Beveridge and After, 1903-1919
Beveridge approached the problems of city and class from above, not from below - with sin, if not religion, prominent in the picture. And this did not disturb Barnett who understood his new Sub-Warden's character well enough. 'He is very able,' he wrote in 1903, 'a whale for work - with definite views of filling up his life in social service, but not very patient with his tools, nor a lover of the man in the fool.'9 And Cosmo Lang, then the Bishop of Stepney, echoed the judgment to Beveridge himself. 'You snub people whose interests are not your own .... You are narrow in your view of life which is not purely intellectual.'lo
If society was to move into a 'better time', what it needed first and foremost, he felt, was a more accurate knowledge of social conditions. Beveridge, therefore, was perfectly qualified to respond to the challenge.