View original document

The full text on this page is automatically extracted from the file linked above and may contain errors and inconsistencies.

France® Perkins, Secretary
Isador Lubin, Commissioner (on leave)
A. F. Hinrichs, Acting Commissioner


M icU W ar Developments in Civilian
Fam ily Allow ances

Bureau o f Labor Statistics

Bulletin 7V£o. 803

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



Great Britain__________________________________________________________
New Zealand__________________________________________________________
Portugal_________ __________ ___________________________________________
Soviet Union. _____________________________________________
Unio^pLSoutli Africa_____________________________________
United States____1---------------Uruguay._______ __________________________________________ _________
Canada’s Family-Allowance Act, 1944__________________________________
Provisionsof the law_______________________________________________
Estimatedcost of system___________________________________________

(H i)


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 St a t is t ic s ,

Washington , D .

C., November 20. 1944*

T h e Secretary of L a bo r :

I have the honor to transmit herewith a report on the mid-war developments
in civilian family allowances. Data on the most recent developments in this
field are summarized for 23 countries. This information supplements that on the
earlier developments contained in Bulletin No. 754. The report was prepared
by Mary T. Waggaman, under the supervision of Hugh S. Hanna, chief of the
Bureau's Editorial and Research Division.
A. F. H i n r i c h s , Acting Commissioner.
Hon. F r a n c e s P e r k i n s ,
The Secretary of Labor.


B ulletin No. 803 o f the
U nited States B ureau o f Labor Statistics
[Reprinted from the M onthly L abor R eview , November 1944]

Mid-War Developments in Civilian Family Allowances1
Sum m ary

THE wartime world-wide rise in the cost of living and the measures
taken by various individual nations to stabilize wages have forced
to the economic forefront the question of family allowances. These
supplements to the remuneration of wage earners and salaried workers,
to offset variations in family responsibilities, have been granted in
one form or another by private employers, States, or municipalities
in at least 39 countries.
Among the most recent developments in the family-allowance
movement is the passage of new family-allowance acts, in 1944, in
Canada and Eire. Mid-war reports on the operation of legislation
are available for other parts of the British Empire—Australia and
New Zealand. In the fall of 1944 the British Government’s socialinsurance program, based largely on the Beveridge Report, was
released as White Papers on Social Insurance (Cmd. 6550 and 6551).
The scheme includes a provision for family allowances, although the
cash benefits are not so generous as those proposed in the Beveridge
Plan. New laws on family allowances or amending acts extending the
coverage of existing schemes have been reported in 1943-44 for several
South American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay),
as well as for Portugal and Spain. An edict, issued in 1944 by the
Supreme Soviet of the U. S. S. R., granted cash benefits for children.
Reports concerning France and Germany indicate that schemes in
behalf of wage earners with family responsibilities are still in existence.
The recommendations of the International Labor Conference held
in Philadelphia in April 1944 included proposals for family allowances.
In the Report of the Director of the International Office to that con­
ference it was stated that such grants in some form “ are widely
regarded as a necessary element in any comprehensive program to
assure a decent ‘ national minimum/ ”
The family-allowance principle is becoming more widely understood
through wartime experience with rationing on an individual basis,
through the increasing discussions on nutrition and improved standards
of living for the masses in which the sizes of families must be given due
consideration, and through the fact that immense sums are now being
disbursed to the dependents of the armed forces of the United States.
The present article brings together summary data on very recent
developments in the family-allowance movement in 23 countries.
i For earlier developments, see Bulletin N o . 754: Family Allowances in Various Countries, Washing­
ton, 1943.



Decree No. 2015 (July 3, 1943) authorized family allowances for
employees of the National Administration of Argentina whose incomes
per month were under 350 pesos, and Decree No. 1065 (November
1943) includes all children under 22 years of age who are under the
charge of such employees. The age limit does not apply in the case
of disabled children.2
Buenos Aires.— In September 1943, a new measure for family
allowances became effective for all salaried employees and workers in
the permanent service of the municipality of Buenos Aires, whose
earnings per month did not exceed 300 pesos and constituted the entire
regular family income. The monthly allowance rate ranges from 10
to 12 pesos, according to the worker’s wage or salary rate, for each
legitimate child under the age of 15, but wages and allowances com­
bined must not exceed 325 pesos per month. It is estimated that
11,000 families having 20,275 children under the specified age will be
A ustralia3a

The Commonwealth of Australia began payments under its system
of child endowment on July 1, 1941. An allowance of 5s. per week is
granted for each child (beyond the first) under 16 years of age. The
cost is met in part from the Consolidated Revenue and in part by
the elimination of tax exemptions for children after the first, but
principally from a tax of 2){ percent of pay rolls exceeding £20 per week.
As indicated below, the number of endowed children in Australia in
June 1943 was 908,159, including 16,938 children in institutions.
Fiscal year ended June SO—

Endowed families:
491, 121
Number of families_________________________
891, 221
Number of endowed children_______________
Approved institutions:
Number of institutions_____________________
Number of endowed children_______________
16, 938
Total number of endowed children______________
908, 159
Amounts paid to beneficiaries and approved insti­
tutions_______________________________________ £11, 659, 626
Annual liability for endowment, end of year______ £11, 806, 067
Average annual rate of endowment per endowed
family, end of year___________________________
£23. 591
Average number of endowed children per endowed
family, end of year___________________________
1. 815
Number of endowed children per 10,000 of popu­
lation________ *_______________________________
1, 256

487, 674
895, 558

14, 289
909, 847
£11, 302, 863
£11, 828, 011
£23. 873
1. 836
1, 268

B r a z il4

Pay increases for employees of the Brazilian Federal Government
were provided under legislative decree No. 5976 (November 10, 1943),
which also improved the existing family-allowance scheme. The
amendments are applicable to all workers, permanent and temporary.
* Report from United States Embassy at Buenos Aires, February 11, 1044. Exchange rate of peso in
1943= 29.8 cents.
3 International Labor Review (Montreal), January 1944 (p. 117).
3a Data are from report of Director General of Australian Department of Social Services, 1942-43, and
W artime Labor Developments in Australia, by Orwell de R . Foenander (Melbourne, 1943), p. 91. Ex­
change rate of Australian pound in 1942 and 1943=$3.23.
4 Data are from International Labor Review (Montreal), March 1944 (p. 390); and Report from United
States Embassy at Rio de Janeiro, December 7, 1943. Exchange ratebf eruzeiro in 1943=6.06 cents;

* * * Family allowances are payable at the rate of 50 cruzeiros for every child
under 21 years of age, or beyond that age if incapable of work. Payment of the
allowance is dependent on the payment of salary, but not on the employee’s
output. The allowance is not subject to attachment or deduction; it is taken into
account for the purpose of calculating income tax, but is exempted from other
taxation and from social-insurance contributions.
As a result of the new decree, Federal employees are now excluded from the
family-allowance scheme introduced by legislative decree No. 3200 of 19 April

Legislative decree No. 6022 (November 23, 1943) gives details of
the procedure in making application for the family allowance pro­
vided for under the preceding measure, and details concerning its
payment, annulment of the benefits if they are not used as intended,
and penalties for bad faith in declarations made.

A law of August 1944 provided for a system of family allowances
in Canada. This law is summarized on page 15 of this bulletin.
Chile 5

White-collar employees in Chile are paid family allowances under
a Government social-security scheme, to which employers contribute
pay-roll taxes. The social-security agency paid 90 pesos per month
for each dependent in 1943, but this was reduced to 80 pesos at the
beginning of 1944.
The social-security laws do not provide family allowances for
wage earners, but in many industries they receive such benefits directly
from their employers under collective agreements. A study of family
allowances recently made by the Direccidn General del Trabajo
showed that in 1943 family allowances were paid to 126,725 workers'
dependents, including 35,098 wives and 91,627 children. The indi­
vidual monthly allowances ranged from 10 to 80 pesos, most of these
grants being between 22 and 30 pesos. It is estimated that the total
amount paid by employers in such allowances for the year was
58,925,272 pesos.
Dependency allowances are more characteristic of the mining industry than
of any other. More than 50 percent o f the allowances paid to wives were made
in this industry. Of the total of 35,098 wives of workers receiving allowances in
the country, 20,325 were paid by the mining industry, 3,795 by the textile in­
dustry, and 2,784 by the transport industry. Of the 91,627 dependent children
of workers receiving allowances, 55,478 or approximately 60 percent were paid
by the mining industry, 8,330 by the textile industry, 5,816 by the transport
industry, and 3,249 by the food industry.

As an outcome of representations by the Railway Men's Federa­
tion of Chile, the Director General of the Chilean State Railways
promulgated an order on December 10, 1943, doubling the railway
men's family allowances on the basis of the increase in cost of living
and wages since the allowances were first granted in September 1939.
The new order became effective January 1,1944, and the benefits have
been extended to include the whole staff instead of only the lower-paid
members of the personnel. The new allowance is 4 pesos a day for a
wife or mother and 2 pesos for each child or stepchild under 18 years
of age.
* Data are from Report from United States Embassy, Santiago, April 29,1944; and International Transport
Workers Federation Press Report (Kempston Beds, England), M a y 15, 1944. Exchange rate of peso in
1943=5.17 cents.

E ire

A new law in Eire, the Children’s Allowance Act, 1944, provides
for a weekly allowance at the rate of 2s. 6d. for each qualified child
under 16 years of age in excess of two, maintained by an Irish citizen
or one who for 2 years preceding the qualifying date has been a
resident of the country.
The funds for these allowances are to be provided by the Govern­
ment, which will also supply such money as the Minister of Finance
approves, for administrative expenses.
The children’s allowances are to be inalienable and are to be ex­
cluded in the reckoning of “ means,” in connection with the unem­
ployment assistance acts and various pension acts.
A person making a false statement, under specified circumstances,
in connection with the payment of these allowances is liable on sum­
mary conviction to a fine of not to exceed £25 or to imprisonment
for a term not exceeding 3 months.
The Minister for Commerce and Industry may make regulations
for carrying this legislation into effect.

In 1943, legal provision was made for the payment of family al­
lowances (in cash or in kind or both) to the heads of families whose
means were not in excess of a maximum to be subsequently specified.
Beginning with the fifth child, the grants were to be made for children
up to 16 years of age, up to 18 years if a child is being trained, and
without age limit for invalid children. The State finances the scheme,
which is administered by the Communal Assistance Board.6
France 7

Following the announcement that family allowances would be
raised beginning with January 1, 1944, the average monthly depart­
mental salaries in France on the basis of which the family allowances
are calculated were readjusted as foJlows:
Average monthly pay
(in francs i)

Ain, Allier, Cher, Dr6me, Indre-et-Loire, Jura, Loire-et-Cher,
Sa6ne-et-Loire, Savoie, Haute-Savoie, Vaucluse____________
Basses-Alpes, Hautes-Alpes, Indre____________________________
Ard&che, Aveyron, Charente, Tarn, Haute-Vienne, Vienne____
Arifege, Corrfeze, Creuse, Dordogne, Gers, Lot-et-Garonne,
Lozfere, Hautes-Pyr6n6es, Tarn-et-Garonne______________
Cantal, Haute-Loire__________________________________________
Isfere................ ........................................................................ ..............
Landes, Basses-Pyr6n6es_____________________ . _______________
Puy-de-D6me, Haute-Garonne (except Toulouse)_____________
Loire, Rhone (except L y o n s ).._________
Lyons_________________________________________ ______________
Gironde (except Bordeaux)..................................

1, 500
1, 450
1, 450

1, 250
1, 250
1, 150

1, 400
1, 400
1, 450
1, 500
1, 600
1, 650
1, 750
1, 600
1, 700

1, 150
1, 200
1, 200
1, 200
1, 300
1, 250

* Exchange rate of franc in 1940 (latest year for which reported)=2.08 cents.
• International Labor Office. Inter-American Committee on Social Security. Provisional Bulletin
N o. 4. Montreal, October 1943.
7 Data are from News Digest (London), March 4,1944 (p. 38); International Labor Review (Montreal),
M a y 1943 (pp. 646 and 665), July 1943 (p. 107), and February 1944 (p. 245); and International Labor Office,
Legislative Series, 1942, Fr. 11 (p. 7).

Liberalization of single-wage allowance.— The French act of March
29, 1941, provided for the payment of a “ single-wage allowance” to
families of wage earners and public officials whose income is derived
from only one source of employment. An amending act, dated
July 6, 1943, extended and liberalized the measure.
Under the previous provisions, allowances were payable only to
legitimate or adopted children and grandchildren. These grants are
now made also to illegitimate children acknowledged by the mother;
to brothers, sisters, nephews, or nieces for whose support a brother,
sister, uncle, or aunt is responsible; and to wards, and children assigned
(under legal or administrative decision) to the custody of any person
without payment. In order to be eligible for the allowance, the per­
sons having child dependents should be in remunerative employment
and permanently responsible for the maintenance of such children.
The allowance is granted only to families in which the children are
of French nationality, and is computed as a percentage of the Depart­
mental average wage used as a basis for calculating family allowances
in the particular community in which the beneficiary is a resident.
The allowances are as follows:
For one dependent child or for the last remaining dependent child,
20 percent of average wage; for an only child of 5 years or more (unless
the mother or other female relative in charge of the child maintains it
by her own earnings), 10 percent; for two dependent children, 25
percent; and for more than two dependent children, 30 percent.
When there are several children in the family, the allowance is
granted until 1 year after the Child attains the school-leaving age,
or up to the age of 17 if the young person is apprenticed or is incapable
of self-support because of chronic illness or infirmity, or up to the
age of 20 if the young person’s education is being continued. A
mother or female relative maintaining an only child entirely from
her own wages or salary may be granted an allowance until the child
has reached the age of 15 (or 20).
In no case may the single-wage allowance be paid in addition to the “ allowance
for mothers in the home” provided for by the act of 29 July 1939 concerning the
French family and the birth rate.
In the event of the death of the worker entitled to the allowance, it will con­
tinue to be paid to his widow if she has children dependent upon her and is not
entitled to the allowance in her own right as a wage earner. In case of an inter­
ruption in employment, the right to the allowance continues throughout the
period for which benefit is drawn under the social-insurance scheme in the case
of insured persons, and otherwise for a period of 6 months from the date of the
first medical certificate. A woman worker is entitled to the allowance for the
12 weeks preceding and following childbirth, and a worker who sustains an indus­
trial accident, for any period of temporary or permanent incapacity.
The allowance is paid by the equalization funds, the State, local authorities,
and concessionary undertakings operating public services, under the same condi­
tions as appty to family allowances.

Workers releasing 'prisoners of war.—Act No. 903 (September 26?
1942) included a provision that skilled workers taking part in the
program for the release of prisoners of war by volunteering for team­
work in Germany were to be entitled under appropriate conditions to
the full allowances for which they were eligible under the Family
Code. In the case of a married worker with no children, not less than
50 percent of the allowance was to be allocated to his wife.
620839°— 44------ 2

Family allowances and the Germans.—German enterprises and
nationals in France— except when directly responsible to the author­
ities of occupation—have been subject to French legislation, especially
social legislation and the provisions of collective agreements. Under
orders issued in 1942 by the German Military Command, for the
purpose of standardizing employment conditions of German workers
in France, German nationals transferred from the Reich were in
principle entitled, in addition to wages, to a daily allowance varying
from 1.50 to 5.50 marks, according to their wage or salary class and
family circumstances.
Since November 1, 1942, family-allowance schemes effective in
French enterprises have covered non-German workers and salaried
employees. Family-allowance funds have been organized in each
Department for the payment of these benefits.
Miscellaneous provisions relating to fam ily allowances.— To secure
the right to family allowances from public or private funds, expectant
mothers were required by an act of December 16, 1942 (Journal
Officiel, Paris, December 22, 1942), to undergo at least two medical
examinations during pregnancy.
Family allowances fo r compulsory labor force.— A French decree of
November 25, 1942 (containing regulations on the compulsory-labor
act of September 4, 1942), provided that workers allocated to a new
job were to be entitled to the normal conditions of employment
applicable to the job, and that married workers and those with de­
pendents could claim from the employer a family allowance at a rate
proportionate to their responsibilities.
Germany 8

Dependents of transferred Belgian workers.— According to an order
of April 24, 1943, the wages of Belgian workers employed in Germany
were to be used primarily for the maintenance of their families. Allot­
ments, from wages, to dependents ranged from 750 Belgian francs
per month for a wife without children to 1,400 francs for a family
with five children. Beyond the fifth child the allowance was 70
francs. Such allotments, being financed entirely by the workers,
were not, of course, family allowances in the usual sense.
Provisions for French workers.—An act of September 26, 1942, had
provided that trained French workers who volunteered for work in
Germany in organized teams should be granted an expatriation allow­
ance in the form of the continued payment of 50 percent of their wages
in France plus family allowances, while their contract was in force.
An act of May 1, 1943, amending this law, provided that, after June
1, 1943, in lieu of these benefits daily allowances chargeable to the
national budget were to be paid to families with a breadwinner of
French nationality at work in Germany.
A later act (June 21, 1943) extended the above provision to include
also families with a breadwinner of French nationality who had been
conscripted for compulsory work in France. The amount of the
allowance and the circumstances under which paid were the same as
for families of the armed forces. These grants were to be equal to
the family allowances provided by the act of July 20, 1942, for families
8 D ata are from International Labor Review (Montreal), December 1943 (p. 770), January 1944 (p. 48),
and March 1944 (p. 376).

of prisoners of war, and were to be paid under the same conditions.
In the Paris area, for example, the allowance was 20 francs for the
wife and 15.50 francs, 16 francs, 18 francs, and 25 francs for the first,
second, third, and fourth child, respectively; a grant of 7 francs was
also made for each dependent relative in the ascending line.
Provisions jo r families of shifted German wor&ers.— Special arrange­
ments were made for workers involved in cases in which German
industries had to transfer all or parts of their plants to other sections
of the country. A worker so transferred might be paid in his new
place of work a wage or salary substantially below his previous
remuneration, whereas his family still had obligations to meet based
on the higher rate. In such cases the employer was required to pay,
to married workers only, a maintenance allowance for the family.
Great Britain 9

The Beveridge Plan,10 submitted to the British Parliament in No­
vember 1942, recommended, among other things, children’s allowances
at an average rate of 8s. per week per child (except for the first,
when the parent is earning), financed entirely by taxation. The
premises for the proposal were as follows:
First, it is unreasonable to seek to guarantee an income sufficient for subsistence,
while earnings are interrupted by unemployment or disability, without ensuring
sufficient income during earning. Social insurance should be part of a policy
of a national minimum. But a national minimum for families of every size
cannot in practice be secured by a wage system, which must be based on the
product of a man’s labor and not on the size of his family.
Second, it is dangerous to allow benefit during unemployment or disability
to equal or exceed earnings during work. But, without allowances for children,
during earning and not-earning alike, this danger cannot be avoided. * * *
The gap between income during earning and during interruption of earning should
be as large as possible for every man. It cannot be kept large for men with large
families, except either by making their benefit in unemployment and disability
inadequate, or by giving allowances for children in time of earning and notearning alike.
In addition to these two arguments, arising directly from considerations of
social security, there are arguments arising from consideration of numbers of
population and care of children. With its present rate of reproduction, the
British race cannot continue; means of reversing the recent course of the birth
rate must be found. It is not likely that allowances for children or any other
economic incentives will, by themselves, provide that means and lead parents
who do not desire children to rear children for gain. But children's allowances
can help to restore the birth rate, both by making it possible for parents who
desire more children to bring them into the world without damaging the chances
of those already born, and as a signal erf the national interest in children, setting
the tone of public opinion. As regards care of children, whatever possibilities
the future may hold of larger families than now, the small families of today
make it necessary that every living child should receive the best care that can be
given to it. The foundations of a healthy life must be laid in childhood. Chil­
dren's allowances should be regarded both as a help to parents in meeting their
responsibilities, and as an acceptance of new responsibilities by the community.

On December 17, 1942, the labor movement through the National
Council of Labor accepted the principles set forth in the Beveridge
Plan and asked the Government to introduce the requisite legislation
promptly. The trend of the labor speeches in Parliament emphasized
• D ata are from Labor Press Service (London), March 3,1943; Newsweek (New York), June 21,1943 (p. 88);
Canadian Labor Gazette (Ottawa). December 1943 (p. 1735); and Labor and Industry in Britain (British
Information Services), April 1944 (p. 57).
Report by Sir William Beveridge. Great Britain [Interdepartmental Committee on Social Insurance
and Allied Services], London, 1942. (Cm d. 6404.) For summary, see M onthly Labor Review, February
1943 (p.272).

the advisability of appointing a Minister of Social Security to take
charge of the preparations for the proposed plan. Other sections of
the House of Commons took a similar position.
The British Trades Union Congress (representing unions with
6,024,000 members) at its 1943 meeting adopted a resolution deploring
the “ hesitating attitude” of the Government and demanding the
immediate preparation of legislation on the subject.
In the fall of 1944 the social-insurance program of the Government,
following largely the lines of the Beveridge Report, was released as
White Papers on Social Insurance (Cmd. 6550 and 6551). The
scheme includes a provision for family allowances, but the benefit is
5s. per week per child (other than the first) under 15 (or 15 and 16 if
at school), instead of 8s., as proposed in the Beveridge Plan. How­
ever, recommendation is also made for an extension of services in kind,
including school meals and milk.
According to The Economist (London) of September 30, 1944, the
total estimated cost for 1945 of family allowances under the Beveridge
Plan is £113,000,000 and under the Government scheme, £59,000,000.
Ita ly

On October 28, 1942, at the celebration of the twentieth anniversary
of the Fascist revolution, the Italian Government reported on socialsecurity expenditures during the 2 decades 1922-42, which included
12,965 million lire for family allowances.11

It is announced in the International Labor Review of July 1944
(p. 84) that a recent report of the Minister of Labor and Mines of
Luxemburg proposes “ as a long-term recommendation” the reorgani­
zation of the social-insurance system of that country in line with the
Beveridge scheme for Great Britain. An outstanding feature of that
program, as already noted, is the provision for children’s allowances.
N ew Zealand

Under an act of August 25, 1943, amending the New Zealand Social
Security Act of 1938, family allowances were raised from 4s. to 7s. 6d.
er week for each dependent child. The lower rate had been increased
y 50 percent beginning May 1, 1942, under emergency regulations
which were no longer in effect.'12
The basic act was also amended to provide that allowances payable
to aid in the education of a child between 16 and 18 years of age. could
be granted, whether or not a benefit was paid for such child before he
or she reached 16 years of age.
According to the annual reports of the New Zealand Social Security
Department payments in family benefits under the New Zealand Social
Security Act of 1938, as amended, for the 12 months ended March 31,
1944, totaled £876,858, as compared with £790,719 in 1942-43.
The August 10,1944, issue of The Standard (the official organ of the
labor movement of New Zealand) announced that the Minister of


11 International Labor Review (Montreal), June 1943 (p. 790). Exchange rate of lira in 1941 (latest year
for which reported)= 5.07 cents.
12 International Labor Review (Montreal), December 1943 (p. 787). Average exchange rate of N ew
Zealand pound (20 shillings) in 1943=$3.24.

Finance of that country in his recent budget speech proposed that the
allowable gross income in relation to family benefits be raised from
£5 to £5 10s. and that the weekly benefit for each child be increased
from 7s. 6d. to 10s., effective October 1, 1944.
N orw a y 13

A decree dated January 26, 1944, issued by the Quisling Minister
of Social Affairs, provides that Norwegians conscripted for “ national
labor contribution” be granted, during the period of such service, a
family allowance in the form of “ a contribution toward apartment
rent of spouse, children, and parents who depend for sustenance on the
conscripted person.” A person conscripted for work which is for the
most part of the same or corresponding character as his or her usual
occupation is not eligible for the allowance. The contribution for
apartment rent may be all or part of the amount by which the apart­
ment rent exceeds one-fifth of the person’s wages during his con­
scripted labor service.
Salary directives recently issued to the municipalities by the
Norwegian Interior Department include one requiring that all munic­
ipal civil servants be granted children’s allowances, in accordance
with State regulations.
In a discussion of reconstruction problems in Norway, the Nor­
wegian Minister of Finance in Exile commented in an article in the
June 1944 International Labor Review: “ No doubt developments
abroad such as the implementation of the Beveridge report in Great
Britain will deeply influence public opinion on these matters in
Norway.” He noted that a report made in 1938 by a Norwegian official
committee proposed a State-financed system of children’s allowances,
while those opposing such a system were in favor of various subsidies
in kind, such as wider provision for school meals, reductions in price of
foods, rent, etc., for families with children.

In Paraguay, where a legislative decree (No. 620) of October 5,
1943, instituted the principle of the minimum wage,14*the measure is
supplemented by a legislative decree,16 under which an allowance of
5 percent of wages is granted under specified conditions, for each
legitimate child up to the age of 18, of both public "and private em­
ployees (and manual workers) who have had at least 1 year of service.
P ortugal16

System for public, etc., employees.—A legislative decree of February
22, 1943 (as amended January 29, 1944), instituted family allowances
to civil and military State officials, employees in autonomously ad­
ministered State services (postal, telegraph, and telephone services,
is D ata are from Communication from U . S. Interdepartmental Committee for Acquisition of Foreign
Publications (Washington), August 10,1944, and enclosure in letter of March 24, 1944, from United States
Legation at Stockholm, Sweden, entitled “ Concerning Regulation N o. 5 (Family Allowance)” supplement­
ing Law N o. 1 in execution of the law concerning general national labor contribution,
i* International Labor Review (Montreal), July 1944 (p. 43).
is Decree of December 9,1927, amended December 24, 1937.
i« Data are from International Labor Review (Montreal), December 1943 (pp. 775 and 792), and June 1944
<p. 689). Exchange rate of escudo in 1941 (latest year for which reported= 4 cents.

arsenals, etc.), employees of local governments and salaried employees
of social-welfare, family-allowance, and other associations.
Allowances are granted for dependent legitimate or legitimated
children under 14 years of age, dependent grandchildren, and “ ascend­
ants who cannot support themselves,” whether these dependents are
members of the employee’s household or not. In the case of depen­
dents continuing their secondary education, allowances may be
granted until such children reach 18 years of age; for dependents
pursuing their higher education the age limit is 21 years. No age
restrictions in regard to family allowances are provided for dependents
wholly and permanently incapacitated for work.
If the wife and husband are both public employees, the allowance
may be granted only if they reside in different localities. The al­
location is made only to the employee with the higher salary, but is
computed on “ the basis of the number of persons dependent on and
living in the household of both husband and wife.”
For purposes of the allowance, employees are divided into 5 salary
groups, the benefits ranging from 30 escudos per dependent per month
for persons with monthly salary of less than 400 escudos to 70 escudos
for those with salary of 2,000 escudos and over. Besides marriage,
childbirth, and nursing bonuses, and meal and clothing vouchers,
family-allowance funds may also pay education, rent, and funeral
allowances up to 10 percent of their total receipts.
The financing of this new project is different from that of the
general scheme (to which both employers and workers contribute),17
as, for the time being at least, the State and local Government
authorities alone meet the cost of these subsides. The appropriation
of 30 million escudos per annum, originally provided in the 1943
budget, was afterward raised to 60 million escudos, representing
approximately 9 percent of the salaries of the group concerned.
The decree of February 22, 1943, provides that the right to family
allowances cannot be alienated and exempts such grants from all
fees and taxation and from seizure. Fraudulent declarations are
subject to penalty, as is also failure to fulfill the conditions for the
payment of these benefits.
Compulsory contributions authorized.—A legislative decree of April
15, 1943, empowers the Under Secretary for Corporations to “ fix
compulsory limits for salaries and wages when superior economic
interests or social justice so require.” In the fixing of salaries and
wages “ provision may also be made for compulsory contributions by
undertakings and employees for the purpose of family allowances and
social-welfare allowances.”
Soviet U n ion 18

A recent edict has been issued by the Presidium of the Supreme
Soviet of the U. S. S. R. on liberalizing State aid to expectant mothers,
mothers of large families, unmarried mothers, etc.
The Government had already been granting substantial assistance
to expectant mothers and other workers for their children. As war­
time economic hardships and the prospect of post-war difficulties
which will confront many families accentuated the need for the further
17 For summary of general system, see U . S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Bulletin N o. 754 (p. 43).
is Data are from Information Bulletin of Embassy of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Washington,
July 25.1944.

extension of State aid, it was decided that State allowances would be
granted to the mother of a large family (whether or not the husband is
living) on the birth of the third and each subsequent child.
The allowances range from a single grant of 400 rubles on the birth
of a third child and 80 rubles per month (or a single grant of 1,300
rubles) on the birth of a fourth child to 250 rubles per month (or a
single grant of 3,500 rubles) on the birth of a tenth child. For each
child after the tenth, monthly allowance of 300 rubles (or a single
grant of 5,000 rubles) is made.
The monthly allowances for mothers with many children are to
begin after the child's first birthday and to continue until he is 5 years
of age. Mothers who had three, four, five, or six children at the time
the edict was published will be granted allowances under this measure
for each child born after the issuance of that edict.
Mothers having seven or more children when the edict was made
public, hold the right to large-family allowances in accordance with
the provision and in the amounts specified in the decision of the
Central Executive Committee and the Council of People's Commissars
of the U. S. S. R. of June 27, 1936.
Taxes for the support of the system are to be imposed upon male
citizens between 20 and 50 years of age and female citizens between
20 and 45 who have no children, as well as upon families with two
children or less. Among those exempted from the taxes are Red
Army men and their wives, parents who have lost children on fronts
of the war, students under 25 years of age, and invalids.
Increasing privileges are to be extended to expectant and other
mothers, and measures are to be taken for broadening the network of
institutions (including nurseries and milk kitchens) for the benefit of
mothers and children.
S p a in 19

A decree of November 10, 1942, extended the system of family
allowances to home workers, who had been provisionally excepted
under the decree of October 20, 1938.
Under a decree of July 27, 1943, the previous scale of family allow­
ances, which had been increased by a decree of February 22, 1941,
was further liberalized. The new rates rise more rapidly, per child,
for the larger families.
Under the 1941 scale the monthly allowances ranged from 30
pesetas for a family with 2 children to 290 for 12 children plus 50
pesetas for each additional child. The range under the 1943 decree
is from 40 to 1,080 pesetas, plus 200 pesetas for each child above 12.
According to the 1943 decree, family allowances granted on a daily
basis in the case of casual laborers are to be similarly increased.
The 1943 measure did not change the other details of the system;
thus the allocatees include employed persons, home workers, em­
ployers, farmers, and those receiving accident pensions. The allow­
ances are paid for each child under 14 years of age, and without age
limit if the child is disabled.
The system is financed by contributions by employers of 5 percent
of pay rolls and contributions by employees of 1 percent of their wages.
19 Data are from International Labor Review (Montreal), M ay 1941 (p. 598), M a y 1943 (p. 665), and
December 1943 (p. 791). Exchange rate of peseta in 1940 (latest year for which reported) “ 9.13 cents.


In the war crisis the social policy of Swedish public authorities has
been concentrated more than ever before on family and child problems.
In all cases the aid to the families of men assigned to defense service—
food discount cards, removal allowances, sick benefits, and unemploy­
ment insurance—has been extended in ways advantageous to persons
with family responsibilities, particularly persons with many children.
In the judgment of the Under Secretary of State (Ministry of
Social Affairs) of Sweden, “ undoubtedly Swedish policy will pay much
more attention to the family than it used to do, partly also for demo­
graphic reasons.” He adds that uneasiness over the low birth rate
has stimulated interest in the country's population problems. A
new committee is already studying the subject, and will apply wartime
experience to social action in the coming years.20

In the metal and engineering industries of Switzerland, wages have
been regulated in accordance with an agreement of July 19, 1937,
which was extended to July 19, 1944. Wage adjustments were made
in part through a family-allowance fund which, according to a report
published in 1943, granted 8 francs per month for each child after
the third. The employers were requested to pay 5 francs per month
for the first two children.
In the agitation by the Swiss workers' organizations for wage increasds to meet the higher living costs, attention has also been called
to the fact that in industries already granting family allowances, the
benefits have frequently been substituted for cost-of-living bonuses.21
Union o f South A frica

The Social Security Committee, appointed by the Government of
South Africa in January 1943, published a White Paper in February
1944 proposing a comprehensive social-security scheme with cash
benefits. Among these proposed benefits were family allowances
(regardless of family means) for the thu d, fourth, and fifth child under
16 years of age, at an annual rate of £12 for a European child, £6 for
a colored or Asiatic child, and £6 for a native child. The adequacy
of the rates would be subject to examination every 3 years.
Establishment of a Social Security Fund was also proposed, to
which members of the social-security scheme would contribute and
for wrliich State appropriations vrould be made.22
20 International Labor Review (Montreal), March 1943 (p. 311).
21 International Labor Review (Montreal), M ay 1943 (p. 653). Average exchange rate of franc in 1941
(latest year for which reported)=23.2 cents.
22 International Labor Review (Montreal), June 1944 (p. 683). Average exchange rate of South African
pound in 1944=13.98.

United States 23

Among the very restricted experiments in paying cash supplements
to earnings of married men, because of family responsibilities, in this
country have been those with teachers in the public-school systems.
In the school year 1940-41, such schemes were in effect in 75 cities and
towns, according to a report of the National Education Association
released in September 1941.
Probably the social service most closely related to family allowances
or child endowment is Federal-State aid to dependent children, under
the Social Security Act. The principal difference between the grants
under this measure and the usual family allowances is the act’s stipu­
lation of lack of parental support as a condition of eligibility, and,
consequently, a more direct implication of poor relief.
The estimated total amount paid out to recipients under the Social
Security Act for assistance to dependent children in the month of
April 1944 was $11,339,349 (excluding figures for Nevada and Alaska,
which do not participate in the Federal program). The number of
children aided was 660,822.
In connection with the advocacy of family allowances in kind, may
be noted the Congressional authorization of the War Food Adminis­
tration to continue its financial aid to school-lunch programs for the
fiscal year 1944-45 to an amount not exceeding $50,000,0(30.
Although this article is not concerned with military allowances,
it may be said in passing that in the period July 1942-June 30, 1944,
the War Department disbursed $2,865,241,131 (including $1,162,924,305 contributed by the soldiers) in family allowances for the service
personnel under its jurisdiction.24
Child and family security continue to receive attention from various
sources. Family allowances as a post-war objective were recom­
mended by the Most Reverend Karl J. Alter, Bishop of Toledo, at the
Catholic Conference on Industrial Problems in March 1944. Research
is being undertaken by the Federal Security Agency in collaboration
with a few other Federal agencies on the relative possibilities of pro­
moting child security through (1) family income, (2) direct financial
aid to families, and (3) public services (such as school lunches, etc.).
Uruguay 25

Grants for dependent children of workers with monthly wages or
salaries not exceeding 200 pesos are provided for in Uruguay by an
act of November 12, 1943. The Chief Executive of Uruguay is
directed to create tripartite boards representing employers, workers,
and the Government. These boards are to administer the “ salary
funds” through which the system is to be operated.
M Data are from Social Security Bulletin (Washington), June 1944 (p. 28); Education for Victory (U . S.
Office of Education, Washington), August 3,1944 (p. 17); Allowance and Allotment Expenditures as of June
30,1944 (W ar Department, Office of Dependency Benefits, Army Service Forces, Newark, N . J.); Round
Table on Implications of Population Trends for Post-war Policy, held in connection with Twenty-first
Annual Conference of M ilbank Memorial Fund, Mew York, April 14-15,1943; and National Catholic W el­
fare Conference News Service (Washington), April 3,1944.
2< N o published data are available on N avy Department expenditures for this purpose.
2* Diario Official (Montevideo), November 25, 1943; for further details, see M onthly Labor Review,
February 1944 (p. 346). Average exchange rate of peso=65.8 cents (controlled) and 52.9 cents (uncontrolled).

Compulsory contributions from employers will support the scheme.
Until the boards were created, employer contributions were fixed at
3 percent of pay roll and thereafter at 1% to 3% percent, being
determined every 3 months on the basis of estimated benefits, expenses
of administration, and maintenance of a reserve fund.
Benefits arei payable only for dependent children of families in
which the salary of the head of the family (or of both husband and
wife, if the latter is also employed) does not exceed 200 pesos per
month. The allowances are to be paid to the person responsible for
support, for each dependent legitimate or legally recognized child up
to 14 years of age (16 in cases where the child is still in school). The
rate of benefit per child is tentatively set at 6 pesos.

Among the recommendations of the Twenty-sixth International
Labor Conference held in Philadelphia, April 1944, was one (No. 67)
on income security, containing the following:
Supplements for each of the first two children should be added to all benefits
payable for loss of earnings, provision for further children being left to be made
by means of children’s allowances payable out of public funds or under contribu­
tory schemes. * * * Society should normally cooperate with parents through
general measures of assistance designed to secure the well-being of dependent

As one of the “ guiding principles” it is stated that—
(1) Public subsidies in kind or in cash or in both should be established in
order to assure the healthy nurture of children, help to maintain large families,
and complete the provision made for children through social insurance.
(2) Where the purpose in view is to assure the healthy nurture of children,
subsidies should take the form of such advantages as free or below-cost infants’
food and school meals and below-cost dwellings for families with several children.
(3) Where the purpose in view is to help to maintain large families or to com­
plete the provision made for children by subsidies in kind and through social
insurance, subsidies should take the form of children’s allowances.
(4) Such allowances should be payable, irrespective of the parents’ income,
according to a.presoribed *scale, w hich should represent a substantial contribution
to the cost of maintaining a child, should allow for the higher cost of maintaining
older children, and should, as a minimum, be granted to all children for whom no
provision is made through social insurance.
(5) Society as a whole should accept responsibility for the maintenance of
dependent children insofar as'parental responsibility for maintaining them can­
not be enforced.

The Acting Director of the International Labor Office reported
to the Conference that the wartime upward trend in the cost of living
has accentuated the utility of family allowances by the imposition of
heavy burdens on large families. He added that opinion favoring
the introduction of such allowances is obviously growing in certain
countries in which no scheme is in operation, and tnat “ family allow­
ances in some form are widely regarded as a necessary element in
any comprehensive program to assure a decent national minimum.”
* Data are from International Labor Office, Official Bulletin (Montreal), June 1, 1944 (pp. 4-24), and
Director’s Report to International Labor Conference, Twenty-sixth session, 1944 (p. 50).


Canada’s Family Allowances Act, 1944
A LAW was enacted in August 1944 to provide family allowances in
Canada. This law, which becomes effective from July 1, 1945, was
passed after prolonged consideration in Parliament and much public
discussion. Public opinion was divided on the subject, as was also
the case among the trade-unions, which have traditionally been
opposed to the family-allowance idea. Two Canadian labor organi­
sations (the Canadian Trades and Labor Congress and the Confedera­
tion des Travailleurs Catholiques) both looked upon the measure with
misgivings, as tending to keep wages down. A third organization,
however, the Canadian Federation of Labor, was of the opinion that
the question was no longer that of being able to afford children’s
allowances, “ but whether we can afford * * * to do without
them.” 1
During the Parliamentary debates it was reported that—
According to the 1941 census, of the gainfully employed, 48 percent are single;
39 percent of the married or widowed have no children upder; sixteen apd4C per­
cent of those with children under sixteen have only one child. * * * In other
words, the major burden of raising the next generation and perpetuating the
Canadian nation falls on less than one-fifth of our working population.2

The number of children in Canada under 16 years is estimated at
approximately 3,500,000. The number of families with such children
is estimated at approximately 1,500,000. Over half of these families
benefit in part or in whole from income-tax exemptions for children.
The families in the lower-income brackets, however, do not benefit
at all from such exemptions.3
Provisions o f the Law

Benefits.—Under the act and the regulations made by the Governor
in Council, there may be paid out of unappropriated moneys in the
Consolidated Revenue Fund from July 1, 1945, a monthly allowance,
according to the following scale, for each child (up to four per family) •
resident in Canada and maintained wholly or substantially 4 by the
parent: 6
Amount per child

Under 6 years of age_________________________________ $5
6 and under 10 years of age__________________________ 6
10 and under 13 years of age------------------- ------------------ 7
13 and under 16 years of age________________________

For a fifth child maintained by the parent the above rates of allow­
ance 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 benefit is payable to the parent or other person authorized under
the act to receive it.
The allowance is to be discontinued (1) when the child reaches the
age of 16, (2) at any time (after attaining 6 years of age) when the
* Labor Review (Canadian Federation of Labor), June 1944.
* Canada. ,House of Commons Debates (Ottawa), July 27,1944 (p. 5920).
* Id& b, July 25,1944 (p.5450).
« Them eaningof “ substantially” is to be defined in the regulations.
* “ Parent” means a father, stepfather, adoption father, foster father, mother, stepmother, foster mother,
or any other person who maintains or has the custody of a child; the term does not include an institution.

child, though physically able to attend school, fails to do so or fails
to receive equivalent training under the provisions of the act, (3)
when the child dies or is no longer a resident of Canada, or (4) when
a female child marries.
The allowance shall be applied by the person receiving the same exclusively
towards the maintenance, care, training, education, and advancement of the child,
and, if the Minister or such officer as is authorized by regulations in that behalf
is satisfied that the allowance is not being so applied, payment thereof shall be
discontinued or made to some other person or agency.

The allowance provided under the act is not subject to taxation nor
to laws relating to bankruptcy or insolvency. The benefits cannot be
assigned, charged, attached, anticipated, nor given as security. The
deductions allowable for dependent children under the Income War
Tax Act may be adjusted to avoid duplication of benefits under the
two acts. Further—
The Governor in Council may by regulation provide for the reduction or with­
holding of the allowance payable to any person receiving aid from the Government
of Canada for the maintenance of a child in respect of whom the allowance is
payable under this act, provided that such reduction or withholding shall not be
made by reason of a pension under the Pension Act or dependent’s allowance pay­
able in respect of a dependent child of a member of the naval, military, or air forces
of Canada.

Violations.— Persons who knowingly make false statements, orally
or in writing, with the intention of influencing the payment of benefits
under this act, or who cash checks for allowances to which they are
not entitled, or who are guilty of certain other offenses under the act,
are, upon summary conviction, liable to imprisonment for a term of
not over 6 months with or without hard labor, or a fine of not over
$500, or both such fine and such imprisonment.
Administration.— The Minister of National Health and Welfare is
to administer the Family Allowances Act, and with the approval of the
Governor in Council, may make arrangements with any Provincial
Government to facilitate its effectuation. Regulations may be made
by the Governor in Council.
The Minister of National Health and Welfare is required to report
annually on expenditures and administration in connection with the
act. The necessary expenses for administration, other than the pay­
ment of benefits, are to be paid from appropriations by Parliament.
Estim ated Cost o f System

The Department of Finance estimated that the outlay as a result
of the passage of the bill would be $250,000,000 per annum, of which
$50,000,000 or $60,000,000 would be recovered by the reduction of
exemptions for child dependents under the income-tax a ct.6 It is
anticipated, however, that the measure will add to the revenue of
the country by bringing about a substantial expansion in production
and employment, which will be a factor in raising the national in­
come. 7•
• Canada. House of Commons Debates (Ottawa), July 25,1944 (p. 6457).
» Idem, July 28,1944 (p. 5673).