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Report No. 43

Chapter 7

Subversive Activities

7.1. Introduction.-

In the preceding Chapters, we were concerned with acts in the nature of direct opposition to the State. Lesser forms, or indirect modes, of attacks on the security of the State will now require consideration. These could assume a variety of forms, such as disruptive activities, organising para-military groups, maintaining relations with a foreign power or body for a purpose prejudicial to the national security, deceiving a public servant for a purpose prejudicial to the national security, sabotage, espionage and seditious acts.

Though the external characteristics of these acts may differ, they all share some common characteristics, namely-(i) the acts are the result of, or are intended to cause, a shift of allegiance, a split between the nation and its citizens; and (ii) the acts represent a preparatory or other stage earlier than treason proper. The ultimate end is not in doubt; but the connection between the visible act and the ultimate end is not always easy to discern. For example, sedition usually consist of words, not action. The ultimate end is to destroy the bond between the nation as represented by the Government established by law and those whose obedience the Government is entitled to command.

But the means adopted-usually, words-represents a stage preparatory towards graver acts. Similarly, an act of sabotage; undoubtedly committed with the object of impeding the defence efforts of the nation, is, nevertheless, an indirect-and, therefore, not easily discoverable mode of achieving that object. The expression "subversive activities" is, we think, apt as a convenient label for describing these acts, as distinct from graver acts of 'overthrowing' the Government. And we proceed now to indicate the offences to be included in this group.1

1. Discussion as to constitutionality is contained in Chapter 2, above.

Offences Against the National Security Back

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