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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

AUTHOR: Sir John Cotesworth Slessor (1897–1979)
QUOTATION: It is customary in democratic countries to deplore expenditure on armaments as conflicting with the requirements of the social services. There is a tendency to forget that the most important social service that a government can do for its people is to keep them alive and free.
ATTRIBUTION: SIR JOHN COTESWORTH SLESSOR, marshal of the Royal Air Force, Strategy for the West, chapter 4, p. 75 (1954).
SUBJECTS: Government—purpose of