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In answer to Matthew Snook's question about when the "turning point" came when ID cards were previously abandoned after the war:
In December 1950, a small businessman named Clarence Henry Willcock was stopped while driving in London by a police officer who demanded that he present his ID card at a station within 48 hours. He refused, and was prosecuted and convicted in the case Willcock vs. Muckle. He appealed and lost. Despite the outcome of the case, the then Lord Chief Justice Lord Goddard commented:
…it is obvious that the police now, as a matter of routine, demand the production of national registration identity cards whenever they stop or interrogate a motorist for whatever cause… This Act was passed for security purposes, and not for the purposes for which, apparently, it is now sought to be used. To use Acts of Parliament, passed for particular purposes during war, in times when the war is past, except that technically a state of war exists, tends to turn law-abiding subjects into lawbreakers, which is a most undesirable state of affairs. Further, in this country we have always prided ourselves on the good feeling that exists between the police and the public and such action tends to make the people resentful of the acts of the police and inclines them to obstruct the police instead of to assist them...
Goddard then refused to award costs against Willcock. These events are thought to have influenced then Prime Minister Winston Churchill's decision in 1952 to drop the card.
Comes from: http://www.law.ed.ac.uk/ahrb/script-ed/v...
which has a very good analysis of ID cards.Matthew Linden, 15 years ago.