25 NOVEMBER

ONLY APPRENTICES OF ‘PURE EUROPEAN DESCENT’ CAN JOIN THE RAF

A class of R.A.F. apprentices at work in the machine shop at Halton c. 1940 –
© IWM (CH 16396)

[ 25 November 1936 ]

On 25 November 1936, Sir Philip Sassoon, the Under Secretary of Air, answering a question in the House of Commons, confirmed that RAF apprentices of any rank, whether joining to be pilots, mechanics or any other role, ‘must be of pure European descent, must be British subjects and must be the sons of British subjects.’1  Such blinkered racism, which excluded a vast number of potential apprentices from across the Empire, was one of the forgotten reasons why Britain suffered such a shortage of pilots when it faced the might of Hitler’s Luftwaffe less than four years later during the Battle of Britain.

WIDER POWERS OF COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT AUTHORIZED IN KENYA

[ 25 November 1952 ]

Today in 1952, Sir Evelyn Baring, the governor of Kenya, issued new emergency measures designed to widen the conditions for the imposition of collective punishment in areas considered sympathetic to the anti-British Mau Mau insurgency.

FOOTNOTE

  1. Sir Philip Sassoon cited in Hansard, 25 November 1936, Volume 318, Column 431 accessed online at url https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/1936-11-25/debates/839bbea2-29ec-44af-a2af-41946b1c9345/RoyalAirForce(AircraftApprentices)

Please feel welcome to post comments below.  If you have any questions please email alisdare@gmail.com

© 2020 Alisdare Hickson All rights reserved

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