It's Lord Baden-Powell, Chief Scout, who at one stage in the 1930s seems to have had a regular spot in the Daily Mail's "Boys & Girls" section, teaching the future imperial overlords all about their wonderful Empire. In the 18 March 1938 issue, he contributed a piece called "Policeman aeroplanes", along with the following rather cute drawing:
(I apologise for the blurriness, I don't have access to a scanner at the moment and so a photo of a printout is the best I can do.) B-P explains how aeroplanes can keep restless natives in line:
The other day, in passing through Aden, we heard that two of the tribes of Arabs in the district had broken out into war against each other. Before they could get very far with it, the Royal Air Force had an aeroplane hovering over them like a policeman. The aeroplane dropped notices to tell them that they were to stop fighting at once, and make peace and go home.
So although aeroplanes have done so much in speeding up transport, so that people can travel and mails can go in a few days where it used to take several weeks, aeroplanes also have their uses in many other directions, and will go on becoming more and more useful when you fellows grow up to pilot them. 1
So RAF air control policies -- the use of airpower in internal security roles -- are, according to Baden-Powell, much like a firm but kindly neighbourhood bobby breaking up scuffling schoolboys. Nobody even gets hurt, isn't that nice!
Well, maybe. According to a Times article about (what must be) the incident he describes, the policeman aeroplanes did in fact have to stick the boot in:
The second area of unrest [in Aden] involved the Sei'ar tribe, living in inaccessible country north of the Wadi Hadhramaut, whose raiding proclivities had been a constant source of trouble. Political negotiations having produced no satisfactory result, air action was ordered, and one bombing raid by three aircraft on January 20  produced the desired result. The dar of the chief offender was completely demolished in a spectacular fashion in full view of a number of Sei'aris, who were duly impressed and gave a guarantee to the Government of future good behaviour. Following their submission, the fort at Husn Al Abr, 100 miles north-west of Seiyun and an important point at the junction of a number of routes into the Hadhramaut, was occupied by Q'aiti local forces. At the time the fort was in the hands of Sei'ari raiders, who had with them a number of looted camels. Messages were dropped informing them that air action would be taken if opposition were offered to the occupation of the fort by Q'aiti troops. Having heard that similar action had been taken earlier by other Sei'aris, the raiders submitted quietly and handed over the looted camels. 2
Since there were eyewitnesses to the bombing of the dar (which I think is Arabic for "house", presumably a leader's), there must be a chance that there were casualties -- but we are not informed either way. The point, as far as the Times was concerned, was that the raid had the desired result without having to send British troops into harm's way.
Getting back to Baden-Powell, even if this particular action did not result in casualties, it seems to me that he sugar-coated the realities of air control here, which could be quite brutal. OK, so admittedly his audience was young, but surely the Scouting movement was all about toughening up the youth of Britain in preparation for their later duties out in the Empire?
ObAirminded: B-P's younger brother, Baden Baden-Powell (no, really) was an aviation pioneer, specialising in balloons and man-lifting kites, and who was an active president of the Royal Aeronautical Society in the crucial years 1902-9. There's an excellent page on B B-P and Scout airmindedness at Scouting Milestones.
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- Daily Mail, 18 March 1938, p. 21.
- The Times, 5 April 1938, p. 27. Emphasis added.