Hansard 13th October 2022


Official Report - 13th October 2022

 

STATES OF JERSEY

 

OFFICIAL REPORT

 

THURSDAY, 13th OCTOBER 2022

WELCOME TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, VICE ADMIRAL JEREMY KYD C.B.E.

The Bailiff:

Connétable K. Shenton-Stone of St. Martin (Chair, Privileges and Procedures Committee):

His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor, Vice Admiral Jeremy Kyd C.B.E.:

ADJOURNMENT

[10:16]

The Roll was called and the Greffier of the States led the Assembly in Prayer.

WELCOME TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, VICE ADMIRAL JEREMY KYD C.B.E.

The Bailiff:

I would like to welcome all Members and all guests to this special sitting of the Assembly, which is being held to welcome our new Lieutenant Governor, Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd.  As well as His Excellency, I would also like to welcome his wife, Dr. Kyd, who is in the public gallery, and indeed all of the other guests who are present.  It is possible that very few in this Chamber will have commanded an aircraft carrier let alone 3, and the largest that the Navy has ever built.  None of us, I suspect, have been a fleet commander.  In the old days, I suppose that the main job of the captain of a naval vessel was to make sure that the rum did not run out but things have changed and His Excellency played a key role in ensuring that the Royal Navy reflected modern society.  If he does not mind me taking a paragraph from his letter of application, Members may be interested to hear what he said: “Lastly, I very strongly champion unleashing the power of diversity in all its guises.  In my last role as fleet commander I shaped the policy and delivery of the Navy’s diversity and inclusion strategy, which was introduced to much external acclaim.  In my last ship, my crew included over 20 nationalities, 8 religions, and a significant minority of L.G.B.T. (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) personnel.  We were more operational, happier and balanced for it.”  This is the first of 2 occasions when His Excellency will, by tradition, speak in the Assembly.  We look forward to both of them; the first being borne out of aspirations and first impressions and the second out of real experience and understanding of Jersey and its people.  But, first, and without more ado, I invite the Connétable of St. Martin in her capacity as chair of the Privileges and Procedures Committee to address the Assembly.

Connétable K. Shenton-Stone of St. Martin (Chair, Privileges and Procedures Committee):

It is a great honour for me, on behalf of all Members, to welcome His Excellency, Vice Admiral Jeremy Kyd C.B.E. (Commander of the British Empire), on his first visit to this Assembly as Lieutenant Governor, and to extend an equally warm welcome to Dr. Karen Kyd and members of their family.  I express to them our good wishes at the start of what we all hope and indeed expect will be a very varied, interesting and rewarding period.  I note that the last Lieutenant Governor to be appointed from the Navy was Admiral Sir William Pillar, who served as Lieutenant Governor between 1985 and 1990.  This is quite a considerable gap.  On a personal level, my grandfather served in the Navy and as a very young man fought at the Battle of Jutland.  He would have been absolutely delighted to know that I am standing here today welcoming our new Lieutenant Governor from the ranks of the senior service.  This morning, His Excellency has taken his seat in one of the oldest legislatures in the English-speaking world.  It came into being in the 16th century and its origins go combined with those of the Royal Court dating from 1524.  Indeed, the fact that separate records for the Assembly exist from 1603 onwards is generally attributed to an earlier Governor, Sir Walter Raleigh, whose commemorative plaque has a prominent place on the wall in the public gallery.  So it is certainly true that past Governors have helped to shape the destiny of the Assembly over time.  The role of Lieutenant Governor in various incarnations - warden, captain, governor - has its origins in Norman times and in the mid-13th century, after the Treaty of Paris, a warden and a bailiff were appointed to run the Island on behalf of the King of England.  As you can imagine, the Lieutenant Governor’s duties have evolved greatly since the 13th century.  The defence of the Island was a serious business and threat of invasion by our French neighbours was very much a real concern at that time.  Successive Governors ensured that Jersey was fortified against attack and oversaw the construction of the numerous towers which brace the exceptionally beautiful east coast of the Island.  Not that being Constable of St. Martin makes me biased about the outstanding beauty of the eastern Parishes.  As the crow flies, Mont Orgueil - Gorey Castle - is only 15 miles from the French coast.  The castle has cast its imposing shadow over the beautiful fishing harbour of Gorey for 800 years, and it was home of the administration and Government of Jersey until 1600.  Successive Governors lived in the keep.  Circa 1600, work commenced to build Elizabeth Castle in St. Aubin’s Bay on the south coast, which I will concede is also a beautiful coastline.  Mont Orgueil was to be superseded by Elizabeth Castle.  I, and generations of Islanders, are most indebted to your famous naval predecessor and Governor, Sir Walter Raleigh, who thankfully rejected the plan to demolish the old castle Mont Orgueil with the words: “T’were pity to cast it down.”  Connétables have been members of the States of Jersey for over 500 years.  My predecessor St. Martin Connétable, Edouard Payn, who served from 1597 to 1616, would have witnessed the move of the Governor’s residence from Gorey Castle to their new residence at Elizabeth Castle.  He would have met Sir Walter Raleigh on numerous occasions.  While Governor, Sir Walter Raleigh was known for his sartorial elegance and his habit of smoking his pipe in the Assembly.  I would like to take this opportunity to inform His Excellency that smart business attire is acceptable and that ruffs and velvet britches are no longer a de rigueur.  I would also like to stress to His Excellency that even if his famous naval predecessor did lay claim to the discovery of tobacco, that this is a non-smoking Chamber.  Like, in times past, these days it is unlikely that the Lieutenant Governor will have to worry so much about the physical defence of the Island although we were always vulnerable to cyberattack.  I am also relieved to say that it is even less likely that you will be required to undertake hand-to-hand combat on behalf of the Sovereign, but who knows.  Although I do know that His Excellency is very fond of boxing, which may come in handy if the Sovereign calls for hand-to-hand combat.  He will, however, be required to do something else very important, which is not unconnected with a historic role.  The warden was appointed to protect the interests of the King.  The Islanders gave the King and his representatives their loyalty.  In return, the King afforded the Island privileges, which were confirmed over the centuries.  It is upon those privileges that the Royal Court, where His Excellency took his historic oath on Saturday, and this Assembly are founded.  It is the Crown that guarantees the Island its status in the modern world as a Crown Dependency.  The Lieutenant Governor is of course the personal representative of our new monarch, His Majesty King Charles III, and the route the communications take from the States through the Bailiff, the Lieutenant Bailiff and the Lieutenant Governor to the United Kingdom Government is formal recognition of our special relationship.  It is this communication process the Governor plays his part in ensuring the Island’s views are properly understood.  His Excellency has also an important role with the Bailiff and the Chief Minister in the arrangement of visits to the Island by ambassadors and representatives of foreign governments. 

[10:30]

Something which is becoming increasingly significant to Jersey as it plays a more prominent part on the international stage and we assert our own international identity.  I would like to reflect for a few moments on the fact that the Assembly of the States of Jersey includes His Excellency as a Member, defined along with the Bailiff, Crown officers, Dean, 12 Connétables and 37 Deputies.  Our system of government, which has evolved over the centuries, has been modernised in various ways to recognise the rights of Islanders on polling day.  It is for these reasons that I can welcome His Excellency as a Member of the Assembly this morning.  Two days ago the date of the coronation of our new King was announced as 6th May 2023, and the Lieutenant Governor of Jersey and Dr. Kyd will no doubt be invited as His Majesty the King’s representatives of Jersey to this historic occasion.  You have doubtless been told many times that King Charles II sought refuge in Jersey on 2 occasions and indeed, Jersey was the first place to proclaim King Charles II as king on 17th February 1649.  A lasting memorial to Charles II’s time in Jersey came on 28th November 1663 when, in gratitude for his welcome and happy experiences in the Island, the King presented the Bailiff with this magnificent mace, placed upright during sittings in front of the Bailiff and the Lieutenant Governor.  As you will have seen on Saturday and this morning, this beautiful and historic mace is carried before the Bailiff at the sittings of the Royal Court and meetings of the States Assembly.  His Excellency’s predecessor, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, was a very welcome and regular presence in the Assembly and I understand that you too, Sir, have already expressed an interest in attending debates on a regular basis.  However, in case you are eagerly looking forward to robustly contributing to the first such debate I am sorry to say that the next opportunity you will have to speak after this morning will be in 5 years’ time, when you are about to leave.  It strikes me as ironic that by convention the Lieutenant Governor speaks on his arrival when he knows the least about our customs and, dare I say, our idiosyncrasies, and then again when he leaves, when he probably knows far too much.  Thanks to military training, His Excellency may have also noticed a subtle discrepancy of some seven inches between the height of his chair and that of the Bailiff’s.  Although the 2 respective roles share some elements of common history the relationship between them has not always been an easy one.  In fact, in 1618, following a power struggle between the then Governor, Sir John Peyton, and the Bailiff, Jean Hérault, the Privy Council ruled that the charge of the military forces be wholly vested in the Governor and the care of justice and civil affairs with the Bailiff.  This probably explains why the Bailiff does not wear a ceremonial sword although I feel our current Bailiff may regret the demise of this sword-wearing custom.  The differential height in seating remains to this day a visual reminder of the Bailiff’s presence in the States Assembly with the symbolic difference in heights of the respective seats.  But I am pleased and relieved to say that relations between the Bailiff and the Lieutenant Governor have tended to be much more cordial in recent times, although a word of caution for our new Lieutenant Governor.  Sir, it may be useful to know that our Bailiff has a full suit of armour and a collection of swords but fortunately, as just mentioned, is no longer the custom for the Bailiff to wear his sword in the Assembly so hopefully His Excellency should be safe.  It is just 3 months since our previous Governor, Air Chief Marshall Sir Stephen and Lady Anne Dalton left the Island.  Many describe them as a hard act to follow.  Should His Excellency feel slightly daunted by that, he might gain comfort from the fact that almost all of his predecessors in modern history have been described in that very same way, and I have no doubt that our new Lieutenant Governor and Dr. Kyd will be remembered this way too.  Such sentiments are a reflection of the contribution to Jersey that those who have held this office have made not only on formal occasions but just as importantly in their dealings with many individuals and organisations that make up the social fabric of this Island.  His Excellency, together with Dr. Kyd, will meet many Islanders from all walks of life, especially through their patronage of numerous local charities.  Their involvement will be invaluable in highlighting the marvellous work undertaken by volunteers across the Island to support many worthy causes and their presence at fundraising events will help make them a success.  While in office, His Excellency will have the ability to make a difference not only to Island life but equally importantly to the lives of Islanders.  I am confident that the vast majority of Islanders continue to take pride in Jersey’s special relationship with the Crown and that their appreciation of the office of Lieutenant Governor remains strong.  While we cherish the solid constancy of that office, we delight in the fresh approach that each new Lieutenant Governor brings.  As a personal representative of His Majesty the King, I am sure that the preparations for celebrations to mark the rapidly approaching coronation will feature prominently on His Excellency’s agenda.  I am confident that at that time His Excellency will experience at first hand the affection, admiration and loyalty which Islanders continue to feel for Le Roi, Notre Duc.  In return, I anticipate that the Island will make a lasting impression on His Excellency.  On behalf of my fellow States Members, we hope that His Excellency and Dr. Kyd will find their time in Jersey not only challenging and fulfilling but also greatly enjoyable.  We wish you, Sir, much happiness, success and fulfilment in your new roles.  For the moment, however, it falls on me, on behalf of the Assembly, to say how very pleased we are to welcome our new Lieutenant Governor and Dr. Kyd.  Thank you.  [Approbation]

The Bailiff:

Thank you very much, Connétable.  I call upon His Excellency to reply.

His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor, Vice Admiral Jeremy Kyd C.B.E.:

Mr. Bailiff, Chief Minister, Members of the States, honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen, I must first thank you all, and, in particular, the Connétable for her very warm words of greeting to me and my wife, Karen.  We have been very much struck by the warmth of the Jersey welcome that we have received since we arrived on the Island formally last week.  Surrounded by sea, naval officers tend to like islands, they invariably offer a sound anchorage, sanctuary and sustenance both for mind and body.  But of course every island is different.  After 37 years of working across the world I seem, Mr. Bailiff, to find myself by very good fortune to arrive in a beautiful island and one with an unrivalled history, a reputation to be extremely proud of, and a future to be excited by.  Indeed, as I sit here for the very first time, I can now admire, as the Connétable points out, the argent radiance and symbolism of the Royal Mace given to Jersey by King Charles II in 1663.  It is indeed a proud and tangible symbol of Jersey’s ancient links with the Crown, the special status of this dependency, and a reminder of Jersey’s unwavering loyalty over the centuries.  I could not be more honoured therefore to be before you all today as King Charles III’s first Lieutenant Governor of his reign to the Bailiwick of Jersey and, as the Connétable points out, only the fifth sailor to hold the appointment; Sir Walter Raleigh of course being the first in 1600.  It will be remiss of me not to add a personal note of thanks to the Bailiff and, you, the Members of the States Assembly for the privileges of allowing my family to witness my swearing in on Saturday in the Royal Court.  Thank you, Mr. Bailiff.  Their attendance at that special ceremony is a very clear reflection of what this appointment means to me and indeed my family too.  Suffice to say that my wife, Karen, and I are both truly delighted to be here and we see our principal duty as engagement with and supporting the full sweep of the Jersey community moving forward.  In this we look no further for inspiration than His Majesty himself who, like his mother before him, Queen Elizabeth II, sets such an example with his concern and deep interest for his subjects across his realm.  I also see his appointment as a natural extension of my own military service that has taken me to every corner of the globe.  I have seen much good, some bad, and on occasion the extraordinary.  An unusually diverse military career, I have been privileged to have worked with an amalgam of diplomats, militaries, industrialists and politicians and, in recent years, significant engagement with other foreign leaders, from China to Ukraine to Europe and the Gulf.  Within the bounds of my constitutional position I hope to be able to bring this experience to bear to appropriately support you, the leadership, in delivering your agenda for Jersey and its people.  But I do readily acknowledge that for the moment I am a novice Islander, which is why my regular attendance in this Assembly to hear your debates around the issues of the day and the concerns that matter to you and your people is of such importance.  So may I offer a note of reassurance about my presence in this Chamber and that is I recognise the subtleties and nuances of this historic constitutional appointment and the honoured position that I shall occupy as an unelected Member of this democratically-elected Assembly and what that means.  The constitutional arrangements of the Island are themselves both special and unusual.  The relationship with the Crown, and hence with me as the Sovereign’s representative, are simply a reflection of those arrangements.  I am quite clear that to fulfil my wider role in the Island effectively I, and the desires of this Assembly of course, and indeed the businesses and people of Jersey, and to be a trusted link with the communication process between Jersey and the Government of the United Kingdom, I need to not only have a good understanding of the issues concerned to you, the States Assembly, but also the context and implication of those issues for that most important caucus of all, the people of Jersey, to whom we in this Chamber all serve and strive for.  Therefore I very much look forward to sitting in this Assembly and the journey in the months and years ahead, albeit in a silent capacity.  My life and experiences ratify the wise words of Larry King, who remarked: “Nothing I say this day will teach me anything, so if I am going to learn I must do it by listening.”  I assure the Members here that I share that philosophy.  That journey for us all looks to be as challenging and as exciting as history suggests it has and always will be.  No nation or jurisdiction is immune to the dynamics that of an ever more congested and contested planet.  The implications of global collective issues such as profound climate change and ever-hardening interstate competition and friction will abound.  Strategic shocks and more acute threats such as COVID and the current grinding war in eastern Europe should remind us all of the preciousness and the fragility of our security and that our way of life must both be nurtured but also ruthlessly protected.  The challenge, domestic or otherwise, is nothing new for Jersey, and your remarkable history articulates well the Island’s character, particularly its agility and resilience, which has seen it survive the testing turbulence of history and, by capitalising on opportunities, the Island, it seems to me, has emerged stronger and more prosperous in the process.  Long may that continue.  It seems to me that your confidence and ambition for the future is very well placed.  Today Jersey is seen as a safe, stable and trusted hub at the international business architecture.  With strengths and competitive edges, has stamped this Island ever more firmly on the world map.  As a trade and services centre, it has world-class trusted financial legal systems, cutting edge fintech and corporate services.  Let us not forget the power of an iconic global brand, be it milk, cows or potatoes, the importance of which should not be under-estimated.  I also listened very recently to a recent BBC World Service programme that described Jersey as being at the “forefront of the development for digital technology” and that: “Although known for its financial tech it is also leading the way in ecological and medical technology too.”  Uplifting accolades indeed.  At the same time, it is also reassuring to recognise that Jersey does not take its good fortune for granted.  The Bailiwick’s altruism and generosity of charities and community and its financial expertise in structuring philanthropic activity, provides a relief and sukkah to those less fortunate.  Both at home of course and overseas.  Now I have not got time to mention all the admirable examples I have read about in recent weeks but I cannot resist mentioning that, including the money raised for the public as part of the Bailiff’s Ukraine appeal, I see that Jersey Overseas Aid has so far distributed over £2.4 million in the humanitarian aid to address the needs of Ukrainians, both inside Ukraine and in neighbouring countries.

[10:45]

The donation of your stock of oxygen concentrators left over from the COVID crisis and sent to Ukraine in early March was another laudable and meaningful contribution in supporting that country’s fight for survival.  These efforts are noted and they matter, and I congratulate you for them.  Lastly, Mr. Bailiff, thank you for doing the honour of convening this special sitting of the States and thank you, all, the Members present, for listening to me.  Unless I am drowned at sea in the meantime or perhaps come to grief at a filter in turn - I am learning quickly - I will have the honour of speaking to you again in late 2027 or thereabouts.  In the Royal Navy loyalty to your ship and crew is as instinctive as it is immediate and absolute.  We recognise that we are all in the same boat.  I see Jersey as no different and I look forward with excitement and much anticipation to being part of your community, and I promise that I will commit my full energies to supporting the causes and interests of this Bailiwick, its businesses, its charities, and its people to the best of my abilities.  I will stand resolute with you, whatever the tide brings in, and I hope and pray that the coming years will be secure, safe and increasingly prosperous for this jewel in the crown and for the community that we choose to serve and represent.  So, thank you.  [Approbation]

The Bailiff:

Your Excellency, thank you very much indeed.  That concludes the business of this special sitting of the Assembly and the Assembly stands adjourned.

ADJOURNMENT

[10:47]

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