| Thursday, January 05, 2006
| BRITAIN RESPECTED U.S. SEGREGATION
|Documents: Churchill wanted WWII troops to avoid conflict.
LONDON -- British World War II troops were told to show respect for U.S. Army's racial segregation practices accordng to government documents published Sunday.
Other documents released for the first time show that British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was determined to have Adolf Hitler executed, if captured, and that he favored letting India's Mohandas Gandhi die if he went on a hunger strike while interned during the war.
The guidelines about U.S. soldiers were issued after agonized debate within Churchill's Cabinet over how to deal with American rules.
Black British troops -- most from colonial outposts -- shared facilities with their white counterparts, but white Americans soldiers ate and slept separately from their black comrades.
The Cabinet meeting records showed British officials were eager to avoid clashes in protocol between the Allied forces. However, they were also unwilling to cause friction among British troops by segregating their own barracks and canteens.
In October 1842, Churchill told the Cabinet that the views of the United States must be considered.
"Nothing to stand between U.S. officer and his troops we must'nt interfere", notes of the meeting record him saying.
Home Secretary Herbert Morrison agreed, but added, "What I won't have is British police enforcing their rules on them".
How to deal with Gandhi
The documents also chart otehr Cabinet discussion from 1942-45 over how to deal with senior memners of Hitler's Nazi party if they were caught.
"Contemplate that if Hitler falls into our hands we shall certainly put him to death", Churchill said at a cabinet meeting in December 1942, according to noted taken by Deputy Cabinet Secretary, Sir Norman Brook. "This man is the mainspring of evil".
Gandhi's fate was discussed when he wemt on a hunger strike while interned during World War II. Britain was unwilling to allow Gandhi to campaign against the war while Britain's India colony was under threat of invasion.
Gandhi was held in the Aga Khan's palace in August 1942 after speaking out against India's invovlement in the fight against Nazi Germany. After such discussion, ministers decided in January 1943 that although they could not publicly give in to a hungr strike, they would be willing to release Gandhi on compassionate graounds if he seemed likely to die.
Churchill retorted: "I would keep him there and let him do as he likes."
(Source: Associated Press)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 11:10 PM