328. R. F. Kahn to Harrod , 18 November 1933 [a]

[Follows on from 326 R]

King's College, Cambridge #

18 November 1933

Dear Roy,

I think you will by now have realised that the idea of adding of J.M.K.'s imprimatur is really not very feasible. And equally that one or two unknown Cambridge signatures would definitely weaken your letter. [1]

However, I have talked to JMK about it. He is definitely keen to do something himself of an independent nature and would, I believe, respond with alacrity if he were approached from the right quarters. [2] (As far as I know, he has not been approached at all.) He was in any case desirous of getting into touch with F. (does it stand for Felix or Frankfurter?). [3] Can you let me know F's address as soon as possible, please?

J M K. emphasises the importance of buying long-dated bonds . [4] The fear of inflation is having a very serious effect on the rate of interest. The quantity theory mugs think that it makes no difference what one buys.

Let me know how things go.

Yours

R. F. K.

  1. 1. Refers to the collective letter to President Roosevelt, here reproduced as letter 329 . At first, Harrod and Meade thought of collecting a number of eminent signatures for this letter. Kahn and Joan Robinson did not agree (see note 3 to letter 324 R), and suggested instead either
    • (a) a letter signed by just a more or less random few of us: whether or not the signers are eminent will not be of much importance from Roosevelt point of view (the whole question will be whether Warren will nab the letter and prevent the President from ever seeing it.)

      or (b) a letter signed by the Oxford economists. (We should be delighted to help in drafting such a letter, if you wanted our assistance, though of course there would be no point in our signing it.) (Kahn to Meade, 7 November 1933, in MP 2/4/64-65).

    Harrod further insisted (see note 1 to letter 324 R), but eventually the letter was signed by ten Oxford economists (letter 329 , [jump to page] ).

    2. Keynes later wrote himself an open letter to President Roosevelt, which was published by the New York Times and other American newspapers on 31 December 1933 (a shorter version was published by The Times as "Mr Roosevelt's Experiments"; both are printed in Keynes's Collected Writings, vol. XXI, pp. 289-97 and 297-304 respectively).

    3. Felix Frankfurter, who was spending a year as visiting Professor at Oxford, delivered both the Oxford economists' and Keynes's letters to President Roosevelt (see note 2 to letter 329 , and, respectively, D. Moggridge, Maynard Keynes. An Economist's Biography, London: Routledge, 1992, pp. 580-81). He also forwarded to Harrod Roosevelt's reply (see letter 341 ).

    4. A remark to this effect was eventually added to the final version of the letter to Roosevelt: see note 15 to letter 329 .

    1. a. ALI, one page, in HP IV-586-668.


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