Skip to main content

1942 Beveridge Report

William Beveridge (1879-1963) was a social economist who in November 1942 published a report titled, 'Social Insurance and Allied Services' that would provide the blueprint for social policy in post-war Britain. Beveridge had been drawn to the idea of remedying social inequality while working for the Toynbee Hall charitable organisation in East London. He saw that philanthropy was simply not sufficient in such circumstances and a coherent government plan would be the only sufficent action. By the outbreak of war, Beveridge found himself working in Whitehall where he was commissioned to lead an inquiry into social services. His vision was to battle against what he called the five giants; idleness, ignorance, disease, squalor and want. His 'cradle to the grave' social programme that amongst other proposals called for a free national health service alienated some politicians but it struck a chord with the public and this would influence Clement Atlee's Labour Government to implement these ideas.

Social Insurance and Allied Services (Beveridge Report)



Catalogue number

Parliamentary Archives, BBK/D/495