Free French Settlements in Oceania (1941-1943)
Polynesian territory was brutally cut off from the metropolis by the arrival of the Second World War. The directors of the French Settlements in Oceania are obliged to have "Cash Vouchers" printed locally. A first issue is ordered by Decree of August 18, 1941: two small vouchers of 1 franc and 2 francs are printed on thick cardboard. A second issue was ordered by Decree of April 7, 1942: 53,500 50-cent notes, 76,000 1 franc notes and 12,500 2-franc notes corresponding to a total amount of 127,750 francs. A third issue is ordered in by Order of September 25, 1943: four banknotes of 50 cents, 1 franc, 2 francs and 2.50 francs are printed in 100,000 copies by value for a total amount of 600,000 francs. But these little notes were not numerous enough to facilitate the transactions of daily life. So, some local merchants "granted themselves the right" to issue vouchers for their manufacture in the form of simple small pieces of cardboard sometimes with the stamp of their trade or a postage stamp of the corresponding value. These small vouchers are particularly rare like those of the first issue, of which we have not found enough quality photos to present them in this catalog of French Polynesian banknotes. Notice to collectors who could help us on this point!