Social Security Guide : The White Paper and the Beveridge Report Compared
1944-10-01 1944 1940s 20 pages absolved the Civil Servants from expressing opinions on matters outside their Departmental provinces. But Sir William had the advantage of their technical advice throughout. Finally, the Government Actuary wrote an Appendix to the Report explaining the relation of bene...
|Institution:||MCR - The Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick|
London : The Social Security League
1 October 1944
absolved the Civil Servants from expressing opinions on matters outside their Departmental provinces. But Sir William had the advantage of their technical advice throughout. Finally, the Government Actuary wrote an Appendix to the Report explaining the relation of benefits to contributions and of both to the over-all finances of the scheme. The Actuary has written a similar Appendix to the White Paper; he explains the Government's figures and then sets out the reasons why they differ from those of Sir William Beveridge. The public first read the Beveridge Report on December 2nd, 1942. Parliament debated it on February 16th-18th, 1943. It was this three-day debate which so depressed the optimists. Government pronouncements were tepid and lugubrious. Social Security legislation, which had seemed just round the corner, now seemed to be remote. Nobody quite knew if the Government had accepted the Beveridge scheme or turned it down, but it seemed, on balance, that the Plan was, if not totally rejected, at least indefinitely shelved. This was the point when adherents to the Beveridge Plan began to gravitate towards each other. In doing so many of them stepped over political barriers. For the Beveridge conception of Social Security had the extraordinary success of finding support all the way from Conservatives to Communists. Similarly, its relatively few enemies have come from both political extremes. Beveridge was simultaneously accused of being Fascist because he had a Plan, and Communist because he wanted larger benefits. Some sort of rallying ground appeared necessary for the more active among Beveridge advocates. The Social Security League, first discussed in March, was launched in March, 1943. In October, 1943, Sir William Beveridge became its President. Founded "to promote the principles of the Beveridge Report" the Social Security League has worked steadily towards this end. Some sceptics became disillusioned with the Government, got tired and turned away. Others — some distinguished, some unknown — have worked unceasingly to press for Beveridge legislation. Among them are great crowds of serving men, who, writing from remote parts of the world, still send letters of encouragement and requests for Beveridge literatures and posters. Meanwhile the Government sat silent. Then there were rumours of a White Paper. To a Social Security League deputation which, in November, 1943, pressed for swift publication, Sir William Jowitt expounded the intricacies of the subject. Many technical matters, as well as high policy, must be settled, he explained, before the public ought to know the Government opinion. Silence fell again. Eventually a new rumour began. The Government, it seemed, had worked out a new Social Security scheme which would "Out-Beveridge Beveridge." Utopia was round the comer. Finally the publication day drew near. Dense secrecy prevailed. September 26th dawned. After twenty-one months of arduous work the Government had made its scheme ... And there this introduction ends — the Government White Paper in major pattern and in many details, is a re-write of the Beveridge Plan. 2