The Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, assures the House of Commons that
if the International Disarmament Conference fails, steps will be taken
to bring about an Air Disarmament Conference. If the latter were to fail,
the Government would proceed to raise the strength of the Royal Air Force
to equal the strength of the strongest air force within striking distance
of the United Kingdom and provision is established for six new squadrons.


The International Disarmament Conference in Geneva dissolves without an
agreement being reached.

24 May

Royal Air Force stations open for Empire Air Days for the first time and
all proceeds from the day are donated to the Royal Air Force Benevolent

18 July

The first Royal Air Force Expansion Scheme, Expansion Scheme ‘A’, is approved
by the Cabinet. The scheme provides for the growth of the Royal Air Force
to a strength of 111 front-line squadrons at home and overseas (1,252
aircraft), together with sixteen Fleet Air Arm squadrons (213 aircraft)
by 31 March 1939. A ‘shop window’ force to deter Germany
is envisaged and as a consequence little provision is made for reserves.
Statements about the expansion proposals are made in both Houses of Parliament
on 19 July. Labour and Liberal Parties oppose the move.


The first of ten Avro Rota autogiros enter Royal Air Force service with
the School of Army Co-operation at RAF Old Sarum. This is the Royal Air
Force’s first rotating-wing aircraft.