From a Special Correspondent One of the most persistent champions in Parliament for a system of family allowances is Miss Eleanor Rathbone, the Independent Member for Combined Universities. She has just written an important pamphlets stating the case for " an immediate introduction of a system of family allowances,"
Miss Rathbone does not favour, except as an experiment, private schemes of family allowances made by individual firms because "they offer the employer an inducement to prefer employing single men."
She is also opposed to schemes covering only large families that is schemes that give payment only with the third or fourth child and after in a family. Her objection is " that schemes covering only large families would benefit so small a proportion of workers—chiefly those restrained through ignorance or by Catholic doctrine from practising contraception—as to be inequitable and, if on a contributory basis, unpopular."
ESTIMATE OF COSTS
Recommended for consideration are State-instituted schemes covering all children in Great Britain under 15, or children under 15 who are of families covered by unemployment insurance.
The cost of such schemes is estimated ; For a State-paid scheme covering all children under 15 at the rate of 5s. a child the Exchequer would have to find £118 million.
For a scheme covering children of parents insured for unemployment— and then only at the rate of 3s. beginningowith the second child—and worked as a contributory insurance scheme, the share that the State would have to pay would be flii million.
Miss Rathbone herself favours " the bold imaginative scheme," which is the allowance of 5s. for every child of under fifteen.
Catholics in Britain have of late, through the writings of individual priests and laymen in the CATHOLIC HERALD, through the work of discussion and survey by the Catholic Social Guild and the Young Christian Workers, and in other ways, shown their consciousness of the importance of evolving some plan that will give to the family a living wage.
. Obtainable from the Family Endowment Society, 27, Marshara Street, 5.W.1, price 6d.