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The Beveridge Report Its Origins and Outcomes

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The fronts are everywhere.” (Calder, 1969, 20) For these reasons, Marxist historian Angus Calder refers to the Second World War as The Peoples War. Accompanying this national effort a sense grew in the population that this people’s war demanding sacrifices from the entire population should also offer rewards to all the people. According to Calder the British people, particularly Liberals and Socialists, began to see this war, not as a war against only foreign fascism but a war against class divisions and the strict class divisions within British society. (Calder, 1969, 159)

In the context of social services and public policy Francis G Castles concurs. He notes that the extraordinary military efforts demanded of the population of Great Britain “required a promise of better things to come. of guns being replaced by butter, or in the words of the Atlantic Charter agreed to by the Allies in 1941, their war aims should include improved labour standards, economic advancement and social security as well as freedom from fear and want.” (Castles, 2010, 95)

One of the outcomes of this development was the appointment of economist Sir William Beveridge as Chairman of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Social Insurance and Allied Services by the Minister without Portfolio responsible for reconstruction in June 1941.

The Minister without Portfolio, on January 27, 1942, wrote to Beveridge, “The Report, when made, will be your own report. it&nbsp.will be signed by you alone, and the departmental representatives will not be associated in any way with the views and recommendations on questions of policy which it contains.” (Included as a Preface to Beveridge, 1942)&nbsp.