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Clear blue water?The Conservative Party and the welfare state since 1940$
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Robert M. Page

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781847429865

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847429865.001.0001

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From war to peace: the Conservatives and the welfare state in the 1940s

From war to peace: the Conservatives and the welfare state in the 1940s

(p.19) Two From war to peace: the Conservatives and the welfare state in the 1940s
Clear blue water?

Robert M. Page

Policy Press

Developments in the Conservative approach towards the welfare state during the period of Churchill’s wartime coalition government are explored in chapter two. Widespread public criticism of the lukewarm response of many Conservative Ministers and advisers to the Beveridge Report led, subsequently, to a more concerted focus on post-war construction. The 1944 Education Act represented the most significant Coalition reform introducing free secondary schooling for all. A series of White papers were also published detailing commitments to full employment and reforms in social insurance, housing and health. The establishment of the Tory Reform Group in 1943 also signalled the determination on the part of some younger Conservative MPs to steer the party towards a more positive approach towards state welfare.

Keywords:   beveridge report, education act, tory reform group, churchill’s coalition government, wartime social reform

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