Madam Speaker, since the early afternoon, I have been listening carefully to all the speeches on the need for these tests to be conducted within the Canadian territorial boundaries. Before putting a question to the hon. member, I would like to say a few words about the debate.
I think this piecemeal approach to Canada's national defence that we have had since yesterday could be dangerous. We should have a much broader outlook. It is always better to set a problem in a global context than to narrow our focus too much. This prompts me to say that I hope that eventually the Minister of National Defence will undertake a comprehensive defence review.
We are presently dealing with a more specific case. Earlier, the hon. member for Portneuf clearly described in his speech the technical aspects of the testing to be conducted over Canadian territory. It is aimed mainly at developing a technology that does not increase the power derived from nuclear energy. It is a guidance system that could have applications in other areas.
I think we must be careful not to get side-tracked on the issue of proliferation of nuclear weapons. That is not the point. Of course, missiles can have a nuclear capability. That is true, but from the point of view of wanting to achieve disarmament someday-and no one can have anything against being virtuous-we should not ignore the power of our American allies in most of the military operations we take part in. We must also work extremely closely with them. Co-operation could take such a form. Their power of deterrence has been tremendous.
This leads me to my question: Would we not be sending out a dangerous signal to the whole world if we were to object to and oppose these tests, perhaps weakening our alliance with our American friends? I am neither pro nor anti-American. I am just pro-peace and realistic. Would we not be sending out a dangerous signal if we were to say that we do not want this kind of testing to be conducted over our territory because we are for the peaceful resolution of conflicts? Has the U.S. policy not succeeded to some degree in recent years in advancing the cause of disarmament?