HM Government has raised questions over who is presently paying for Jersey’s wartime defence. Following the Militia’s disbandment earlier this year, the British Army assumed full responsibility for garrisoning the island. It seems, however, that it does not want to also assume responsibility for the expense of doing so.
The subject of paying for the island’s defence has been a thorny one since the war began. Patriotically, the States agreed early on to meet the expense of Militia mobilisation, which has amounted to more than £25,000 per year. Given the unexpectedly prolonged duration of the war, the cost of this generous act has been considerable, requiring a number of war loans to ensure that Jersey remained solvent.
With the adoption of compulsory military service and corresponding end to Militia service, the expectant hope was that this drain on local finances would disappear. Yet the UK Government appears to have other ideas, writing to the Lieutenant Governors of both Jersey and Guernsey on the matter. The thrust of the correspondence is simple: it is unreasonable for UK taxpayers to entirely meet the cost of defending these islands.
A/E/3 contains correspondence between Jersey, Guernsey and UK Governments on the subject of paying for the islands’ defence after the disbandment of the Militia.