434. Harrod to H. D. Henderson , 25 February 1935 [a]

[Replies to 433 ]

Christ Church, Oxford #

25 February 1935

Dear Henderson

We had to have another sub-faculty meeting this evening and I raised the proposal of circulating a short statement by you for discussion at the meeting on March 6. The idea was greeted with enthusiasm. I am also writing to Lindsay to ask him to come. [1]

I fear I have not done as I promised and written down my own ideas, as I have been fearfully busy. I am returning your letter to me [2] with a view to saving you trouble in composition as it seems to express certain ideas very admirably.

My idea is that you should stress the point that this is a projected new technique of economic research adapted to the circumstances of Oxford 1 . There is also the point which you made in conversation that if we did succeed in wedding theory to fact-finding it might lead to great advances in economics on lines that are not being much attempted elsewhere 2 .

I did feel that your actual projects of fact-finding were a little un-ambitious. Is the notion of assessing the demand for new investment on the contrary too ambitious?

I apologize for not having done more about it. But I feel that I could do nothing to improve what you will write and might hamper you, if you did not agree with some of my points. And it does not matter how short your statement is, as there is certain to be a lively discussion. I explained to the meeting that this was my proposal not yours.



  1. 1. A. D. Lindsay and Harrod were both members of the Committee on the Scheme for Social Studies. On the nature and context of their disagreement on methodological grounds see letters 430 (in particular note 1 ), 432 and 431 . Henderson's suggestion may have helped to reconcile the positions of the young economic tutors and the older fellows: in the following report of the Committee to the Hebdomadal Council, 15 March 1935, this proposal was already mentioned as an example of "mutual organization of research": "The Committee understands, for example, that a number of the members of the Sub-Faculty of Economics have been considering a plan of research by means of which they hope to combine, more closely than is usually done in Economics, analytical theory, the use of statistics, and actual field work" (Hebdomadal Council Papers, vol. 160, 17 January-30 March 1935, p. 205, OUA HC1/1/160). In the same Report the Committee recommended that Henderson should be appointed as coordinator of specific research in economics (ibid., pp. 211-12).

    2. Letter 433 .

    1. a. ALI, two pages on one leaf, in HHP 22A/6; photocopy in HPBL Add. 72764/22-23.

1. Henderson's underlining

2. This sentences is marked in the margin by Henderson.

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