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100 years ago: Importance of air defence

23 February 2024

February 22nd, 1924.

THE Under-Secretary for Air was not very happy in the debate on Sir Samuel Hoare’s motion that an adequate Home Defence Air Force should be maintained by the Government. We do not think that experience during the great war justifies his contention that aeroplanes are necessarily an attacking and not a defensive weapon. On the contrary, there is every reason to believe that an air force is the best defence against air attacks. Consequently, the insignificance of the British Air Force as compared with that of France is more than a little disquieting. At the same time, we are entirely with the Labour Government in its contention that the best method for attaining national defence is to bring about a change in the international atmosphere. The idea that to prepare for war is the best means of preserving peace is wicked folly; to preserve peace the world must prepare for peace. It is the duty of Governments to be realists in the recognition of the facts of to-day and to be idealists in the endeavour to secure a better to-morrow. We deeply regret the sneering reference to the Sermon on the Mount that came from the Conservative benches, but we are happy to know that it must have offended the majority of the members of the party. The “wild men” do not all hail from Glasgow.

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