415. K. F. Bode to Harrod , 7 January 1935 [a]

[Replies to 414 , the exchange continues at 421 ]

32 III me <Canaline>, Geneva

7 January 1935

Dear Mr. Harrod,

I thank you very much for your letter of December 31 st and for all the pains you have taken in reading the paper and commenting on it--at the very end of the old year. I sincerely hope that we shall get through this difficult subject in the new one, and I gratefully accept the help you have so kindly offered to me. In my opinion, the subject is very important, indeed, for "poor old economics".

Thus, I am awfully sorry that you have got the feeling that Prof. Haberler (you will remember that he is the author in chief so to speak) and I myself have misrepresented your publications, [1] and that I am unable to agree with you on this point as completely as I should like to do. But I am eager, of course, to alter the text in such a way that full weight will be given to the objections of your present letter.

Prof. Haberler just informs me that he will not be back here in Geneva (he is on his holiday in Austria) until the end of this week. Thus, as he has got all your publications and correspondence, I should like to wait with my answer to your special points till the beginning of next week. Please, excuse me for doing so.

May I give some general remarks in this letter.

The purpose of the paper was not to give only a comment and criticism of the statements you (and Kaldor [2] ) have explicitly [b] written down, but rather to find out the assumptions tacitly implied in your arguments and to outline their ultimate consequence. Thus, in some places, where you tell me in your letter that you didn't say this or that, which was important for you, I completely agree with you as this fact, but I am sorry that I--till now--cannot but uphold the view that the implications and consequences of your reasoning follow the direction pointed out in the paper. Of course, nobody can immediately see all the implications and consequences of his own reasoning, and, in the revised text, I shall try to distinguish more carefully between your explicit [c] statements and what we think your implications and ultimate consequences are, or rather: must be. [3]

I beg you to believe that if you had really convinced me that we were even wrong as regards these latter, I myself would be perfectly ready to drop the whole note, and I am sure Haberler would feel likewise.

I have posted your objections to Haberler so that he may think them over before returning to Geneva. I have sent him your very kind greetings, and I hope that he will find time to write to you--in spite of his being a little overburdened now.

Once more many thanks for your points of criticism, to which I shall answer in the beginning of the next week.

Yours very sincerely

Karl Bode.

  1. 1. K. Bode and G. Haberler, "Monetary Equilibrium and the Price Level in a Progressive Economy: A Comment" (1935). Harrod, "The Expansion of Credit in an Advancing Community" ( 1934:8 ); "Banking Policy and Stable Prices" ( 1934:9 and 1934:10 , here as press items 8 and 9 ); "Rejoinder to Mr. Robertson" ( 1934:11 ).

    2. N. Kaldor, "Banking Policy and Stable Prices" (1934).

    3. As a preliminary to their criticism, in the final version of their article Bode and Haberler specified their aim as follows:

    • The purpose of this paper is not only to comment on and to give a criticism of the explicit written statement of Mr. Harrod (or of Mr. Kaldor, as the case may be) but rather to find out what are the assumptions tacitly implied in his arguments and to indicate their ultimate consequences. This applies particularly as regards our treatment of the concept of saving ("Monetary Equilibrium and the Price Level ...", p. 75).
      1. a. ALS, five pages on three leaves, in HP IV-114-115.

        b. Ms: «explicitely»

        c. Ms: «explicite».

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