister Hellyer's plan, he told a meeting of the International Relations Club at Breboeuf College.
"I would like to ask former cabinet ministers why they are clinging to the name of the navy, army and air force ..."
April 3, 1967

I think, Mr. Speaker, this is an unprecedented event so far as Canadian history is concerned, that a member of the defence forces of this country, and particularly the chief of the defence staff, would impute to members of this house and members of the defence committee improper motives in regard to the stands and positions they have taken with respect to a measure which is now before the house.
I think there is absolutely no excuse for conduct of this kind. It has never been permitted for members of the defence forces or members of the civil service in this or any other country which has the British parliamentary system of government, and I think it is incumbent not only on the Minister of National Defence but on the Prime Minister to take disciplinary action in this case in order to ensure that there be no repetition of instances of this kind.

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