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Page:Economic Development in Denmark Before and During the World War.djvu/49

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was an excellent source of training for their secretaries, cashiers, district managers, auditors, etc., so that they must be credited with having contributed a great deal to the moral and intellectual uplift of the population. The Commission of 1885 consequently expressed a unanimous opinion in favour of their continuance and development as voluntary institutions, and this opinion was acted upon in the bill brought before the legislature. In this way were established lines along which Danish social insurance was to develop during the succeeding generation.

Some years passed, however, before this matter was finally adjusted. An act of April 12, 1892, made it possible for the Friendly Societies to secure government recognition, and they obtained considerable advantages in return for a certain control to which they had to submit. Individual societies were limited to a certain place or trade; only persons with a modest income were admitted; persons suffering from chronic diseases could be admitted as members only on certain conditions. The act granted a government subvention of 500,000 kroner to the recognized Friendly Societies an amount, however, which was soon considerably exceeded. The amount receivable by each society might reach a maximum of 2 kroner ($0.54) per annum per member, plus one-fifth of each member's subscription. Moreover, members and their children under fifteen years of age were to receive treatment in hospitals at reduced rates, as well as free transportation of doctor or midwife in rural districts, when they themselves had no horse or wagon. The help given by the societies was generally to consist of free medical treatment and a daily allowance of between 40 öre ($0.11) and two-thirds of their earnings. This help might be granted for a period of at least thirteen weeks in twelve consecutive months. An inspector was appointed to supervise the recognized societies; and to establish a contact between the societies and the inspector it was agreed to hold an annual meeting of delegates from the societies either for the various