After several worrying days, a boat containing supplies of petroleum reached St Helier Harbour this week. Despite considerable rationing, local stocks had sunk to worryingly low levels, leading to concerns that the island may run completely dry of the fuel.
As well as use in motor vehicles, numerous people and organisations rely on petroleum as their fuel for cooking and lighting. Wartime conditions have led to shortages across the country, however, as the military demand rose and constraints in supply developed. Locally, this led to strict rationing, licensing restrictions placed on suppliers and punishment of anyone found to be hoarding stocks of petrol.
In recent weeks, such measures appear to have been making little difference, because supplies were failing to reach the island. Concerns have now lifted, with the arrival of a ship carrying 100 barrels of petroleum. These will be divided among all local petrol retailers, both to ensure availability and to prevent anyone hoarding stocks.
For anyone needing petrol the cost will be a high one however. The price per gallon in Weymouth had reportedly reached one pound and nine shillings. Local purchasers can expect to pay something similar.
A/E/10/5 contains correspondence and reports on petrol and paraffin stocks in the island during wartime.