410. R. F. Kahn to Harrod , 24 November 1934 [a]

[Replies to 405 , the exchange continues at 416 ]

King's College, Cambridge #

24 November 1934

My dear Roy,

I was very pleased to get your letter. There is nothing left to say except that I entirely agree with you about the Equilibrium Economists. You will find that J.M.K. is fully alive to the importance of expressing his ideas in the terms which are used in marginal analysis. The reason why there is so much delay in the appearance of his book [1] is largely that he has been working very hard at discovering what economists really have had in mind in regard to full employment and in what way their ideas can be rationalised or explained. [2] His own ideas on these matters are in a very well developed form but he is anxious not to publish his book until he is certain how to fit in the ideas of others.

I, too, have had a postcard from Haberler. [3] He refers me to the definition of saving given by Robertson in the Economic Journal. [4] That, of course, is sheer dishonesty. I have a more subtle explanation of why Haberler has taken to postcards than that he merely wants to put an end to embarrassing controversy. I have noticed from some time that he has been writing me letters in his own handwriting. Surely Rockefeller has provided him with an adequate staff of typists. [5] I have a feeling that he is rather anxious to regard our correspondence with him as of a private nature, so that it need not appear in the files of the Secretariat where, to his embarrassment, any enquirer might be able to read it.

I am very much looking forward to seeing you. Please let me know how early you can arrive on Thursday the 6th. I am afraid that owing to the way in which my term has been disarranged I shall have to devote the whole of Friday morning to teaching. After that I am free and if you can stay on at all it will be very nice. I suspect that J.M.K. will [b] be leaving early on the Friday though I am not certain. Full term ends on the Friday.


R. F. K.

  1. 1. Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1936).

    2. Keynes hinted at his work in discovering the hidden assumptions underlying the traditional theory of employment in the course of the correspondence with Harrod regarding Pigou's Theory of Unemployment (1933): see letters 320 , 322 , 337 and 343 .

    3. Haberler's postcard to Kahn of 16 November 1934 and Kahn's reply of 24 November are preserved in RFK 13/57/99-101.

    4. Haberler wrote: "How and why S and I can diverge, has been shown by Robertson in his article in the E. J. In substance I agree with him". Reference is to Robertson, "Saving and Hoarding" (1933), p. 399. Haberler referred to Robertson's definition also in letter 396 to Harrod of 7 November.

    5. The League of Nations inquiry on the causes of business fluctuations was supported by a Rockefeller Foundation grant: see note 1 to letter 364 .]

    1. a. TLI with autograph corrections, two pages on two leaves, in HP IV-586-668b; CC carbon copy, only partly corrected, in Kahn, 13/57/65-66.

      b. Ts: «wull».

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