Since the start of the war, the laws and regulations prohibiting trading with the enemy have progressively tightened. These have made it a serious offence to buy goods from or sell goods to German, Austro-Hungarian or Ottoman businesses. One local man felt the force of this law last week, after an attempt to import luxury German cigars.
The case against Charles Amy of St Helier followed his communications with a wholesaler in Copenhagen. Amy had written in response to an advert placed by that wholesaler in the ‘Tobacco’ magazine. Unfortunately for him, the local Censor intercepted the correspondence and reported the matter to the Lieutenant Governor, General Rochfort, who demanded a strong response.
Under the ‘Trading with the Enemy Act 1914’, Rochfort was in a position to insist on a prosecution. Accepting that the case against Amy was somewhat flimsy, he nevertheless wanted to impress the seriousness of the matter on the local population. It was highly desirable, he noted, that such an action received plenty of public notice.
Amy duly appeared before the Royal Court, which took a more lenient line. The Bailiff discharged the accused with a warning.