Mr. Chairman, I wish to make a contribution to this debate, because I think it is a most important and most interesting one, and because I cannot understand the stubbornness of the official opposition in fighting this legislation, particularly the stubbornness of the flying squad, if I may call it that, composed mainly of the hon. members for Edmonton-Strathcona (Mr. Nugent), the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre (Mr. Churchill) and the hon. member for Cape Breton South (Mr. Maclnnis).
One of the arguments of the official opposition against Bill No. C-243, from the start of this debate, has been that all retired top officers oppose the unification of the armed forces.
At the beginning of my remarks I should like to put on the record some of the statements issued by officers who are surely as distinguished as those who are opposed to unification and integration, by high-ranking retired officers who give their unqualified support to unification.
The first is that of Air Vice Marshal Sully, as reproduced by the Canadian Press on November 9, 1966, and I quote:
When so many ex senior officers are bursting into print with emotional opposition to Mr. Hellyer's plans for unification of our defence services, it is time that some of us who support this forward movement spoke up.
As an experienced senior officer and as a businessman,-
And I emphasize "businessman".
-I find it difficult to understand how any rationally-minded man could oppose this excellent move to unification of our defence services.