And now, William Beveridge as a politician
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…
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