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L. B . S ch w ellen b a ch , Secretary
Isador L u b in , Commissioner (o n lea v e)
A . F . H in rich s, A cting Commissioner


Family Allowances in
Various Countries

B ulletin 7^o. 853

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing Office
Washington 25, D. C. - Price 10 cents

Letter o f Transmittal
U n it e d S t a t e s D e p a r t m e n t of L a b o r ,
B u r e a u of L a b o r S t a t is t ic s ,

Washington, D. C., December 5, 1945.
The S e c r e t a r y of L a b o r :
I have the honor to transmit herewith a report on civilian family allowances
in various countries, covering developments in 1944 and 1945. This report was
prepared by Mary T. Waggaman of the Bureau’s Publications Staff.
A. F. H in r ic h s , Acting Commissioner.
Hon. L. B . S c h w e l l e n b a c h ,
Secretary of Labor.


Summary------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------British Empire:
Great Britain________________________________________________________
New Zealand________________________________________________________
Southern Rhodesia________________ ^_________________________________
Union of South Africa________________________________________________
Continental Europe:
Belgium. ____________________________________________________________
Soviet Union________________________________________________________
Latin America:
Uruguay___________________________________ i ------------------------------------United States------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Family allowances in public-school systems___________________________
Legislative proposals-------------------------------------------------------------------------International: Declaration of World Trade-Union Conference committee_
Appendix.— Family-allowance acts in British Empire_____________________




B ulletin T^o. 853 o f the
U nited States Bureau o f Labor Statistics
[Reprinted from the M onthly L ab or R e v ie w , November 1945, with additional data.]

Family Allowances in Various Countries, 1 9 4 4 -4 5 1
Sum m ary

The wastage of youth in war has intensified world interest in the
rising generation, resulting in the extension of child-welfare programs
and in increased action in the special field of civilian family allowances.
In 1944-45 substantial progress was made, which is reviewed in this
During the war three family-allowance measures for civilians were
enacted in the British Empire— the Australian Act of 1941, the Cana­
dian Act of 1944, which became effective July 1, 1945, and the British
Act of 1945.
In New Zealand, under a provision effective October 1, 1944, family
allowances were raised, the gross weekly income limit beyond which
a family is not eligible for these benefits was increased, and further
liberalization has been under discussion. In South Africa, a report
including a recommendation for family allowances was submitted to
the Parliament in 1944, and a select committee was appointed to study
this document. This committee was in turn to make recommendations
to the 1945 legislative session. Proposals for family allowances are also
under consideration in Southern Rhodesia.
In Continental Europe, Belgium provided for family allowances in
its new social-insurance legislation and widened their coverage.
France raised rates of benefits. A social-insurance program recently
drafted for Czechoslovakia contains provision for children's allowances.
In Rumania, employees and laborers of private industrial and com­
mercial enterprises have been entitled to a family bonus since July 1,
1944. Soviet Russia has increased its appropriations for large families.
In Spain, an increase in the rate of allowances and a more intensive
application of the family-allowance system to agriculture were
effected. Strengthening of the family-allowance provisions and a
liberalization of regulations took place in the Swiss Cantons. Within
the past 12 months, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden have taken steps
which manifested their interest in easing family financial burdens.
Some developments in the field of family allowances in the period
under review are recorded for at least 5 Latin American countries—
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay. Colombia's new
labor law makes reference to possible consideration of family responsi­
bilities in the determination of wages.
In the United States in 1944-45, the salary schedules in a relatively
small number of public school systems included supplements for
teachers with family responsibilities. Aid for dependent children under
1For developments in earlier years, see Bulletins No. 764 and N o. 803.


the Social Security Act in the calendar year 1944 exceeded $135,000,000. From July 1, 1942, through April 30, 1945, $7,063,138,895 was
disbursed in family allowances for the dependents of the Army, Navy,
and Coast Guard personnel, $2,599,590,939 being contributed by the
members of the Armed Forces themselves. The provision of $50,000,000 in the 1946 Appropriation Act for the Department of Agriculture
for school lunches might be regarded as a grant for children’s allowances
in kind. Other proposed benefits, such as large lump-sum birth
bonuses, an appropriation of $150,000,000 for student aid in behalf of
certain youth under 21 years continuing their education or training,
and a “ basic food-allotment” system, are close to the border line of
child endowment. Demands for higher pay and for a guaranteed
annual wage are becoming more frequent.
General trends in fam ily allowances.—There appears to be a growing
tendency to correlate family allowances with credit for dependents
under income-tax legislation, which emphasizes the fact that children
of parents in the very low income brackets receive little or no benefit
from such exemptions.
The controversy between the advocates of family allowances in cash
and of allowances in kind seems to be developing into a compromise
which would provide for both types of benefits. For example, a recent
British article states that “ cash allowances and social services should
not be regarded as alternatives but as different facets of a common
policy.” 2
That family allowances are becoming more acceptable to organized
labor is indicated in the recent annual interviews of delegations from
the principal Canadian federations of labor with members of the
Dominion Cabinet and the statements of British labor representatives
in parliamentary debates. These allowances were recommended in the
declaration of the Committee on Postwar Reconstruction and Immedi­
ate Trade Union Demands at the World Trades Union Conference at
London in February 1945. A delegate from the Congress of Indus­
trial Organizations was chairman of the committee.
British E m pire

The British Family Allowances Act of June 15, 1945 (8 and 9
Geo. 6, ch. 41), will bring into being a reform advocated since World
War I. According to estimates by the Government, approximately
2,500,000 families with 2 or more children will come under the act,
and about 4,400,000 children will be eligible for allowances. It is
estimated that the law will entail an annual cost of £57,000,000.4
The cash allowances are to be supplemented, under the new Education
Act, by free milk and meals to school children, at an ultimate cost of
£60,000,000 per annum.
Major 'provisions.— The act, which is based largely upon the pro­
posal for family allowances in the Beveridge Report on Social Security
and the subsequent White Paper on the subject, provides for an
2 The Highway (London), April 1945 (p. 99).
3 Data are from 8 and 9 Geo. 6, ch. 41; British Speeches of the D ay (British Information Services), April
1945 (p. 300); Canadian Labor Gazette (Ottawa), June 1945 (p. 812); and Parliamentary Debates, March 8,
4 Average exchange rate of British pound in July 1945, free=$4,029.

allowance to every family including 2 or more children, at the rate of
5 shillings per week for each child in the family except the eldest. A
“ child” is defined as a person under (he upper limit of the compulsory
school age; or one oyer that age until August 1 next following his or
her sixteenth birthday, if attending school full time or apprenticed.
Beneficiaries include the own child or children of a man and wife
living together and other children being maintained by them; or the
own child or children of a man not living with his wife or having no
wife, and any children maintained by him; or those of a woman not
living with her husband or having no husband, and any children main­
tained by her.
Children who are already receiving benefits under the Poor Law Act,
1930, or under the Widows', Orphans' and Old Age Contributory
Pensions Act, 1936, are not to be treated as included in any family.
Adjustments are to be made in cases of children for whom equivalent
grants are receivable under provisions for the naval, military, and
air forces and for war injuries.
Certain residential requirements are specified, but reciprocal ar­
rangements are permitted with other parts of the British Dominions
having similar legislation.
Allowances for the family of a man and his wife living together are
receivable by either parent. Such grants are inalienable.
A penalty of imprisonment not to exceed 3 months, or a fine not
exceeding 50 pounds, is provided for wrongfully obtaining or receiving
these benefits. Any person contravening or failing to comply with
the regulations made under this act “ shall be liable on summary
conviction to a fine not exceeding 10 pounds.”
Allowances will be considered as taxable income, but the income-tax
exemption of £50 per child will be continued.
The act becomes operative on such date as may be determined by
the Minister of National Insurance.
Attitude oj labor.— The change of attitude of the British Trades
Union Congress on the subject of family allowances, noted in previous
articles in the Monthly Labor Review, was described as follows dur­
ing the Parliamentary debates on the new measure:
Now opinion has changed, and the T. U. C., as well as the political movement
to which I am privileged to belong, have declared themselves in favor of familyendowment, or family allowances, on the principles laid down in this bill. There
are two reasons for that. We think now of this great principle which we are
establishing, in a modest way, today not as something by itself, but as part of a
great comprehensive social-insurance scheme by which we shall provide security
for our people. It is in that sense that we have to consider this bill today, not
in isolation but in relationship to the other schemes which are forthcoming. It
is part of the National Insurance scheme, part of the complete structure which
eventually—and in the not-too-distant future— we hope we shall build. I think
another reason for the change in public opinion generally, and particularly in our
own movement, on this subject, is the fine pioneering work done in this matter,
as in every other kind of social security matter, by the Labor Government in
New Zealand.

In Australia, during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1944, the sum of
£12,256,976 ® wais disbursed for 921,973 children under 16 years of
* Data are from Bulletin of Child Welfare League of America (N ew Y ork), February 1945; Australia
(Australian News and Information Bureau, New Y ork), July 1945; Montreal (Can.) Gazette, June 27,1945
(p. 17); and Australian Worker (Sydney), January 10,1945,
* Average exchange rate of Australian pound in 1944-*

age, under the Child Endowment Act. This act, which came into
effect July 1, 1941, was amended on June 30, 1942, to include children
in Government charitable institutions approved by the Minister of
Social Service. Previously only private charitable institutions had
been covered, except when the maintenance cost of the child was paid
partly or entirely by the parent or guardian.
Table 1 gives the amounts disbursed under this act for the 3 fiscal
years ending June 30, 1944:
T a b le 1^ S ta tistic s o f Child Endowment in Australia, 3 Years Ending June 3 0, 1942,
1943, and 1944
Endowed families



of chil­

N um ber




N um ber
of chil­

Pounds *



inn* an, 1944 __
an, iQ4a
June 30,1942.............................................

amount paid
to endowees
and ap­

i l l

Year ending—

of en­

i Average exchange rate of pound in period 1942-44=$3,228.

Under an act passed in June 1945, the rate of benefit was increased
from 5s. to 7s. 6d. a week for each child under 16 years of age, with the
exception of the first. There is no means test. This amendment
affects 935,411 children and will, it is estimated, add $22,100,000 per
annum to Government expenditures.
With certain specified exceptions the endowment is paid to the
mother. (The term “ mother” under the act includes a stepmother or
foster mother or the wife of a man maintaining an adopted child.)
Mothers in Australia also receive a bonus of $16 when a child is bom
and a maternity benefit of $4 per week for 8 weeks. The great
-majority of Australians are members of hospital benefit funds which
include free hospitalization for maternity care.
The first child in the family is not endowed. It is the belief of the
Commonwealth Arbitration Court that “ the basic-wage family
[parents and one child] should be assured of adequate nutrition, but
that nutrition and clothing became matters of concern as the number
of children increased.” Although efforts are still being made for the
extension of endowment to the first child, the cost of such an extension
is a. hindrance. It was estimated, even before the mid-1945 liberaliza­
tion of the rate, that endowment of the first child would cost
£11,000,000 a year.
The Director-General of Social Services in Australia stated that
since the passage of the original act, in 1941, some decline in mortality
among children has been apparent and their health and happiness have
shown improvement. No spectacular rise in the birth rate is claimed,
but to the degree that parents of large families have had some relief
from economic harassments, the tendency of the scheme “ must be in
the direction of improving the rate.” An incomplete survey indicated
that the majority of the beneficiaries were making “ good use” of the
allowances under the Child Endowment Act and were applying the
grants for the purposes for which they are made.

The Western Australian Commissioner of Native Affairs was quoted
as declaring—
Whilst it is obvious to me that, generally speaking, the native children are
better dressed and in better health because of payment o f child endowment, there
have been correspondingly good features arising from payments to endowees.
Until recently there was a good deal of simple mating between detribalized parents
but now there is a definite tendency towards the social question of marriage, and
noticeably, too, there is more desire for the education of native children.

In Australia, as in various other countries, the war has accentuated
sharply the fact of the shrinkage in the birth rate, leading the Acting
Prime Minister of the Commonwealth to make the following comment:
We must make a realistic approach to the population problem. Australia has
3 million square miles but carries only 7,300,000 people. In prewar days the
sharp fall of the birth rate pointed to a decline in Australian population within
the next 3 decades. History will some day reveal how close Australia was to
being overrun. Divine Providence was on our side. We might not be given
another chance.

The Canadian Family Allowances Act of August 1944 became oper­
ative on July 1, 1945. Under this statute, a monthly allowance is
payable from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, for each child under 16
years of age resident in Canada and maintained wholly or substan­
tially by the parent.8 The scale of payments for the first four children
is as follows:
Amount per child

Under 6 years of age_______________________________
6 and under 10 years of age________________________
10 and under 13 years of age_______________________
13 and under 16 years of age_______________________


For a fifth child maintained by the parent the above rates of allowance
are reduced by $1;® for the sixth and seventh children, by $2 each;
and for the eighth and each subsequent child, by $3 each. The grants
must be applied “ exclusively toward the maintenance, care, training,
education, and advancement of the child.” Benefits may be discon­
tinued if they are not properly applied.
It has been decided administratively that the allowance shall be
paid to the mother or to the female person (if any) taking the place
of the mother. Special arrangements will be made in regard to Indian
and Eskimo families, the latter to be granted allowances in kind
rather than in cash.
Official estimates by the Department of National Health and Wel­
fare indicate that the total disbursements in family allowances for a
full year, if all eligible children are registered, will total $253,560,000,
payable to about 1% million families, for about 3% million children.
The expenditure is given as a gross figure, no account being taken of
refunds to the Government through reduced tax exemptions, which
it is anticipated will aggregate about $50,000,000. The scheme is
entirely a Federal project, both financially and administratively.*
7 Data are from report from Homer S. Fox, commercial attach^, United States Embassy, Ottawa, July 6,
1945 (N o. 190); American Sociological Review, June 1945; Public Welfare (American Public Welfare Associa­
tion, Chicago), August 1945; Revenge of the Cradles, b y C .E .S ilcox (Toronto, Ryerson Press, 1945); Public
Affairs (Dalhousie University, Halifax), Winter 1945; Trades and Labor Congress Journal (Montreal),
M a y 1945; and Canadian Labor Gazette (Ottawa), M ay 1945.
• “ Parent” means any person who maintains or has custody of a child. The term does not include an
•Average exchange rate of Canadian dollar=90.9 cents.

Family allowances and tax exemptions jor dependents.—The familyallowance scheme has been so devised that it will be of assistance
only to families in the lower income brackets. Families having an
income of over $3,000 benefit only by tax exemptions for dependents.
In the last census year— 1941—upon which some of the estimates
relative to family allowances are based, 300,384 persons were assessed
for income tax, 66.7 percent of whom had incomes not exceeding $3,000.
By 1944 the number of taxpayers had risen to 2,450,000, of which 1,290,000
had incomes of $2,000 or less, and 595,000 had incomes between $2,000 and $3,000,
leaving a balance of 565,000 with incomes above the level at which any benefit
from family allowances is obtainable. While not all of this last group (probably
only a minority) have dependent children, the number is perhaps sufficient, added
to the number in the $l,200-$3,000 income bracket benefiting only partially from
the allowances, to make a substantial reduction in the net total allowances pay­
able by the Government.

The legislation is expected to increase the buying power of the
Nation and consequently to provide additional employment. As it
is officially estimated that 84 percent of the children under 16 are
dependent on only 19 percent of the gainfully employed, it is also
claimed that the disbursement of funds in family allowances “ will be
far more effective and equitable than an equal amount of money dis­
tributed in increased wages or salaries, without reference to unequal
needs.” The statute also tends to rectify the previous anomalous
situation which resulted from the financial advantage through incometax exemptions which were accorded to persons in the middle and
higher income groups, but not to those in the low income groups (as
family heads with incomes under $1,200 were not liable for income
tax, the exemptions for dependents did not, of course, affect them).
The following tabulation shows the proportion of actual benefit
receivable from family allowances which will be canceled by 1945
income-tax adjustment for married persons and persons having a
married status (other than those in the armed forces): 1
Percentage of family
allowance to be canceled
by lessening the incometax deduction

Amount of taxable income:
Not over $1,200_________________________________
Over $1,200 but not over $1,400__________________ 10
Over $1,400 but not over $1,600__________________ 20
Over $1,600 but not over $1,800__________________ 30
Over $1,800 but not over $2,000__________________ 40
Over $2,000 but not over $2,200__________________ 50
Over $2,200 but not over $2,400__________________ 60
Over $2,400 but not over $2,600__________________ 70
Over $2,600 but not over $2.800________________
Over $2,800 but not over $3,000__________________ 90
Over $3,000_____________ _____ __________________ 100

Adjustments for members of the armed forces, and for single per­
sons supporting children, would differ somewhat from the above.
Public attitude toward the law.—Comment on the family-allowance
legislation ranges from laudatory approval to highly caustic criticism.
For example, the act has been described, on the one hand, as “ much
the most ambitious social measure ever to be enacted by Parliament,”
“ a great instrument for combating want,” and “ the greatest single
reform since the adoption of free education,” and, on the other, has
been declared to be “ probably the most precipitate and indefensible
m The

1945 income-tax arrangement is temporary, pending amendment of the tax law.

piece of legislation which a civilized Government has ever ventured
to pass in wartime.”
It has been charged that the act is unconstitutional, probably be­
cause, under the British North American Act, it is primarily the
responsibility of the Provinces to enact social-welfare measures.
Attitude of organized labor.—The new legislation has received little
criticism from organized labor, which until recent years feared that
the granting of family allowances would adversely affect its claim for
increased wages. However, the rise of wage scales in both Australia
and New Zealand since they have had child-endowment acts has
tended, according to some observers, to allay such fears. At the 1945
annual interviews of representatives of several of the major federated
labor organizations of Canada with Dominion Cabinet ministers,
references were made to family allowances. The Canadian Trades
and Labor Congress recommended such grants, but stated that they
must not take the place of an adequate wage rate, and that the Con­
gress would continue its efforts “ to achieve the proper wage level as a
basic need for workers and their families as a fundamental condition
for continued prosperity.” The Canadian Congress of Labor also
endorsed family allowances with a similar proviso.
The Canadian and Catholic Confederation of Labor recommended
that family allowances should not be substituted for decent minimum
wages, and advocated that the grant for the fifth child and subsequent
children should not be decreased.
Administration of act— It is said that the success of this venture in
family allowances will depend largely upon the administration of the
statute, and that the administrative features are more complex than
they seem or have been reported to be.
Since the passage of the measure through the Canadian House of
Commons, a new department has been established by the Dominion
Government for the administration of health and welfare services,
and two Deputy Ministers have been appointed, one for health and
the other for welfare.
According to a writer in the winter 1945 number of Public Affairs,
“ If the Federal Government is not discerning enough to work out a
coordinated plan with the Provinces and the municipalities in dealing
with the social service aspects of family allowances, we will have lost
one of our best opportunities for promoting social progress.”
N E W Z E A L A N D 11

In New Zealand, under a measure effective October 1, 1944, the
allowable gross income in relation to family benefits was raised to
£5 10s. (exclusive of the family benefits), and the weekly benefits for
each dependent child under 16 years of age was raised from 7s. 6d. to
10s.1 Further changes have been proposed. Thus the New Zealand
Standard (official organ of the Labor Party) in its issue of March 1,
1945, suggested that one way of coming to the aid of the lower-bracket
taxpayer with children, without raising the benefits of those who can
afford to pay, would be to eliminate the tax exemption for children
1 Data are from New Zealand, a Working Democracy, by Walter Nash?(New York, Duell, Sloan, and
Pearce, 1943); New Zealand Standard, February 8, March 1, and April 26, 1945; New Zealand Newsletter,
April 1945, and information supplied to the Bureau of Labor Statistics b y the New Zealand Legation in
1 Average exchange rate of N ew Zealand pound (20 shillings) in 1944=$3.24.
677152°—46----- 2

and substitute an income-tax credit of 10s. per week per child. In
the same publication, April 26, 1945, a Member of Parliament was
quoted as predicting that after the war family allowances will be
extended to all persons. In his opinion, the means test, in connection
with family allowances, meant in numerous cases that an increase in
wages was of little benefit to a worker.
Minimum-family-income legislation proposed by the Government
would provide a man and wife with an income of not less than £4 per
week; any lower earnings, pension, benefit or income would be aug­
mented by social-security grants in amounts necessary to raise tne
income to that minimum.
In New Zealand free apples and milk are distributed to school
children and free dental treatment is given them in special clinics.a

The question of family allowances has been raised in India. The
Bulletin of the Indian Federation of Labor (Delhi) of April 1944,
contained an article in which it was said—
Size of a worker's family is always expanding. * * * If no provision is
made for the members in addition to the average size of the family, then the
standard of living of the family is bound to go down. * * * A lower average
per consumption unit would mean driving the family to make severe inroads on
their health. For it would be impossible even by exercising the extreme frugality
to make adequate arrangement for bare necessities. A system of wages should,
therefore, take account of these facts and expand with the expanding size of the
family. A system of family allowance with an equalization fund is, therefore,
suggested. The average size of the family should be fixed and allowance made
only in respect of children in excess of the average number.

Since January 1944 a scheme for supplying free milk has been in
operation in Bombay City. In the first quarter of that year, 38,764
children each were receiving half a pound of milk a day, served from
13 labor welfare centers.1

In the South African Journal of Economics of March 1945, reference
is made to proposals under consideration in Southern Rhodesia for a
social security scheme which would include family allowances.

The South Africa Social Security Committee appointed in January
1943 included in its recommendations for social security, family
allowances for large families. This report was given to Parliament
during the 1944 session, and the House of Assembly appointed a select
committee to consider the recommendations. In turn the select
committee recommended that a modified social-insurance scheme
should be prepared for introduction at the 1945 session of Parliament.1
Accordingly an interdepartmental committee was appointed for this
purpose, but no information is available as to whether these proposals
have yet been submitted to Parliament.
» For additional data on Great Britain, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, see appendix, p. 21.
1 International Labor Review (Montreal), September 1944 (p. 384).
1 Outline of Postwar Reconstruction (Union of South Africa, Pretoria, 1944).

Continental E urope
B E L G IU M 15

Under the Belgian social-security legislation of December 28, 1944,
a national office was established in the Ministry of Labor and Social
Welfare to collect and allocate contributions payable under this meas­
ure by employers and workers for various purposes, among them
increased rates of family allowances.
An order of December 29, 1944, raised the monthly rates from
January 1, 1945, to 115 francs each for the first and second child, 160
francs for the third child, 210 francs for the fourth, and 300 francs for
the fifth and subsequent children.1
For orphans the above rates are doubled. A worker's right to
family allowances continues when he is sick or injured in an accident
for which he is entitled to a pension, provided his degree of incapacity
is not less than 66 percent. Should the worker's death be the result
of an industrial accident or an occupational disease, his children are
eligible for family allowances for the period designated in the Family
Allowances Act of August 4, 1930. When a child is bom for whom a
family allowance is payable under that law, the fund must grant 1,000
francs for the first child and 500 francs for each succeeding child.
The order of December 29, 1944, instituted substantial changes in
earlier legislation, especially in permitting recognized independent
funds and special funds to call upon their members for an additional
contribution in order to secure “ certain family benefits other than sup­
plementary family allowances." The new ordei; also simplefies the
administration of the family-allowance system and eliminates some
inequalities that in the past have been the subject of criticism.

The Czechoslovak Government has recognized that the liberation of
the country affords an opportunity to reorganize the whole scheme of
social insurance, which at present includes no provision for children's
allowances. At the Government's request, Prof. Emil Schoenbaum,
actuarial adviser of the International Labor Office, prepared a program
for “ the reconstruction of social insurance in Czechoslovakia," which
contains the following paragraph concerning children's allowances.
“ Use can be made of the organisation of territorial institutions (dis­
trict insurance institutions) as pay offices for the proposed grants to
large families, consisting of allowances for each child except the first,
the first two, etc. This scheme could be financed either directly by
the State, or with the participation of employers and employees,
depending on the financial situation. It should be put into force only
after the completion of thorough administrative and financial prepara­
D E N M A R K 18

Following wage increases that were accorded to workers in Denmark
in August 1944, a voluntary agreement was reached in regard to
1 Data are from International Labor Review (Montreal), April 1945 (p. 527); and Great Britain,
M inistry of Labor Gazette, (London), March 1945 (p. 47).
1 Exchange rate of Belgian franc, set September 1944=2.28 cents.
w Internationa] Labor Review (Montreal), February 1945.
1 Data are from report (N o. LI) b y Richard A . Forsyth, labor attache, and M . Holmgren, United State*
Legation, Copenhagen, July 1, 1945; and airgram from Stockholm, Novem ber 13. 1944.

salary advances for civil servants, effective November 1,1944. Under
the agreement, unmarried State employees receive a cost-of-living
allowance of 80 kroner additional, per annum; for married employees,
40 kroner extra are added, raising their allowance to 120 kroner.1
About 70,000 State employees are covered by this agreement, which
costs the Government 7,000,000 kroner a year.
Similar cost-of-living allowances are paid to 25,000 municipal em­
ployees in Copenhagen, at an annual cost to that city of approxi­
mately 2,500,000 kroner. These supplements were likewise effective
from November 1, 1944.
On M ay 9, 1945, at the opening of the first postliberation parliamen­
tary session, the Social Democratic Prime Minister submitted the
Governments program. That program among other matters relative
to the social and labor conditions in Denmark, set forth the following
policy: “ Until wages match the real wage level as it was before the
war the present rebate system for people of small means will be
maintained with particular regard to big families.” Under the rebate
system mentioned, it is reported, in the fiscal year 1942-43, the sum of
67 million kroner was disbursed to consumers in direct foodstuff
rebates, and 22 million kroner in the form of clothing rebate coupons.

On October 3,1944, the Minister of Labor and Social Security issued
a circular requesting the chairmen of the family-allowance equalization
funds to admit to the benefits of such funds the family heads who had
refused to perform compulsory labor for the Germans and conse­
quently had received no allowances for some time. The funds were to
be reimbursed, for any sums so paid, by the Central Committee for
Family Allowances from a special fund constituted from contributions
by German enterprises.
After the general increases in French wages in the fall of 1944, an
order was issued on October 17 of that year which appreciably bettered
the living conditions of families of wage earners. This order, effective
(beginning September 1, 1944) for 6 months (but later extended to
December 31, 1945), provided not only for larger family allowances
but also for increases in the birth bonus for the first child and in “ singlewage allowances.” The increase in family allowances amounted to 80
percent for families having 2 or 3 children and to 50 percent for families
having more than 3. Table 2 shows benefits under the old and amend­
ed plan in the Department of the Seine.
On January 6, 1945, an order, effective February 1, was promul­
gated by the Provisional Government of France, which reorganized
salaries of officials of the Government and civil and military pensions.
According to a communique issued on December 30, 1944, this reform
(1) The fixing of a basic salary for all officials, with a minimum of
36,000 francs 2 a year; (2) the reintroduction of a progressive salary
is In August 1945, the buying rate of the krone in Denmark was quoted as 20.79 cents, the selling rate as
20.8 cents.
20 Data are from International Labor Review (Montreal), M ay 1945 (p. 609); Journal Officiel (Paris),
Novem ber 30,1944 (p. 1537); Canadian Trades and Labor Congress Journal (Montreal), M a y 5,1945 (p. 41);
W orld Economics (Washington, D . C .), March-June 1945; and Free France (French Press and Information
Service, N ew Y ork), January 15 and M ay 15, 1945.
21 The “ invasion" exchange rate of the franc was quoted in June 1944 as 2 cents; on October 10,1945, the
exchange rate was quoted as 2.018 cents.

scale for different grades, the maximum annual salary for certain
high officials being fixed at 450,000 francs; (3) the abolition of sub­
sidiary allowances; (4) compulsory savings for all officials whose gross
remuneration exceeds 100,000 francs; (5) increased benefits for officials
with family responsibilities; (6) a revision of all posts created since
16 June 1940 and the introduction of measures to increase efficiency.
T a ble 2.— Fam ily Allowances in the Department o f the Seine, France, Effective
September 1, 1944
Amount of allow­

Amount of allow­
Size of family

Size of family

Family allowances to families
2 children..... ......................
3 children............................
4 children............................
5 children.............................
6 children............................

Sept. 1,

Francs *

Francs 2


2,025. G

Family allowances and single
wage allowances 1 to fami­
lies with—
1 ch ild .................................
2 children............................
3 children..................... .......
4 children..................... .......
5 children............................
6 children............................

Sept. 1,

Francs 2 Francs2
2, 700.00


1 T he “ single-wage allowance” is payable to families of wage earners and public officials who receive
income from one source of employment only.
2Exchange rate of French franc in Novem ber 1944 was quoted as 2 cents.

As an outcome of many representations by the French Seamen’s
Union, allotment notes and family allowances, which under the Vichy
regime had been discontinued for the families of seamen working for
the Allies, have been resumed. As the decision is retroactive, those
who were excluded from any allotment or allowance in the 1940-44
period are entitled to receive the full arrears. Pending final settle­
ment, lump sums of 3,000 francs for the wife or each parent, and
1,000 francs for each child dependent on the seamen, were paid.
Population problems.—At present 6 million of the 40 million inhab­
itants of France are elderly people. “ If France is to live, if she is to
enter upon a bold and progressive program of military, social, and
economic development, she must necessarily have a more youthful
population, and she can if society welcomes children and if the State
supports the family.” This declaration was made in the May 15,
1945, issue of Free France. The same publication reported the
establishment of a Secretary-Generalship for Families and Popula­
tion, in the Ministry of Public Health; an Advisory Committee on
Families and Population connected with the Office of the Premier;
and an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Families and Population.
A population institute, it was stated, would be founded in the near
future. A vigorous campaign will be carried on to reduce the high
death rate, combat disease and alcoholism, and organize social secu­
rity and health instruction and improve child care. Existing privi­
leges for families with children will be increased; among these the
system of family allowances is listed.

The “ cardinal importance” of population growth in France was
stressed in the March-June 1945 issue of World Economics as follows:
The French birth rate has been steadily declining. During the German occu­
pation it fell further, from 650,000 to 400,000 a year. While a falling birth rate
is a general trend in Western Europe, the density of the French population does
not compare favorably with that of other countries of Europe. French patriots
will not easily forget what happened to the 40 million French population when
confronted practically alone with 80 million Germans. More and more encour­
agement will be given to large families. Family allowances, which were ridicu­
lously low in prewar France, will become a steadily growing component of the
family income. Wages and salaries will evolve more and more from an individ­
ualistic to a family basis.

In 1944, two legislative decrees were issued in Italy on family
allowances. No. 303, of November 2, granted a cost-of-living allow­
ance of 5 lire a d a y 2 for each dependent of all workers entitled to
family allowances except agricultural workers. However, in accord­
ance with the same decree, all workers in the latter group were granted
a flat increase of 10 lire.
Decree No. 307, of November 9, provided a more substantial
increase in benefits, and also removed some of the inequalities in­
cluded in the Fascist laws on family allowances. The average allow­
ance per child is computed under the previous law and is raised by
50 percent. As a consequence, the total increase for small families
is somewhat over 50 percent and for large families somewhat less
than 50 percent. The decree raised to 3,000 lire per month per
worker the amount upon which family-allowance fund assessments
might be computed, and the Government agreed, under this measure,
to meet any deficit in the fund up to 350 million lire, as a result of
higher payments. Grants are to be made for parents and grand­
parents only when they live with the worker. Formerly, banking and
insurance and agricultural workers were not eligible for benefits for
grandparents, and industrial and banking and insurance workers were
entitled to benefits for parents who did not reside with them.
Five other decrees had not yet become law. These, respectively,
provide for a representation of labor and management on the Special
Committee on Family Allowances, broaden the salary bases for com­
puting assessments for the Family Allowance Fund, provide for future
limitation, by decree, of the types of remuneration on which such
assessments may be computed, increase to 3,600 lire the maximum
amount of monthly remuneration per worker subject to assessment,
and provide for a cost-of-living bonus of 104 lire a month to industrial
workers and to clerical workers in agriculture, and a bonus of 95 lire
to workers in other sectors. Under this last-mentioned decree, “ each
worker will receive his own cost-of-living bonus directly from the
employer, while the bonus for his dependents will be paid along with
his family-allowance allotment. The decree is effective as of March
1, 1945, and pending its publication instructions have been given the
Istituto Nazionale Previdenze Sociale to pay advances to workers.”
2 Data are from report from John Clarke Adams, labor attache at United States Embassy at Rome.
June 25, 1945 (N o. 107).
2 The Allied M ilitary Government established, in July 1943, for the liberated portion of Italy, an ex­
change rate of 1 lire for 1 cent.

The following table, gives the amounts payable in family allow­
ances and cost-of-living bonuses.
T a b le 3.— Ordinary F am ily Allowances and C ost-of-Living Supplements in Italy,
March 1945 1
For each child


Industry (weekly allowance):2
Manual workers. ____ _____________
Clerical workers

Agriculture (daily allowance):8
Clerical workers_____________________
Others............. ..........................................
Commerce, arts, and professions (month­
ly allowance):4
Manual workers.
Clerical workers


For each parent

For the wife




























1 According to legislative decree of the Lieutenant General, N ov. 9,1944 (N o. 307), with corrections made
according to draft of decree described as N o. 5, in report N o. 107 (see p. 12).
2 Assessments (paid b y employer)—amount: 20 percent on first 3,600 lire of gross m onthly salary.
» Assessments (paid b y employer)—amount: 20 percent of first 3,600 lire of gross m onthly salary (other
than clerical workers).
4 Assessments (paid b y employer)—amount: 14.8 percent of first 3,600 lire of gross m onthly salary.


Under a Royal Resolution of July 20,1945, a wage supplement from
Norwegian public funds may be granted those who are not usually
employed in agriculture, but who are so employed during the existing
manpower shortage. This wage supplement is 1 krone 2 per working
day, plus 1 krone per dependent Qpar0rende) up to a maximum of 5
kroner a day.

According to a decision of the Rumanian Office of Price Administra­
tion employees and laborers of private industrial, commercial, and
transportation enterprises from July 1, 1944, “ are entitled to a family
bonus in addition to their salaries.” State employees and laborers are
not included in this provision, as their status and salaries are regulated
by a special code.
Under the decree, laborers are entitled to a bonus of 1,000 le i2
per month, or 40 lei per shift, for each child under 14 years. For
children who are not able to work or children attending school (except
apprentices) the allowances may be paid up to 16 years of age. For
office workers in private enterprises the allowance is 1,000 lei for each
son or daughter under 21 years, as long as such child receives no salary.
If both parents are employed, the allowance based on their family
responsibility is granted to only one of them.
In cases in which family allowances are being paid at a rate higher
than that here provided, no reduction is to be made.
The allowance may be paid in kind—that is, in food or clothing—if
the workers agree to such procedure.
Enforcement of the regulations is vested in the Control Officers of
the Office of Price Administration.
■ 2 Lkens N ytt fra Norge (R oyal Norwegian Information Service, Washington), August 9,1945 (p. 227).
Exchange rate of krone in M a y 1945 was quoted as 20.175 cents.
2 Official exchange rate of lei, April 1,1941, to April 1945, was a little over one-half cent.


On July 8, 1944, a decree promulgated by the Presidium of the
Supreme Soviet of the U. S. S. R. provided for an increase of Govern­
ment assistance to pregnant women, mothers of large families, and
unmarried mothers; better protection for mothers and children; and
institution of the honorary title “ Mother Heroine,” and of the Order
of Glory of Motherhood, and the Motherhood Medal.2 In the 12
months following the issuance of this decree, People’s Commissar of
Health Protection of the U. S. S. R. Miterev reports:2 “ One and a
half billion rubles 2 in State allowances were paid to hundreds of
thousands of mothers. In this period tens of thousands of mothers
were decorated with the orders and medals created by the decree.
The honorary title of ‘Mother Heroine’ was conferred on hundreds of

In a report giving social-insurance statistics for Spain, published in
the International Labor Review (Montreal), July 1944, the following
statements are made:
The largest benefit expenditure has been incurred in respect of family allowances,
which in 1942 accounted for 378 million pesetas,2 including widows1 pensions,
marriage loans, and birth bonuses.
In 1942 the number of workers insured for family allowances, excluding public
officials, was 2,409,526 and the number of families receiving these allowances
was 1,127,774. The family-allowance system recently increased the rate of its
allowances, with the result that in 1944 it is expected that the expenditure will rise
to 776,110,000 pesetas; part of this increase, however, will be due to a more
intensive application of the system to agriculture.
S W E D E N 30

The Swedish Postwar Economic Planning Commission, headed by
Prof. Gunnar Myrdal, submitted to the Government a proposal for
reducing unemployment during depressions by subsidizing sales of
durable consumer goods such as clothes and household equipment.
In addition, it was urged, such a plan would operate to meet a need,
otherwise not satisfied, on the part of large families and families in
which the mother is the only provider. It was estimated that 64,000,000 kronor (about $16,000,000) a year would be required to finance
such subsidized production. The Conservative representatives of
the commission dissented from the above proposal of the majority.
Another proposal aimed at equalizing the economic conditions of
large and small families is that a children’s allowance scheme (barnbidrag) be established covering all children regardless of the income of
their parents, it being argued that the fixing of a maximum income
would discredit the provisibn as “ poor relief.” Such a scheme would
largely replace existing legal provisions favoring large families. In
May 1945 two measures on this subject were rejected by the Swedish
Parliament, which decided to wait for the report of the Population
Commission before taking any action.*
n Information Bulletin of Embassy of Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Washington, D . C .), July 26,
Exchange rate of ruble was quoted in April 1945 as 18.87 cents.
* Exchange rate of gold peseta was quoted in December 1942 as 32.67 cents, of paper peseta as 9.133 cents.
so Data are from report N o. 5772 from cilice of labor attache, United States Embassy, Stockholm, June 30,
1945; and Foreign Commerce Weekly (U. S. Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, Washington),
March 31, 1945.


At the close of December 1944, the purchasing power of the average
Swiss worker was only 92.4 percent of what it was just before the out­
break of the war. This gap between earnings and prices, although
not nearly so wide as in various other European countries, created
much dissatisfaction among the workers. The Federal Counselor
heading the Department of Public Economy promised remedial action.
An interim expedient proposed was the institution of family-allow­
ance funds. Such funds had been established as an emergency
measure during World War I, but had been discontinued; only one
Cantonal fund was in operation in 1939. However, in the period
1941-44, compensation funds for family allowances were again organ­
ized, and on a more comprehensive scale.
Three Cantons, Vaud, Geneva, and Fribourg, have passed laws
making compulsory the provision of family allowances. The Vaud
act was passed in M ay 1943, the Geneva act in February 1944, and
the Fribourg act in February 1945.
Under the Vaud law, which covered over 90 funds in 1944, every
employer affiliated with the general fund must pay each month (a) an
amount not exceeding 2K percent of the total wages paid in cash or
in kind to its employees working in the Canton, (b) a contribution
toward expenses of administering the fund, and (c) a contribution
toward a reserve fund, but (b) and (c) must not exceed one-half of
1 percent of the employer’s total pay roll. Swiss employees of these
affiliates of the general fund become eligible at the birth of the second
child to a grant of 10 francs3 a month for each legitimate or illegiti­
mate child under 16 years of age; the first child is also included if the
parents have been residents of the Canton for at least 10 years. The
allowances are paid regardless of the parents’ income. An allocatee
must be “ the father or mother of a family, married, divorced, or
widowed, having the legal responsibility and actual charge of the
The Geneva act includes wage earners, manual workers, and office
employees who have lived at least 2 years in the Canton. A monthly
allowance of at least 15 francs is paid for each child under 18 years of
age and in specified circumstances up to 20 years of age. These
grants are made through family-allowance funds.
Under the Fribourg act the provisions are similar, but the allowance
is not so large. As of June 1, 1945, the Fribourg Fund had 95
affiliates and had granted allowances to 1,365 children. One of the
special funds established under the Fribourg act was organized by
peasants and is adapted to agricultural conditions.
Although in theory all of the family-allowance funds are temporary
means adopted to meet an emergency, there is in fact in the Cantons
an apparent trend towards the strengthening of the family-allowance
provisions, as indicated by the compulsory Features of the Vaud and
Fribourg laws. The Vaud measure has been amended several times
for the purpose of providing more definite administrative procedures
and clearing up debatable points. Moreover, a tendency is discern­
ible toward the liberalizing of regulations concerning persons and
conditions covered, the amounts of allowances, and more efficient
3 Data are from reports from Dorothy M . Sells, labor attach^, United States Legation, Bern, June 19
and September 22,1945.
»3 Exchange rate of Swiss franc on M a y 1,1943 *29.1 cents.

reorganization of Cantonal systems. Recently, for example, the
Canton of Vaud reached a decision to supplement the regular family
allowance by a bonus of 45 francs for each birth in the family, and
also to grant allowances to families with only one child.
Latin A m erica 34

Regulation of the payment of family allowances to railway men in
the Argentine Republic was provided for by a decree of July 3, 1944,
retroactive to January 1, 1944. Approximately 150,000 wage earners
and salaried employees were affected.
Family allowances are granted by this decree to railwaymen who have in their
charge legitimate, legitimated, or illegitimate children under 16 years of age, or
under 18 years of age if they are attending industrial or special schools, and with­
out age limit if they are disabled, and to railwaymen who have permanently in
their charge orphans or abandoned children under the same conditions. In order
to obtain a family allowance, the wage or salary of the person concerned must
not exceed 300 pesos a month.3

A “ common fund” was to be formed, supported mainly from the
proceeds of a 2-percent tax on railroad fares and from fines imposed
under the regulations. The Railwaymen’s Pension Fund Section
administers this common fund and determines, every 6 months, the
rate of the allowances, \h.e scale being based upon the available re­
sources. No figures on the amounts paid per child are available.
Allowances are to be paid monthly, along with the wage or salary of
the worker.

A recent decree provided for family subsidies in Bolivian banks.
However, up to June 1945, no regulations had been issued for its
enforcement and the decree was said to be so loosely drafted that
uniformity of application was difficult. One bank was reported to
be paying for all children under 19 years of age, another only for
children of school age, and another was paying no allowances at all.

In 1944 in Brazil, children’s allowances were reported as being paid
to an increasing number of beneficiaries.

Family allowances of 600 pesos3 per month (more in certain Prov­
inces) for each dependent were established in Chile under decree
No. 2500 of June 24, 1944.

In the Colombian labor law passed in February 1945 family re­
sponsibilities were listed as one of the approved bases for differences
in wages of “ workers doing equivalent work for the same employer” ;
other bases listed were those “ of individual ability, of seniority or
experience * * *, or of output.”
8 Data are from International Labor Review (Montreal), June 1945 (pp. 706,792,793); Bulletin of the Pan
American Union (Washington, D . C.) July 1945 (425 p .); and certain confidential sources.
38 Average exchange rate of peso in 1944*29.7 cents.
18 Average exchange rate of Chilean p e$o*in 1944, special»5 cents, free*3 cents.


Regulations for the operation of family-allowance equalization
funds in Uruguay, which had been provided or under Act No. 10449
of November 12, 1943, were issued in a decree of M ay 17, 1944.
United States 3

Payment of family allowances in cash to employed civilian workers
in the United States is confined mainly to teachers in certain publicschool systems. However, aid from Federal, State, and local funds to
dependent children deprived of parental support, which is a rather
close approach to family allowances, totaled over $135,000,000 in the
12 months ending December 31,1944. Federal Government disburse­
ments from July 1, 1942, to April 30, 1945, inclusive, for allowances
for dependents of Army, Navy, and Coast Guard personnel, aggregated
$7,063,138,895; of that amount, $2,599,590,939 was contributed by
the members of the armed forces themselves. A subsidy of 50 mil­
lion dollars for school lunches, included in the appropriation act for
the U. S. Department of Agriculture for the current fiscal year, might
be considered as family allowances in kind.
In some foreign countries, tax exemptions for dependents are being
correlated with family-allowance legislative provisions. In fact, such
exemptions might be considered indirect family allowances, although
the family incomes in the lowest brackets are frequently too low to be
subject to tax or, if so subject, too low to involve exemptions for all the
children in large families. Credits for dependents in the United States
for 1942 including taxable and nontaxable returns, totaled at least
$10,463,321,000 (preliminary report).3 However, only the taxes
which did not have to be paid on this amount can be considered as
indirect allowances for the maintenance of dependents.

In 1944-45 at least 16 cities with a population of oyer 30,000 were
paying family allowances or married men’s differentials in their publicschool systems, as shown in the following table based on an analysis
made early in 1945 by the Research Division of the National Educa­
tion Association. Of these cities, 5 reported family-allowance pro­
visions and 11 reported married men’s differentials. The median for
the maximum differentials in the 14 cities reporting definite figures
was $300. Table 4 lists the cities which have included the family
allowances or married men’s differentials in the years 1940-41 and
In three cities—Rock Island, Dubuque, and Superior— the family
allowance is payable to either women or men teachers, but in Rock
Island and Dubuque it is restricted to those with dependent children;
in Superior the allowance is payable, as well, for a dependent husband
or wife.
» Data are from Pub. N o. 52 (ch. 109), S. 717, S. 837, and S. 1151 (all of 79th Cong., 1st sess.); Statistics
of Income for 1942, Pt. 1 (U. S. Bureau of Internal Revenue, 1944); Source of Funds Expended for Public
Assistance, 1944 (TJ. S. Social Security Board, Bureau of Public Assistance); Family Allowance and
Class E Allotment of Pay Expenditures, as of April 30, 1945 (U. S. W ar Department, Office of Depend­
ency Benefits); and unpublished data supplied to the Bureau of Labor Statistics b y the U. S. N avy
Department, Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, and b y the National Education Association.
3* Furthermore, in 1942 an exemption of $1,200 was allowed an unmarried person such as a widow who
maintained a household for herself and a dependent. This exemption was included under “ personal
exemptions*’ for taxpayers and their spouses and not under “ credit for dependents.”

T able 4.— Cities in the United States With Over 30,000 Population9 Reporting Fam ily
Allowances or M arried M en 's Differentials,1 1940— and 1 94 4 -4 5
Am ount of allowance
State and city

Class of provision

Married men’s differential
._ ...
Family allowances


Married men's differential...........
Family allowances..........................






Q uincy...................................................
R ock island........ ...............................
Cedar Rapids.......................................
Council Bluffs....................................
Dubuque............... ...............................
Brockton............. ................................
Springfield_____________ _________
Michigan: Dearborn............. .....................
Mississippi: Jackson.........._........ ........... .
Jop lin ......................................... .........
St. Joseph.......... ..................... ............
Oklahoma: Muskogee .................... .
South Dakota: Sioux Falls ..................
Green B a y ........... .................... .........
La Crosses______ ________ _________
Sheboygan_______________________ _

Married men's differential..............
Familv allowances____________
Married men's differential _
____ d o................................................


........d o..................................................
. . ...



........d o..................................................
........d o___________ __________ _____
____ do.................... ..............................
____ do........................................... .
Family allowances...................... .









i The amounts recorded indicate the maximum differentials between the salaries of married men teachers
and women teachers or between persons with dependents and persons without dependents.
* N o provision.
* N o data.
* A t minimum salary only.
* N o limit set for family allowance.
« N o schedule.
140 percent above schedule.
* N o schedule for men.

The percentages which these differentials add to the maximum
salary of a teacher with a master’s degree were found to range from
3.8 to 23.8. A distribution of these percentages for 14 cities is given
Number of cities

Less than 5.0 percent-------------------------5.09.9 percent__________________
10.014.9 percent.......................
15.019.9 percent- _....... ...........
20.024.9 percent-----------


In Quincy, 111., and in Springfield, Mass., only married men are
eligible for family allowances.
In 1940-41, there were approximately 60 cities with a population
of less than 30,000 providing annual supplements to public-school
teachers for family responsibilities.. A preliminary inspection of the
I944-45 public-school salary schedules for cities in the same popu­
lation group indicated that at least as large a proportion of these
schedules included provisions for such allowances.

Student aid — The extension of family allowances beyond specified
age limits when children continue their education is a conspicuous
feature of various foreign family-allowance schemes. A bill (S. 717)

introduced in the United States Senate on March 8, 1945 (the Federal
Aid to Education bill) would provide for disbursements by State
authorities or by trustees (thus to cover both public- and nonpublicschool youth) to enable and assist students to continue their educa­
tion. The sum of $150,000,000 would be appropriated for assistance—
1. To persons 16 and under 21 years of age attending a public or nonpublic
school or a training center which complies with standards prescribed by act of
August 16, 1937 (50 Stat. 664— the act placing in Department of Labor power
to promote standards for apprentices).
2. To parents of needy persons 14 and under 16 attending such schools or such
training centers.

The benefits would include scholarships, stipends, or compensation
for work done for public or nonprofit agencies. Disbursements
made under the plan would be applicable under similar conditions to
all persons qualifying in the age group, “ without discrimination on
account of race or creed.1
Lamp-sum fam ily allowances.—Bill S. 837, introduced on April 6,
1945, would provide for what might be termed “ lump-sum,, family
allowances. The bill reads in part as follows:
* * * the Chief of the Children’s Bureau is hereby authorized and directed
to pay to the parents of each child born in the United States after the date of
enactment of this act the sum of (a) $500 if such parents are the parents of one
other child, (b) $750 if such parents are the parents of two other children, and
(c) $1,000 if such parents are the parents of three or more other children.

Food allotments.— S. 1151 (the Aiken-La Follette National Food
Allotment bill) introduced June 15, 1945, might be considered to
provide for indirect allowances in kind. The purpose of the measure
is to insure the efficient distribution of available food supplies among
the people at various income levels and “ that the means for obtain­
ing sufficient food for an adequate diet be placed so far as possible
within the reach of every person in the Nation.” “ Basic food allot­
ment,” according to the bill, means the specified “ amounts of food per
person per week or the equivalent thereof in nutritional value and
approximate cost as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture.”
The advantages that would accrue to large families are obvious, as
the plan would be adapted to households of differing incomes and

At the World Trades Union Conference held in London, February
6-17, 1945, a declaration was made by the Committee on Postwar
Reconstruction and Immediate Trade Union Demands, which included
a statement on family allowances. The paragraph on social security is
quoted in full in order to show the setting of family allowances in the
recommended social-security program:
14. Social security is another essential foundation stone of every society.
However well national economies may be organized there will always be some men
and women who are unable to work. It is therefore essential that a single and
comprehensive system of State social insurance should be established in every
country and financed mainly by contributions from governments and employers.
This system of social insurance must guarantee a normal existence for all working
people whenever they are unable to secure this by their own labor, as a result of
unemployment, temporary or permanent loss of the capacity for work, old age,
industrial accident, sickness, and the like. Provision should also be made for

comprehensive medical and rehabilitation services free for all who need them.
The health and safety of workpeople must be properly safeguarded by legislation
which also provides for adequate supervision to secure its enforcement. Pre­
ventative measures must be undertaken by the government to diminish sickness
and fatal accidents to a minimum. Governments should provide sanatoria and
rest homes for workers without charge. They should provide adequate grants
paid periodically to families who have lost their breadwinners and to orphans until
theii coming of age. The welfare of children must be one of the primary concerns
of all governments and therefore protected by the payment of family allowances
and by the provision of kindergartens, nurseries, ana ample child welfare facilities.
Finally, this Conference emphatically demands that there should be trade-union
participation in the control and management of all such social insurance and social
welfare schemes.8

The committee making the declaration included representatives of
labor organizations in Great Britain, Soviet Russia, the United States,
France, China, New Zealand, Latin America, and the British Crown
Colonies, the chairman being a delegate from the Congress of Indus­
trial Organizations.
A p p e n d i x . — Fam ily-Allow ance Acts in British Em pire

The principal features of the family-allowance acts of New Zealand,
Australia, Canada, and Great Britain are contrasted in the accom­
panying tabular analysis.
3 Report of the W orld Trade Union Congress, February 6 to 17, 1945, convened b y the British Trades
Union Conference. London* S. W . 1, 1945.

M ajor Provisions o f Fam ily-Allow ance Acts in British E m pire 1
Provisions of laws re—
Country, title of act, and
date of amendments

Income limit or tax

Number and age of

Rate of allowance per

T o whom benefit is paid

H ow scheme is financed

Social Security A ct, 1938
(includes family allow­
ance provisions); amend­
ments: 1940, 1941, 1942,
1943, and 1944.

Child Endowm ent A ct,
1941; amendments: 1942
and 1945.

Family Allowances A ct,


N o allowance paid W ith certain excep­
tions, each child,
when income ex­
in clu d in g s te p ­
ceeds £ 5 10s., ex­
clusive of allowances.
c h ild r e n a n d
adopted children,
under 16 (up to 18
years if still at

10s. per week..

Mother. T o father, if
considered advisable
(in special cases to

From Social


Allowances to aid in
education of child 16
to 18 m ay be granted
even if child has not
previously been bene­
ficiary under act.

N o income limit. N o
income tax credit
for children except
firs t.
A llo w a n ce
not considered part
of gross income for
income tax purposes.

W ith certain excep­
tions, each child
(except first) un­
der 16, alien chil­
dren eligible from
time parents are

7s. 6d. per week.

Mother, widower,

F r o m C o n s o lid a t e d
r e v e n u e , principally
from pay-roll tax; in
part b y elimination of
income-tax credits for
children after first

Commonwealth employ­
ees had been receiving
allowances from 1920.
New South Wales had
had a State c h i 1d - e n ­
d o w m e n t scheme for
about 14 years.

Deductions allowable
for dependent chil­
dren under Income
W ar Tax but must
be adjusted with
c h ild r e n 's a llo w ­
ances to avoid du­

Each wholly or sub­
stantially depend­
ent child under 16.

$5-$8 per month for first
4 children, according
to age. For fifth child,
rate reduced b y $1,
f o r s ix t h a n d f o r
seventh child, b y $2;
for subsequent chil­
dren b y $3 each.

Parent or other person
authorized b y act.
(It has been adminis­
tratively decided that
the allowance shall be
paid to the mother or
female person taking
her place.)

From unappropriated
moneys in Consoli­
dated Revenue Fund
from July 1, 1945, and
through adjustment
of income-tax exemp­
tion for children with
family allowances.

Allowance not paid for
a child who after at­
taining 6 years of age
fails to attend school or
receive equivalent edu­

Allowances considered
taxable income, but
income-tax exemp­
tion of £50 per child
to be continued.

Each child (except
first) under 16.

5s. per week.

Either man or wife.

Appropriations b y Parliament.

Child is eligible for allowance up to August
1 following sixteenth
birthday if attending
full-time school or ap­

Family Allowances Act,

1 International Labor Office, Legislative Series, 1938—N ew Zealand 1, Social Security
A ct (repealed Fam ily Allowance A ct of 1926); Legislative Series, 1942—New Zealand 1,
Social Security A cts (text includes formal amendments made by Acts of 1940 and 1941);
Legislative Series, 1943—N ew Zealand 1. N ew Zealand Legation, Washington, D . C.,
[telephone] statement, September 6,1945.


2 Legislative Series, 1942—Australia 4, Commonwealth Child Endowment Act (amended
Child Endowm ent A ct of 1941); United States Legation, Canberra, Australia, Report of
August 23, 1945, b y Alfred G. W hitney, economic analyst.
^Legislative Series, 1944—Canada 3, Family Allowances A ct.
4Great Britain, Family Allowances A ct, 1945.