252. Harrod to J. E. Meade , 12 July 1932 [a]

51 Campden Hill Square, W.8. #

12 July 1932

Dear Meade

The work you are undertaking sounds most intriguing. Is it to be a short book or an article? Or even a long book? [1] Of course you may use my ideas about the balance of payments. [2] I shall be only too pleased if you find they are workable. What did you think of Warming's article in E.J. [3] ? He seemed to be sound but a little long-considered. Kinderslay is rather depressing about the available foreign assets. I dont think it is quite right to say that the sale of sterling assets would give no support to sterling. [4] The sale of sterling assets = persuading foreigners to invest in the U.K. If they are unmarketable in foreign markets, that is a different point. I think all that wants clearing up a little; he is too sweeping.

I am afraid I have had to put R. G. D. Allen right about Decreasing Costs, in a little note which will appear in September. [5] It all works out rather neatly.

The Times have said that they might be willing to put in a long article about reflation. [6] What with trying to put it in a way that they would publish, and some readers understand and compressing a lot of elementary stuff into an article, I find it most difficult. But I think it worth trying since they have given me that much encouragement. What I have written is so bad that I shall tear it up and start again. What is the latest date at which it is any use posting you a draft to Bath?

Well, I wish you well with your Public Works. I wish I could get down to solid work. My vacation life is badly organised and time frittered away on foolish details.


R. F. Harrod

  1. 1. J. E. Meade, "Public Works in their International Aspect", New Fabian Research Bureau pamphlet, January 1933; partly reprinted in S. Howson (ed.), The Collected Papers of James Meade. Volume 1: Employment and Inflation, London: Unwin, 1988, pp. 6-26.

    2. Harrod probably refers to chapter VI of International Economics ( 1933:10 ), which was drafted by April 1932. This suggests that Meade had seen a copy, although he commented upon the foreign trade multiplier only a few months later (see letter 269 ).

    3. J. Warming, "International Difficulties Arising out of the Financing of Public Works during Depression", Economic Journal XLII, June 1932, pp. 211-24.

    4. R. Kindersley, "British Foreign Investment in 1930", Economic Journal XLII, June 1932, pp. 177-95. The passage referred to is on p. 193.

    5. R. G. D. Allen, "Decreasing Costs: A Mathematical Note" Economic Journal XLII, June 1932, pp. 232-36. Harrod, "Decreasing Costs: An Addendum" ( 1932:6 ). Allen's article was the first of a long series of Notes in the Economic Journal stemming from Harrod's "The Law of Decreasing Costs" ( 1931:2 ). These gave rise to further correspondence between Harrod and Joan Robinson, and the appropriate references are given in the notes to that exchange (letters 295 , 296 , 297 , 298 , 299 ).

    6. See letter 250 R, referring to Harrod's "The Dilemma in the Economy" ( 1932:7 , press item 4 ). The article was sent a few days later (see note 1 to letter 250 R), but was only published in November 1932.

    1. a. ALS, two pages on one leaf, in MP 2/5(72).

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