The Emergency Powers (Defence) Act 1939
was emergency legislation passed just prior to the outbreak of World War II
by the Parliament of the United Kingdom
to enable the British Government
to take up emergency powers
to prosecute the war effectively. It contained clauses giving the government wide powers to create Defence Regulations
which regulated almost every aspect of everyday life in the country.
The Act was passed in reaction to the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 23 August 1939 and provided Neville Chamberlain powers from 24 August 1939.