Social Security Guide : The White Paper and the Beveridge Report Compared
1944-10-01 1944 1940s 20 pages SOCIAL SECURITY GUIDE "The Government wish to place on record their gratitude to Sir William Beveridge for the great work which he did in preparing his comprehensive and imaginative Report." The many who feared that the Beveridge Report was shelved wi...
|Institution:||MCR - The Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick|
London : The Social Security League
1 October 1944
SOCIAL SECURITY GUIDE "The Government wish to place on record their gratitude to Sir William Beveridge for the great work which he did in preparing his comprehensive and imaginative Report." The many who feared that the Beveridge Report was shelved will be delighted to find that the Government has adopted the main structure of the Social Insurance scheme proposed by Sir William, as well as most of the proposals in detail. In fact some sections of the White Paper are a re-write, after twenty-one months, of the Report. There are, of course, certain major differences — one of them serious — and many minor ones. These are described and discussed in this pamphlet. The Beveridge Report was published in December, 1942. It sprang from a Committee of distinguished Civil Servants with Sir William Beveridge in the Chair. He himself was not a Civil Servant but the Master of an Oxford College. However, this was the sixth war-time job that he had done for the Government. He prepared the Man-Power Survey in 1940 for the Ministry of Labour, he revised the Schedule of Reserved Occupations, he produced a Report on Skilled Men in the Services, and a Report on Fuel Rationing. He also wrote two reports on Man-Power which were of a confidential nature. Sir William's connection with problems of unemployment dates from the publication of his famous book, "Unemployment, a Problem of Industry," published in 1908. Employment Exchanges, started in 1910, were based on the ideas in this book, and Sir William helped to set them up. When, in 1911, the Unemployment Insurance Act was passed, social insurance was new to this country. Lloyd George followed Bismarck, who pioneered social insurance in Germany in 1897. Lloyd George himself went to Germany to see how the scheme worked. He liked it, and he introduced sickness and unemployment insurance in Great Britain. Sir William Beveridge was associated with the unemployment insurance scheme from the beginning. Later, in 1934, he became first Chairman of the Unemployment Insurance Statutory Committee which was set up to watch over the Unemployment Insurance Fund. He therefore already knew the field well when he was asked by the Government to preside over a Committee on Social Insurance and Allied Services. Only seventeen months passed between his appointment to do the job, and the presentation of his 298-page Report. There are four points to remember about the Beveridge Report. First, its terms of reference were limited to proposals on social insurance and allied services. This limitation precluded discussion of, for example, income tax reform, which might suitably have been included as a linked subject. Secondly, this Committee took evidence from 127 individuals and organisations, as well as from Government Departments, so that the Report was solidly based on current knowledge and expert opinion. Thirdly, the Report on Government instructions, was signed only by Sir William Beveridge. This 1