Determined to see Jersey release as many men as possible for war service, the Lieutenant Governor has launched a new scheme offering replacement labourers for local farms. It relies on a controversial source of manpower however. The new workforce will come from among the large number of interned enemy nationals currently languishing in camps around Britain.
Across the Channel, UK farms are already employing thousands of enemy POWs as agricultural labourers. This option now extends to using civilian foreign nationals living in Britain when the war started and since interned under the Defence of the Realm Act.
Having seen the States turn down the offer of employing German POWs previously held in Jersey for farm labour, General Wilson has been determined to find alternatives. The grounds for turning down the POWs was the distaste felt at having to pay enemy combatants the wages set by The Hague Convention. The Lieutenant Governor believes that there can be no such complaint about paying for non-combatants, especially given the UK Government’s stance on the matter.
Notices placed in the local newspapers state that farmers have until 12 June 1917 to make an application for enemy internee labourers.
D/Z/H2/7 contains details on applying for enemy internee labourers.