341. F. Frankfurter to Harrod , 11 January 1934 [a]

[Replies to 329 ]

Easterman House, Oxford #

11 January 1934

Dear Harrod:

Let me quote the part of a letter which I have just had from the President in acknowledgement of your memorandum: [1]

  • "I read the memorandum of your Oxford friends to a small group of my advisers and the consensus [b] of opinion was that the Oxford economists are in general thinking along the same lines as we are. Some of the suggestions which they made have in the meantime already been acted upon. Please thank your friends very much indeed for me, and tell them that I am always ready to have their views when the occasion seems to them appropriate.

    We shall be spending next year on public works certainly twice as much as the last. But tell the Oxford professors that there are practical limits to our borrowing capacity--the more so since the banks are offering at least tacit resistance." [2]

You will, of course, make discreet use of this among your group.

I hope we'll have an early chance for a full talk.

Yours sincerely,

Felix Frankfurter (per <C.>)

R.H.F. Harrod, Esq.

  1. 1. Harrod and others to the United States President F. D. Roosevelt, reproduced here as letter 329 ; the letter was transmitted to the president by Frankfurter.

    2. The president's letter was actually paraphrased, rather than quoted. The original, dated 22 December 1933, runs as follows (FDR, Collection PSF, Box 134. The letter is printed in full in Roosevelt and Frankfurter. Their Correspondence 1928-1945, annotated by M. Freedman, London and Toronto: The Bodley Head, 1967, pp. 183-84):

    • [...] The memorandum from your economist colleagues was read by me to one of my little confidential gatherings--Morgenthau, Cummings, Governor Black, George Harrison, Warren, Rogers and Oliphant--and the comment was that the Oxonians are thinking much in our terms and that since their memorandum was written we had already put several suggestions into practical effect. Please extend to them my very warm thanks and ask them to send me another round-robin when they think the occasion merits.

      [...] You can tell the professor (Keynes) that in regard to public works we shall spend in the next fiscal year nearly twice the amount we are spending in this fiscal year, but there is a practical limit to what the Government can borrow--especially because the banks are offering passive resistance in most of the large centres.

      1. a. TLS(p.p.), one page, in BLHP 71883/70; Cc in FFP, file Roy Harrod, reel 40.

        b. Ms: «concensus».


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