Government during the Occupation

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Escapee Denis Vibert report on early months of the Occupation

Little changes

The States of Jersey continue to function in the normal manner. The Germans do not interfere with their rule of the Island provided the authorities conform with the requirements of the Germans. There are still the honorary and paid police besides the German military police.

The Police Court sits as usual, and the procedure has not altered. The States sit in session and set up new departments (previously called committees) as and when required. Such laws as they make require the sanction of the German Commandant.

Employment schemes

The first problem which faced the States of Jersey was that of the grave danger of unemployment, and in order to tackle this problem schemes were devised for building and widening roads, and making, for example, a pavement on either side of the Five Mile Road. Hundreds of men were being employed, and a new road was started on the north of the island, but recent demands for labour by the Germans has held up this scheme.

Airport extension

The Germans are using more and more labour in the making of fortifications, extending the Airport, and building a new road to the Airport, with the result that the unemployment problem which faced the States has been more than solved by the German demands, and had now resolved itself into a shortage of labour, particularly for agricultural purposes.

Policy of co-operation

It appears to be the policy of the States to co-operate with the German military authorities, and they have actually been thanked by the German Commandant for their co-operation.

All forms of rationing are controlled by the States and individual members have been known to take advantage of their position to obtain supplies in excess of their legal rights.

The Bailiff of Jersey has shown up very well during all this trying period and it is believed that his upright attitude with the Germans has averted many possible unpleasant situations.

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