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MR. JUSTICE BLOFELD: Yes, may I tell you the problem that somewhat concerns me, although I
do not think it is absolutely at the forefront. Mr. E is an American.
MR. JUSTICE BLOFELD: Disclosure of his identity might well be prejudicial to American security.
Is that something we have to take into account, or is it just the national security of this country?
THE SOLICITOR GENERAL: This country, but one cannot overlook damage that might result to
the Security Services in this country if the courts take decisions which cause friction between the
smooth working that normally occurs between our Security Services and those of the United States.
MR. JUSTICE BLOFELD: So, you say there would be a knock on effect.
THE SOLICITOR GENERAL: There would be a knock on effect, in my submission. The Court
knows how Mr. E came into the hands of our security service in the first place and what one, in my
submission, must keep very well in mind is the position of the United States Intelligence Service in
regard to Mr. E’s arrival under the control of our Intelligence Services.
My Lord, in relation to the question of concealing identities, there is some law, part of which has
already been referred to in Att.Gen. v. Leveller Magazine, part of which has been referred to, and is
MR. JUSTICE BLOFELD: Well, the bit Mr. Tansey referred to me from R. v. Socialist Worker
has also got to be considered too, saying that it is much less to keep the name private than to
exclude the public.
THE SOLICITOR GENERAL: It is quite plain from Att.Gen. v. Leveller Magazine that the Court
contemplated that the magistrates would have been well within their power ----
MR. JUSTICE BLOFELD: This is specifically within the Court’s power in this case because it is
specifically dealt with in the Crown’s Court Rules. Whereas the magistrates arguably did not have
jurisdiction, here there is no doubt at all that I have jurisdiction if I am satisfied that it is for the
protection, “or for the protection of the identity of a witness”; those are the words.
THE SOLICITOR GENERAL: Indeed, it is not only national security but the protection of the
identity of a witness.
MR. JUSTICE BLOFELD: It is much wider than the national security.
THE SOLICITOR GENERAL: It is indeed, and in Att.Gen. v. Leveller Magazine at page 458,
which is the last page of Viscount Dilhorne’s judgement, at the top paragraph between A and B:
“Judges and Justices have a wide measure of control over the conduct of proceedings in their courts.
On occasions for a variety of reasons witnesses are allowed to write down a piece of evidence
instead of giving it orally and I know of a number of occasions when in Official Secrets Act cases
witnesses have been allowed to conceal their identity. In my opinion it is within the jurisdiction of the
court to allow this in the exercise of control over the conduct of the proceedings just as a judge is
entitled to send a jury out in the course of a trial and to have a trial within a trial.”