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Beveridge Report (Implementation)

Volume 387: debated on Thursday 18 March 1943

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asked the Prime Minister whether the Government have consulted Sir William Beveridge on the setting-up of the new machinery for implementing the recommendations of his Report.

In view of the fact that the Government have accepted the large majority of the Beveridge proposals, would it not be wise and useful to consult the author on the best methods of implementing his proposals?

Is the visit of Sir William Beveridge to the United States an act of optimism or an act of pessimism?

Has the Prime Minister found anyone who wishes the recom- mendations of the Beveridge Report to be brought into operation without qualification?


asked the Prime Minister whether he has now any further statement to make as to the Beveridge Report and the Government's policy with regard thereto?

I would refer the hon. and learned Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Maldon (Mr. Driberg) on 2nd March last, to which I have nothing to add.

In view of the fact that the newspapers report that the Prime Minister is to make a broadcast, will the right hon. Gentleman take the opportunity of making his own views on the Beveridge Report known to the nation?

Is it the Government's intention to introduce during the war the proposals in the Beveridge Report which they have accepted?

I am not prepared to add at all to the statements which were made during the three days' Debate followed by a Division which took place so recently.

But as there was considerable doubt in the minds of hon. Members as to the Government's intentions in point of time, is it not possible for my right hon. Friend, who so far has not made any pronouncement on this important subject and whose opinion we should value very highly, to say whether it is intended to introduce these proposals during the war?

I was asked a Question whether I had any further statement to make upon this subject, and I replied that I had nothing to add to the statement of my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister on 2nd March, which was to the effect that it is too soon for the Government to say when they will be able to make a further statement. Therefore, I considered that I have answered the Question on the Paper.


asked the Minister without Portfolio whether the small body of experienced persons who will be concerned with bringing the Beveridge proposals into legislative form has yet been appointed; and whether he can give their names?

As was stated in the House by my right hon. Friend the Lord President of the Council, the greater part of the work involved in the preparation of the necessary legislation will have to be carried out by the Departments concerned. The small central staff which, under my direction, will deal with those matters which are not the concern of any existing Department, and will co-ordinate the development of the work as a whole, has been selected. It consists of seven civil servants of standing, seconded for the most part from the Departments concerned, but as my hon. Friend will appreciate, it is not our practice to refer to civil servants by name.