This chapter appears provocative to any adult educators presently concerned with adult literacy provision in a number of industrialized countries. It seeks the historic link between the role of formal schooling in Western Europe and the United States and the growth of literacy in the populations of industrialized countries. The chapter examines adult literacy efforts in the United Kingdom, France and United States, in order to distinguish their origins, types of provision, and future prospects, and to offer some comparative commentary on similarities and differences found in these countries. It continues with reflections on possible national commitments and policy in this area. The chapter is concerned with primarily with the situation in industrialized nations, it is useful to provide a brief review of the stages of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization response to the problem. France has taken steps in recognizing adult illiteracy among its nationals.