Farm Wardens

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Fisheries and Food – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 6th December 1984.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Derek Conway Derek Conway , Shrewsbury and Atcham 12:00 am, 6th December 1984

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many hours of training his Department's farm wardens will require to enable them to carry out their responsibilities effectively.

Photo of Mrs Peggy Fenner Mrs Peggy Fenner , Medway

Farm wardens would be appointed from people with a good knowledge of farms and farmers in their area. Their job would be to provide a link between these farmers and the Department's wartime organisation. Their training would be simple and I am confident that appointment and training could be completed within a few days.

Photo of Derek Conway Derek Conway , Shrewsbury and Atcham

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that reply. How many individuals are involved in the scheme and what will be the total time needed for implementation?

Photo of Mrs Peggy Fenner Mrs Peggy Fenner , Medway

We believe that we shall require about 6,000 farm wardens for the United Kingdom as a whole. That is about one warden for each 20 farms. We do not think that it will take long to get them together, and the areas are being delineated roughly on that basis.

Photo of Mr Robin Corbett Mr Robin Corbett Opposition Whip (Commons)

What arrangements, if any, has the Minister made to ensure that the 6,000 wardens will be spared in the event of a nuclear attack? What plans does the Ministry have to update the ludicrous advice that it gave to farmers a few years ago to protect their dairy herds from the effects of a nuclear attack by spreading tarpaulins over the top of the lanes?

Photo of Mrs Peggy Fenner Mrs Peggy Fenner , Medway

The Government's duty is to make plans to defend the people. Of course we cannot guarantee that all will live. I am answering a specific question later about the hon. Gentleman's second supplementary question.