CHURCHILL RECOMMENDS STRAFING CROWDS OF IRISH NATIONALISTS
[ 24 September 1920 ]
On 24 September 1920, Winston Churchill, then Secretary of State for Air, urged the Chiefs of Staff to seriously consider the use of fighter aircraft against gatherings suspected of protesting or plotting against British rule. In his view, strafing attacks would be ‘a great deterrent to illegal drilling and rebel gatherings.’1
CHURCHILL ARGUES AGAINST FOOD AID FOR FAMINE STRUCK INDIA
[ 24 September 1943 ]
On 24 September 1943, the Cabinet briefly discussed whether any of the vast stocks of food set aside for a delayed invasion of German occupied Greece, might be made available to ameliorate the impact of a famine raging in Bengal. Fatalities had been escalating for a year. Hunger and diseases related to malnutrition were now killing over a hundred thousand a month. A few weeks earlier, photos of stick like women with sickly children had surfaced in the New Statesman, despite warnings from the censors, and Leo Amery, Secretary of State for India, recalled that during the Cabinet meeting ‘I fought my battle for Indian food as hard as I could.’2
Prime Minister Winston Churchill, while expressing some polite sympathy at the fate facing the people of Bengal, argued that it was more important to save ‘sturdy Greeks’ from hunger than trying to rescue the ‘anyway under-fed Bengalis.’3 His refusal to spare any food stocks is surprising, as it was highly unlikely that they could be deployed to Nazi occupied Greece in the near future, as the Americans had already overruled the prime minister’s proposal to launch a major invasion of the Balkans.
HIGHLY MISLEADING INTELLIGENCE DOSSIER ON THE DANGER FROM IRAQI WMD.
24 September 2002
At 8 am on this day in 2002, only thirty minutes prior to the deadline for the headline in the Evening Standard‘s first edition, Charles Reiss, the paper’s political editor, was allowed to see the government’s intelligence dossier on Iraq’s supposed Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).
- Charles Townsend, The Republic: The Fight for Irish Independence, Penguin Books, London, 2014, pp. 153-154
- Leo Amery cited in Madhusree Muerjee, Churchill’s Secret War: The British Empire and the Ravaging of India During World War II, Basic Books, New York, 2011, p. 195
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