Pathfinder Bennett has plan for peace



Pathfinder Bennett has plan for peace


Article about book written by Air Vice Marshall Bennett on the future peace and his plan to achieve it. Includes full face portrait of Bennett wearing tunic and peaked cap.



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News Chronicle 29th March 1945

Pathfinder Bennett

Has a Plan for


[Photograph of Air Vice-Marshal Bennett in uniform] AIR VICE-MARSHAL BENNETT

“I am not a Philosopher, Diplomat or Statesman; I am not even an Elder – but I sound this call on the grounds that I have seen Humanity – seen it with its brains spattered down the front of its tunic, seen it with a cannon shell burst in the stomach, carried it – groaning – with both its hands burnt off – yes, I’ve seen Humanity and I know that all is not well with it.

“But - I know also that the remedy is ours for the taking; we must grasp it, courageously, unshakeably.”

Air Vice Marshal Donald Bennett, chief of the Pathfinders, is to be Liberal candidate in the West Middlesbrough by-election. This week also his book, “Freedom from War,” is published. It is reviewed here by Sir Walter Layton

WHILE the last battle of the war is still on and a month before the United Nations meet at San Francisco to draw up a Charter for ensuring World Security, a remarkable book* by Air-Vice Marshal Bennett has been published on the future peace.

It will arrest attention by its deep sincerity.

At 34, Bennett is the youngest of the Air Vice-Marshals. His is one of the legendary names of the war. His Command and the technique which it has perfected have made a major contribution towards the success of our bombing of Germany.

He speaks, therefore, from the intimate knowledge which he shares with the many millions of his generation who have actually fought this war. It is well that his voice should be heard now, for there will be no Bennetts at San Francisco.


HIS verdict is simple.

“War,” he says, “is crime – just simply crime in the forms of murder, robbery, etc.” In other spheres, man’s tendency to do wrong is controlled and enforced by law. But there is no law over nations; and so every twenty years or so, when international agreement breaks down, the “decent citizen” nations of the world have to undertake the job of the policeman and go to war.

Yet no sane and reasoning man of the world today really wants war. On the contrary, the desire for peace has been burned deeper into our hearts than ever.

Try also to imagine the future.

“Black magic has been achieved, but a blacker magic is coming which could make out present ideas of warfare look like a schoolgirl’s picnic by comparison … Mass murder and destruction would be on a scale undreamed of.”

To Bennett permanent peace is possible if we go the right way about it.

Since the days of the Cavemen conquest of the lowest instincts by the evolution of law and order has become more complete throughout the ages. We should not find the final step unduly difficult.

Political inertia – the pessimism and conservatism of many of our political leaders – is the only really serious obstacle to the establishment of world peace. It is only at the end of a war that this inertia can be overcome.

HIS plan, he claims, is simple. Just as small communities are associated together to form a nation without losing their community freedom, so the nations must be compelled to regard themselves as citizens of the world. A “Supreme Congress” should be constituted by an international pact with power to create laws for the prevention of international crime and for ensuring the peace.

It must also be provided with the strength to enforce its laws. The nations must therefore put all their armed forces at its disposal to be welded into an instrument of the law, “The International Law Force.”


BENNETT discusses in outline the basis on which the countries should participate in this Supreme Congress, and gives tentative figures based partly on population and partly on real income per head. He also gives an outline of how a world international force would work.

Many of his points will be criticised and thought impracticable by the politicians impressed with the “complexity” of the problem.

But this is of minor importance.

What matters is that this book voices the passionate desire of fighting men themselves to ensure that this really is the last time that criminality is allowed to break loose in the world.

It is the ambition of those for whom he speaks not to fight again for any national interest, but to support the supreme authority of International Law. [Underlined] And to this end he demands that “within three months of the cessation of hostilities the armed forces of the United Nations must be merged into one.” [/underlined]

* “Freedom From War” (Pilot Press. 3s. 6d.)


“Pathfinder Bennett has plan for peace,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 30, 2023,

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