New eras of public health in Britain and judicial clemency in the USSR

Italian dictator Benito Mussolini concluded his state visit to Germany on a high note. He was treated to an immense review of the Wehrmacht manifestly designed to impress him with Germany’s military might. The whole event was conducted with great cordiality and accompanied by expressions of friendship. No firm agreements were signed during the visit but few doubted that it market the de facto alliance between the two countries.

The murder of a British official and his police guard on the steps of the Anglican church in Nazareth prompted a sharp swing to repressive tactics against the Arabs by the British authorities in Palestine. The Higher Arab Committee and other national Arab bodies were declared illegal and a number of their members were arrested and deported. The Mufti of Jerusalem who was probably the single most influential Arab leader was not arrested but he was removed from his position as chairman of the Moslem Supreme Council.

The British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain launched his long-cherished campaign to improve the national health to coincide with the official inauguration of National Advisory Council for Physical Training and Recreation with a speech (broadcast on the BBC) at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the presence of no less than three former ministers of health and other sundry worthies.The campaign was dear to Chamberlain's heart and he lavished immense efforts on it but, curiously, he is little remembered for it.

The Soviet penal code was given a degree of added flexibility by introducing a 25 year prison sentence. Before that there had been nothing between a ten year sentence and death by firing squad. Originally the regime had prided itself on doing away with the Tsarist practice of lengthy imprisonment but, apparently, judges were perplexed by the excessive leniency of a ten year sentence for the wave of economic crime and subversion which had so recently come to light. It was even suggested that Stalin had become concerned at the number of death penalties being handed down.


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