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How does the 1948 agreement join Guernsey and Alderney?
Alderney and Guernsey States buildings
The States of Alderney and Guernsey have been linked since 1948

Following the Occupation of the Channel Islands during the Second World War, Alderney was left with a very small population on a very damaged island.

Colin Partridge, a jurat and the chairman of the Alderney court, explained that the States of Alderney ran the island in 1946 and 1947.

However, the UK government suggested the States link with Guernsey's States.

This situation has remained ever since, though changes have been made to the original law.

Before the Occupation Alderney and Guernsey's governmental systems operated entirely separately of each other, and Mr Partridge explained that Alderney's court can trace its history back to at least the early 14th Century but as the records were destroyed during the Occupation it is hard to know exactly.

Before the war the island was self sufficient thanks to the farming and fishing industries and the island's main export came from the quarrying trade which was supported by the island's population of 1,400 people.

Following the war, upon hearing of the condition of the island and the properties they left in 1940, many of the islanders did not return leaving only 600 people on Alderney.

German Soldiers in Alderney
German forces occupied Alderney and several concentration camps were built

During 1946 and 1947 a communal farm was set up on the island to provide food and work, but Mr Partridge explained: "Some of the islanders were in conflict with Judge French over how the communal farm was being run."

This situation was investigated which led to the proposal of the 1948 agreement from the UK Home Office.

Mr Partridge said there was "open and public debate about the agreements" but he said they were agreed by the local States and population with relative ease.

He explained: "It was due to the goodwill between leading figures in Guernsey, including Sir Ambrose Sherwill, and Alderney judge Sir Frank Wiltshire.

"The proposals for the law were not only drawn up effectively but, were at the time, overwhelmingly supported by the Alderney people who agreed that there should be a relationship between Alderney and Guernsey."

The initial agreement saw the Alderney States constituted of a president and nine members, two of whom sat in Guernsey's States of Deliberation and four in the States of Election. The law also saw Alderney's judicial and administrative organisations separated for the first time.

Mr Partridge said: "There have been a number of revisions to the original law over the years, especially in 1955, 1957 and 1987, through those we arrived at the current situation."

He added, "there has been a lot of open discussion over the years, including statements about Alderney's independence", but he said the law had been continually reviewed, and as far as he can see will continue to be so when there is need for it.

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