The Beveridge Report has good claims to be the single most important government report and white paper in our history. It also had a political importance, something Beveridge himself realised when he leaked its contents, by instalment, in the run up to publication, and continued to campaign for it thereafter.
The LSE, of which Beveridge had been director until 1937, has an archive of Beveridge’s papers, which the list of which pertaining to the report clearly show the way in which the report was a political issue, and the way in which Beveridge was active in campaigning. See the list here.
The report became a national best-seller and an international sensation. The political pressure generated proved unstoppable, despite the missing a of the government (and especially Churchill), just at a time when victory began to be conceivable. The way Beveridge uses the Atlantic Charter (the Anglo-American charter agreed by Churchill and Roosevevlt, which post facto became something like an agreed statement of war aims), and taps into the nascent popular aspirations for a better and fairer post-war Britain that we often refer to as the New Jersualem, show an acute political intelligence at work.
Did Beveridge set an agenda that would help bring about the famous leftward shift that would deliver Labour the landslide in 1945?