Plans to introduce compulsory military service in the island seem to have reached an impasse. Having drawn-up and put forward a local Military Service Act in July, the Island Defence Committee believed that its work was done. The Lieutenant Governor’s dissatisfaction over a number of its clauses has exposed a rift between the island’s civil and military authorities however.
General Rochfort is intending to raise his concerns with the British Home Office, at a meeting in London planned for this month. These centre on responsibilities for exempting men from military service, the process of appealing against conscription and how many men will remain to defend the island. Rochfort is adamant that Jersey can and will send every available man to war. With one eye on the vital agricultural industry, the States want to ensure sufficient numbers remain to work the farms.
The delay comes as Guernsey prepares to pass its new Military Service Act. Some in Jersey believe that the approach taken by the other island, which involves disbanding the Guernsey Militia and forming the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry for overseas service, is one that Jersey should follow.
A/E/3 contains extensive correspondence on Jersey’s Military Service Act and the differing views over its terms and implementation.