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

LIB

Robert Knight Andras

Liberal

Mr. Andras:

I am attempting to paraphrase it, Mr. Chairman, and to use quotations from the deliberations of the committee in establishing the contrast between the evidence given by the various witnesses.
The Secretary of State pointed out that air portable forces stationed in Canada are already committed to the defence of NATO's northern flank in Norway. Since he spoke, another mobile force in Canada has been committed to the NATO southern flank in time of war. It appears clear from all the evidence, but is nowhere officially stated, that the Canadian intention is to allow the R.C.A.F. nuclear attack force to run down until it passes out of existence in the 70's, but to replace it as a contribution to NATO with mobile ground forces carried by new transport aircraft supported by the new CF-5 ground attack naval plane, and backed by naval transport. This would be a unified force committed to NATO. It would also be the peace keeping or peace restoring force able to operate under UN command.
As several witnesses made clear, the double commitment of this force rests on the calculated gamble that Canada will not be asked to undertake peace keeping missions at the same time as it is called upon by NATO for
14466 COMMONS
Proceedings on Adjournment Motion action in Europe. The argument appears to be that if a major war breaks out in Europe, no one will worry about keeping the peace elsewhere; second, that as major war is unlikely as long as NATO keeps up its guard, Canadian forces may as well be usefully employed on peace missions.
There is thus no clear line to be drawn between commitment to NATO and peacekeeping. The roles overlap, and the assumption of peace keeping responsibility does not necessarily involve withdrawing from NATO, or even a significant weakening of Canada's military contribution. The commitment argument, therefore, is not decisive, or even very enlightening, in resolving the dispute over unification.

Topic:   SITTING SUSPENDED
Subtopic:   SITTING RESUMED
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