Posted by Gary Martin on June 17, 2006
In Reply to: Safety First posted by Colin Hamilton on June 17, 2006
: I'd like to find the earliest reference to the phrase 'Safety First'. I believe it may have been used by a British general in the context 'Safety first will be the death of the British Empire'. Any ideas?
The earliest reference I can find is from 1873, in Cassell's Magazine - "A system that would go on the motto of safety first."
I can't find anything that relates directly to the Empire. Stanley Baldwin used "safety first" as a slogan. Churchill was rather disparaging of that and said, in 1941.
"But of this I am sure, that there is no less likely way of winning a war than to adhere pedantically to the maxim of "safety first."