1 SEPTEMBER 1939, Page 3

D.O.R.A. : First Instalment

On Monday the first series of regulations were issued under the Emergency Powers Act, which was passed last week. They cover the most varied spheres of national life, and confer powers to control industry, prices, shipping, agri- culture, railways and public utilities, hospitals ; to requisition land and other property ; to take compulsory measures for billeting, evacuation, and A.R.P. ; to restrict information and communication. For the most part they are enabling powers, which will only be applied after the outbreak of hostilities ; but the Admiralty, for instance, has already assumed control of British shipping, to which the Mediterranean has been closed. No provision has yet been made for control of the Press, and the nation will be grateful that any such measures are being postponed until the last possible moment. Corn- prehcnsive as the regulations are they do no more than lay the basis for the control of every sphere of national life which is a necessity in " totalitarian " war. So far they do not approach in severity or in scope those to which the totali- tarian States have been accustomed for many years.