To refute the maxim silent leges inter arma is one of the modern challenges to a democracy at war. It is usually recognized that when a state is at war many of the rights of personal liberty normally enjoyed by its citizens must be limited to prevent interference with the prosecution of hostilities. In international conflicts having an ideological basis, such limitations, if too severe, produce a somewhat embarrassing dilemma for a democratic state. The requirements of total war may necessitate at home some of the very objectionable features of government which are to be overthrown elsewhere; yet to be too lenient with dissident groups can well be disastrous. At all events, the government hesitates so to act as to invite its citizens to ask: “To what purpose is a war in defense of democracy if it begins by ending the very liberties which a people are asked to defend against external aggression?” Nevertheless, war conditions are not alone responsible for altered conceptions of personal rights. Internal developments in peace-time may also create a need for changes in such rules; the law cannot remain constant when the conditions upon which it is based are being transformed. Within a twenty-five-year period in English history, two major wars, as well as a series of domestic emergencies, have produced conditions sufficiently serious to arouse substantial sentiment favoring restrictions on civil liberties. At the same time, however, other equally determined groups, whose position is strengthened by the increased popularity of democratic ideals, have sought to combat such restrictions. The events of the period examined show the nature and the result of this conflict.