Details of Occupation department responsibilities

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Occupation department


From Jersey Under the Swastika a diary of wartime events from a States perspective by the Bailiff's secretary, Ralph Mollet

Essential Commodities

Presided over by Jurat Major Edwin Philip Le Masurier, MBE, who had charge of all food supplies and other essential articles and was responsible for opening an office at Granville on 16 September 1940. (Etats de Jersey: Departement du Ravitaillement) The Veterinary Surgeon, Mr T Blampied, had already been to France in order to obtain seed and cattle; he was the first Jerseyman to venture with the Germans to purchase supplies in France. Mr J L Jouault and several Guernseymen joined our representatives, and ran a very successful office for supplies for the Channel Islands. The Islands of Jersey and Guernsey owe much to all these willing helpers, who undertook many risks in order to obtain the commodities that were essential for the population of 60,000 persons residing in both islands. The Channel Islands came under the French Intendant General for the Departement de la Manche at St Lo, who supplied us with the same rations as the people of the Departernent de la Manche. Major Le Masurier and Mr A Le Gresley, the Food Controller, together with Guernsey delegates, went to St Lo to confer and make definite arrangements with the Intendant General in July 1941, and were very well received and given every help. Other supplies from France were obtained through an Imports Committee.

Transport and Communications

Jurat J Messervy Norman presided over this important department, controlling the licensing of private cars and the bus services, and seeing that the transport for the essential services was fully maintained. The rationing of petrol and paraffin was carefully carried out. The conversion of buses and lorries to producer gas was also under the supervision of this department.

Finance and Economics

This department was under the direction of Jurat A E Dorey. The currency problems, consisting of the issuing of local notes and the costs of the Occupation, were dealt with by this department. The Budget, showing a deficit of about half a million pounds per annum, was duly presented to the States and approved in a very short time. The disappearance of the silver currency, as well as of the pound notes, and the circulation of the Reichsmarks, caused very grave problems to this department, and these problems will take some time to solve. The payment for goods received from the Continent was successfully settled.


This vital department was under Jurat Touzel John Bree. The cultivation of land, which had to change largely from potatoes and tomatoes to cereals, was successfully handled by this department. The water mills, some in ruins, were restored and used for the milling of flour, much to the surprise of everyone. The milk supply was well-maintained and rationed. The local grown and the French wheat kept up our supply of bread; at first the quality was rather inferior, but it improved as time went on.

Public Health

This department was in the hands of Jurat P M Baudains. The General Hospital, Overdale, the Mental Home, the Dispensary, and other similar institutions were kept going. Medical supplies were sent by the International Red Cross, and also purchased from the Continent. The inhabitants were most grateful to the Red Cross. The health of the inhabitants on the whole was good, although many lost weight and some suffered through the bread containing too much husk.

Essential Services

This department was under Deputy W S Le Masurier, who took charge of the supply of gas, electricity, water, and the use of the telephones. The Fuel Controller, Mr S P Pepin, Manager of the Jersey Gas Light Company, and a co-opted member of this department, was placed in charge of the duty of superintending the distribution of rationed fuel.


This department was under Deputy Edward Le Quesne. The felling of trees (over 80,000) was in the hands of this department, as well as the making and repairing of the roads.


Jurat Philip E Bree was in charge of this department. The problems were many and included the finding of accommodation for the pupils when the colleges were requisitioned by the German military authorities. By order of the Field Commandant the teaching of the German language was made compulsory in all the schools. The complete isolation of the Island checked progress, and the teachers had to work under very difficult conditions.

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