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Report No. 43

7.39. Chandler's case.-

For a correct interpretation of the expression 'safety or interests of the State'1 occurring in this provision, we may refer to an important English case2 on a similar provision in the English Act. In that case the airfield, which was occupied by the United States Air Force Squadrons, had been declared a 'prohibited place' within section 3 of the Official Secrets Act, 1911 (English).

Thereafter, the appellants, members of 'Committee of 100', which was carrying on a campaign for nuclear disarmament by organising demonstrations of civil disobedience, planned to urge demonstrators to sit or lie on the road outside the entrance to the airfield so as to black access to it, and to encourage a smaller number of persons to enter the field, and, by sitting in front of aircraft, to prevent them from taking off. This second object was not carried out, as the demonstrators were prevented by the police from entering the field. On these facts, the appellants were charged with conspiring to commit a breach of section 1 of the Official Secrets Act, 1911.

1. Para. 7.38, above.

2. Chandler v. D.P.P., (1962) 3 WLR 694 (705) (HL) (Lord Reid) 709 (Lord Radcliffe)

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