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Air Raid Precautions and Air Disarmament

Nature volume 139, page 364 (27 February 1937) | Download Citation



A PAMPHLET entitled “Defence that is no Defence”, by Dr. C. E. M. Joad, issued by the National Peace Council, directing attention to the inadequacy of the Government proposals for defence against air raids and the impossibility of devising any adequate protection against simultaneous attack by gas, explosive and incendiary bombs, quotes the warning against this barbarous perversion of science and industry in the tendency to accept the use of aircraft for unrestricted bomb and gas attack on civilized populations uttered by leading scientific workers when the Government schemes were first introduced. Subsequent events have only confirmed the prediction that acceptance of this position must rapidly lead to the breakdown of civilized life. Dr. Joad, while emphasizing the futility of the measures so far proposed by the Government and also the difficulty of its position, urges that the Government should work strenuously for abolition of the bombing aeroplane and for disarming in the air and placing civil aviation on an international basis, as affording the only security against destruction of our cities by attack from the air. He also urges a policy directed towards the removal of economic tensions which are endangering peace, and suggests a definite lead from Great Britain in regard to access to raw materials and equalizing of opportunities for trade which might be provided by an extension of the mandates system, the lowering of tariffs and removal of economic barriers.

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