Where Mussolini Learned Brutality
After briefly tracing the route followed in his tour. Lord Thomson brought home to his audience the efficacy of bombing by describing the manner in which the recent Wahabi invasion of the Transjordan was crushed. The British forces consisted solely of aeroplanes sent out at the shortest possible notice, backed by armoured cars. The effect of our air attack was availing. Some 700 of the tribesmen were killed and the rest, seized with panic, fled into the desert, where hundreds more must have perished from thirst. Unless some such punishment as swift and terrible as this had been inflicted, the task of restoring order would have been long drawn-out, and in the end more costly in lives and money, while the results would not have been so lasting.
Lord Thomson went on to say that it might be true that oil was the key of the Arabian riddle, though he considered that wheat-production, for some years at least, held greater possibilities. The primary necessity, however, was security. The country could best be opened up by making the process a gradual one. By using it as a link in the chain of Imperial communications, this would be achieved.(Times, November 22nd. 1924.)