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    Naturevolume 150pages753755 (1942) | Download Citation



    SIR WILLIAM BEVERIDGE'S report on social insurance and allied services* has already been widely discussed, and it seems desirable to put on record its main features. The report includes, in discharge of its first duty, a comprehensive survey of social insurance and allied services as they exist to-day in Britain. This survey, showing just what provision is made, and how it is made, for different forms of need, is set out in Appendix B. The picture presented shows that provision for most of the many varieties of need through interruption of earnings and other causes that may arise in modern industrial communities has already been made in Britain on a scale not surpassed and scarcely rivalled in any other country. In respect of limitation of medical services Britain's achievement falls seriously short of what has been accomplished elsewhere, and its provision for cash benefit for maternity and funerals and its system for workmen's compensation are behind other countries. Secondly, social insurance and the allied services, as they exist to-day, are conducted by a complex of disconnected administrative organs, proceeding on different principles, doing invaluable service but at a cost in money and trouble for which there is no justification. In a system of social security better on the whole than can be found in almost any other country, there are serious deficiencies ; by closer co-ordination, the existing social services could be made at once more beneficial and more intelligible to those whom they serve and more economical in their administration.

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