Incitement to Disaffection Act 1934
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|Long title||An Act to make better provision for the prevention and punishment of endeavours to seduce members of His Majesty’s forces from their duty or allegiance.|
|Citation||24 & 25 Geo. 5 c. 56|
|Royal assent||16 November 1934|
|Text of statute as originally enacted|
|Revised text of statute as amended|
The Incitement to Disaffection Act 1934 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that made it an offence to endeavour to seduce a member of HM Forces from his "duty or allegiance to His Majesty", thus expanding the ambit of the law.
The previous relevant legislation was the Incitement to Mutiny Act 1797, which created the offence of endeavouring to seduce a member of HM Forces from his duty and allegiance. The 1797 Act, last significantly used against Tom Mann, 1912, and in the Campbell cases, 1924 and 1925, was not repealed by the 1934 Act, but effectively became defunct.
According to Geoffrey Robertson, a human rights lawyer, the most powerful incitement to disaffection was made in the 1987 election campaign by the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, who declared that armed forces chiefs should consider resigning in protest if the Labour Party were elected and sought to implement its non-nuclear policy.
- Short title as conferred by s. 4 of the Act; the modern convention for the citation of short titles omits the comma after the word "Act"
- Geoffrey Robertson, "Freedom, the Individual and the Law", Penguin Books (1993, 7th ed, ISBN 0-14-017264-5) p 210, as cited in Select Committee on Religious Offences in England and Wales First Report, Chapter 6