Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.
Sir John Cotesworth Slessor (18971979)
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.
SIR JOHN COTESWORTH SLESSOR, marshal of the Royal Air Force, Strategy for the West, chapter 4, p. 75 (1954).