Two recent decisions have highlighted the present restrictions placed on the Island’s supply of petrol.
Shortly after the outbreak of war, new regulations came into force locally to limit the purchase and storage of petrol. The reason was twofold. First was a need to carefully manage stocks of fuel reaching the Island, which were expected to reduce considerably in view of wartime demands. Second, was a suspicion – not fully passed yet – that enemy agents based in Jersey may be stockpiling supplies of petrol for clandestine use by German submarines.
As a result of these regulations, a number of individuals recently faced prosecution under the Defence of the Realm Act for holding higher petrol stocks than permissible. The authorities are known to be considering further cases this week.
The Home Office has also recognised the importance of ensuring certain groups have access to petrol. Jersey has been advised this week to comply with a national scheme aimed at providing enough petrol for use by general practitioners. A survey of Island doctors will provide an estimate of requirements, with the Honorary Secretary of the Jersey Medical Society, Mr Henry Shore, agreeing to coordinate the responses.
A/E/10/5 contains correspondence from March and April 1916 on ensuring petrol supplies for doctors and on prosecuting local businessmen for hoarding petrol.