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Defence of the Realm Act

Four days after war with Germany had been declared, Parliament passed the Defence of the Realm Act 1914 (DORA). This piece of emergency legislation, enacted without debate, allowed the government to exercise a wide range of powers during wartime to ensure the defence of the realm and the security of the nation. The Act, which was initially relatively open to interpretation and not without its critics, was revised and extended numerous times over the course of the First World War to encompass further precautions.


Defence of the Realm Act 1914



Catalogue number

Parliamentary Archives, HL/PO/PU/1/1914/4&5GVc29